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Cat About Town by Cate Conte and Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator)
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Common Bonds edited by Claudie Arseneault
A Deadly Edition by Victoria Gilbert
Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz
The Ghost and the Dead Deb by Alice Kimberly
Gideon Falls, Volume 5: Wicked Worlds by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (Illustrator)
How to Lie with Maps by Mark Monmonier
I Am Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki and Yoshi Yoshitani (Illustrator)
Lips Unsealed by Belinda Carlisle
Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
Murder 101 by Lynn Cahoon
A Pairing to Die for by Kate Lansing
Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi
Robogenesis by Daniel H. Wilson
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Signspotting III: Lost and Loster in Translation by Doug Lansky
Sleight of Paw by Sofie Kelly
Smash It! by Francina Simone
State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy
Swordheart by T. Kingfisher
Tea & Treachery by Vicki Delany
The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O'Neill
This Coven Won't Break by Isabel Sterling
Toured to Death by Hy Conrad
Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel by Jennifer L. Holm and Savanna Ganucheau
Two Wicked Desserts by Lynn Cahoon
The Walled Flower by Lorraine Bartlett
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Well Played by Jen DeLuca
The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad

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Toured to Death: 08/03/21

Toured to Death by Hy Conrad

Toured to Death (originally 'Rally Round the Corpse) by Hy Conrad is the first of the Amy's Travel mystery trilogy. The blurb describes a mother and daughter team of travel agents who end up with a mystery on their hands. Reality, though, is very different from this compact and cozy sounding description.

The mystery has three distinct and barely connected parts. There's a prolog where a murder game designer is killed. Then there's the mystery rally from Monte Carlo to Rome which ends at the literal halfway point. The rally also ends with another murder.

By the end of the rally I was already doubting that the book would be able to wrap things up in some sort of sensible fashion. Because so far there had been zero attempt at investigating the mystery, be it, Otto's death, the original murder that Otto's tour was inspired by, and finally the murder of one of the tour guests.

My feeling of dread was confirmed by a single page with these two words: PART TWO. Who the actual fuck decided to repackage this book as a cozy? No cozy would have need for a PART TWO. If anything, this novel is a thriller or maybe a very weird horror.

After the disconcerting PART TWO, the novel opens up on Long Island. Some amount of time has passed and Amy hasn't decided what to do about the disastrous end to the mystery tour. That is until she suddenly decides she should. Maybe she knows that PART TWO has started?

There's a whole bunch of nonsense in the second half that takes place in New York and New Jersey. It's an attempt to shoehorn together the cold case, Otto's murder, and the one that happened in Rome. For reasons I can't fathom, the person I had decided was most likely to be a murderer (before the third murder) ends up stalking Amy and confronting her. If the murderer had just left Amy alone and gone back to their life they would have gotten away with not one but two murders!

Two stars

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