Title: Death by Leprechaun (Travel Can Be Murder #6)
Author: Jennifer S. Alderson
Published on: 18 June 2021
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Wanderlust Tours’ guide Lana Hansen is more than happy when her friend and former co-worker Jeremy and his wife Kitty are on her tour to Ireland. The couple had been looking for a break from work and looking after kids and a trip to Ireland is just what they needed to recharge and relax.
On their arrival, the group are in a pub, enjoying a pint or two when Jeremy believes he saw Guy. The next day, Jeremy and Kitty again believe they saw Guy around. When Lana asks them about this mysterious Guy, Jeremy tells her how Guy Smith, a freelance reporter falsified reports and published them. Jeremy was in charge of the article but had freelanced it to Guy. It was too late when Jeremy found out about the fraudulent claims in the article.
Two other guests on the tour seem to have a grudge on Guy. One of them is a genealogist named Jeanie while the other is a middle-aged couple named Evelyn and Devon. When Guy is murdered in the same pub that Lana and the guests are in, Jeremy is arrested for the crime. Though evidence suggests Jeremy is the killer, Lana is convinced he’s innocent.
Death by Leprechaun is the sixth book in Jennifer S. Alderson’s Travel Can Be Murder series. This is definitely one of the series I am going to follow till the end. Ms. Alderson’s research is impressive and each book in this series is no less than a virtual tour (for us readers).
This time, Lana Hansen and Randy (a co-guide) are in Ireland. It’s a St. Patrick’s Day special tour. Though Dotty, the owner of Wanderlust Tours, had a similar themed tour years ago, clients were not quite interested. But this time, Nina, a fellow client suggested they would love a St. Patrick’s Day themed tour. Dotty remembered a few other clients who might be interested in such a tour.
The tour guests include Nina, her husband Paddy and her father-in-law Patrick; Evelyn and her husband Devon, Jeremy and his wife Kitty, and a genealogist named Jeanie. As soon as the group arrives at Dublin, Patrick suggests they hit the pub. Throughout the tour, Patrick (an eighty-two-year-old-man) starts his day with a pint or two of Guinness. At the pub, the group is having a good time when suddenly Jeremy frowns – he thinks he saw Guy.
The next day, Jeremy and Kitty see Guy once again. A tussle turns into a fight and Lana learns Jeremy is not the only guest on tour who has a grudge against Guy Smith, a reporter at the Dublin Chronicle. Jeanie is juggling between marketing her genealogy gig and hoping for a second chance at love (or rather, giving a certain someone a second chance…) Evelyn and Devon seem to have marital problems – while Evelyn is cheerful and very interested in the places they visit, Devon remains lost in another world.
When Guy is murdered in the same pub that the tour guests are currently in, all evidence points to Jeremy as the killer. He’s arrested and taken to the police station. Lana once again makes a call to Dotty (who wonders “why do so many clients get killed on your tours?” Well, Lana is certainly no angel of death but Dotty is right, you know. So far, on almost all tours that Lana’s been on, there has been a murder or two. But this time, instead of a client, a reporter is murdered and a client is arrested for it.
In the previous book – Death by Fountain – we saw Lana’s co-guide Randy and his fiancé get married at a vineyard in Tuscany. Well, Randy got arrested days before his wedding – for a crime he did not commit and it was up to Lana to prove his innocence. The suspects in the murder were the tour group, after all, each one of them had a grudge on the victim. Death by Leprechaun is also based on a similar theme – guests on the tour seemed to have known the victim. So once again, it is up to Lana to find the killer.
I hope this theme does not continue in the next book. As much as I like the setting and the red herrings, I would not like it if (once again) guests on the tour turn out to be suspects in a murder case. Speaking of red herrings – which, of course, are plenty – I found the denouement a tad hurried up. It is in the last but one chapter that Lana realizes who the killer is and… end of story. Somehow I got this feeling (twice so worth mentioning, eh?) that the story ended sooner than I expected it to be.
Having said that, Travel Can Be Murder is one of my favorite cozy mystery series. Jennifer Alderson is a master storyteller. Kudos to her for all the research and hard work she puts in for each book in this series. It is definitely not an easy job to visit the place, get a feel of the culture and people, explore famous landmarks and then base a fictional story around it.
If you are looking for an engrossing cozy mystery, you might want to give Jennifer S. Alderson’s Death by Leprechaun a read. Though this book can be read as a standalone, I recommend you to start from book #1.