“A clever caper … with many twists along the way” (BookPage Review of “Toured to Death”

March 15, 2015

“Toured to Death”
A mystery tour not quite according to plan
By Sheila M. Trask

Make your reservations now for a European tour like you’ve never experienced. Amy’s Travel has planned a clever caper that puts its participants literally on the road to solving a tantalizing murder mystery. It’s all fun and games until the riddle turns out to mirror a real-life murder. As competing teams scurry from Monte Carlo to Corsica, from Rome to Siena, hidden hints both bewilder them and spur them on to the next destination as they try hilariously to work out the Clue-style murder mystery.

Hy Conrad, award-winning writer and co-executive producer of the popular television series “Monk,” is practiced at nudging the funny bone even as grim events unfold. In this story, serious Amy Abel and her busybody mother Fanny trade exasperated yet affectionate barbs while deciding how to deal with the untimely death of their master mystery writer mid-tour, as well as the ever-escalating needs of their guests.

Just when the tour comes to an end, mystery seemingly solved, Conrad turns the tension up a notch with a real murder within the tour party. The aptly named Ms. Abel could call it a day—after all, her excursion is done—but she troops ever onward, with the help of tourists who refuse to stop sleuthing just because the game is over. This intrepid gang will have you cheering them on at the many twists Conrad throws their way. Even the most careful reader will have trouble dodging all the red herrings and arriving at the solution before Amy herself uncovers the true murderer among them.