Lead Review

  • Book: Death on the Danube
  • Location: Budapest, Hungary
  • Author: Jennifer S Alderson

Review Author: tripfiction



Agatha Christie said that most murders were committed for one of four reasons: jealousy, greed, a desire for power, and revenge…”

This is the first in the “Travel Can Be Murder” series and features Lana Hansen, tour guide in the making. She was originally an investigative journalist but lost her job when she was looking into poisoning of the waterways, where big industry was involved. She is also divorced, still smarting from her husband’s affair with the much younger woman.

She lives with Dotty, who owns Wanderlust Tours and the guide, who was due to accompany a group of older Seattle tourists, falls ill. Lana steps in and is no way in her comfort zone but in for a penny, in for a pound. She is a plucky woman!

She has in her group a motley gathering of citizens – the Fabulous Five are women who hang out together, there is a couple who run a yachting marina, and there is Carl, her more experienced fellow guide, who seems to be going through a rough patch. Quite the ladies’ man, it would appear, who seems to be in cahoots with another member of the party. Lana is there to keep an eye on everyone, and ensure their smooth passage along the Danube. However, as we know from the title, there is a death (or two) along the way. Who has fallen into the water… or was the person pushed?

It is poignant reading this cozy mystery on the very day that M C Beaton passed away (2.1.20), who was the creator of the Agatha Raisin cozy murder mystery series, set in the Cotswolds. She will be much missed but hopefully The Travel Can Be Murder series will prove to be a substitute. Wittily written, acutely observed, with a narrative that bowls along nicely, this series will find a loyal audience.

And from TripFiction’s point of view this novel is great for a bit of literary wanderlust. Budapest is portrayed as icily cold at the end of December and I can vouch for that, you really need a duvet coat when you are out and about. There are trips to the baths, visits to the castle, the tunnels and a trip up the Danube on the MS Franz Liszt. What more can you ask for in the way of colourful ‘triplit’? Enjoy.

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