A Brooklyn travel agent wins the trip of a lifetime and ends up in a world of trouble.
Redondo Travel has been a staple of the close-knit Bay Ridge small-business community for three generations. So when Cyd Redondo arrives at the office one October morning to find a dead parrot on her desk, her first move is to call locksmith Gonzo Gonzales from four doors down and trade him four Circle Line tickets to change her locks. Her second is to check with Mrs. Barsky, owner of Pet World next door, to see if any of her inventory has gone missing. That’s when she discovers the elderly owner’s body on the floor of her shop. Cyd offers Dr. Paglia, the local medical examiner, a free room in Atlantic City (smoking, high floor) for information concerning her neighbor’s demise, then leaves for the shore herself to spend a couple of days at the National Association of Career Travel Agents convention, where she hooks up with San Francisco chiropractor Roger Claymore. Cyd isn’t too worried about the outcome of Mrs. Barsky’s post-mortem because she assumes that after surviving four strokes, her neighbor finally succumbed to a fifth. In fact, all thoughts of Mrs. Barsky and Pet World vanish when Cyd learns that she’s sold enough tours to Tanzania to earn a safari of her own. She’s even more delighted when sexy Roger agrees to be her plus-one. Little does she suspect that lost luggage, courtesy of British Airways, will be the least of her challenges. Her clients are arrested, she’s confronted by men with guns, and her first sighting of African wildlife is a king cobra who gets up close and personal. But what scares her most is a call from her Uncle Ray back in Bay Ridge telling her that Mrs. Barsky’s been poisoned and she’s the prime suspect.
Thomas packs a whole franchise’s worth of adventures into her heroine’s debut, leaving readers to wonder what might be left for her follow-up.