A high-school teacher’s dream vacation becomes an unexpected mystery tour.
Jocelyn Shore and her cousin Kyla, who are often mistaken for sisters—a fact that annoys the stylish Kyla—are on a guided tour of Egypt with the usual mixed bag of travelers, ranging from the handsome Alan Stratton to the annoying Millie Owens. When Millie’s found dead at the base of a pyramid, no one is exactly devastated, but her death turns out to be only the first in a series of mysterious and violent occurrences. Jocelyn becomes suspicious when the ubiquitous sellers of everything from fine carpets to tourist trinkets keep asking her if she is from Utah. Still, their WorldPal tour guide Anni is very knowledgeable and does a great job explaining the historic sites of Egypt and keeping her charges in line, even the two elderly sisters everyone thinks should have stayed home. Even when the cousins clash over Alan, whom they both find attractive, they enjoy the tour well enough to write off the odd incidents until Jocelyn is attacked in a darkened tomb and a merchant is found murdered in the same way as Millie. Jocelyn has all too little time to figure out why she is marked for trouble and which of her fellow travelers may be the troublemaker.
Hamrick’s character-driven debut is a good mystery and a charming travelogue.