Modern-day murder interrupts a tour of Old World sites.
Emily Andrew Miceli and her husband, Etienne, own a travel agency that specializes in tours for senior citizens—often the same group from their hometown of Windsor City, Iowa. Etienne is otherwise occupied, so Emily, who’s had the bright idea of including travel bloggers on the trip to boost Destinations Travel’s business, is wrangling a contentious bunch with just one helper. They’re the first guests at the Stand and Deliver Inn, which perches precariously near a cliff overlooking the ocean. The owner, Enyon Gladwish, has provided every comfort. His partner, Lance, a product of both the French Culinary Institute and Jersey City, is a talented chef with an unfortunate attitude. When he’s found dead at the bottom of the inn’s basement steps, the police determine that it was no accident. Already handling a flooded room, a burgeoning battle between two bloggers obsessed with Jane Austen, and now the lack of a chef, Emily’s dismayed to learn that Enyon, also a culinary graduate, has come down with a migraine. The most contrary of the seniors vanishes, valuables are stolen from the guests, and Constable Tredinnick adds the entire group to his suspect list. The intrepid bunch carry on with visits to local attractions while Emily, no stranger to murder (From Bad to Wurst, 2015, etc.), pokes around in hopes of salvaging the trip from hell.
Older readers may take exception to their characterization as cellphone-obsessed loonies. Among the lame jokes and over-the-top characters, though, there’s a pretty decent mystery.