Title: Death by Flamenco (Travel Can Be Murder #7)
Author: Jennifer S. Alderson
Published on: 10 December 2021
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Tour guide Lana Hansen is leading a trip to Spain. To top it off, Lana is also one of the speakers at the prestigious travel and tourism expo taking place in Seville. The guests on this tour are the other speakers at the expo – mostly social media influencers and other travel enthusiasts who have gained fame over the years.
Lana is in two minds about attending the expo. Chet Rogers, a travel blogger made a comment on his blog that Lana Hansen is a nobody so why is she one of the speakers at the expo? Dotty, Lana’s boss and owner of Wanderlust Tours tells her if she skips this opportunity, she will never get another one.
When Lana and her co-guide/friend Randy arrive at the hotel and meet the guests, it becomes quite clear that the other speakers/guests at the expo dislike Chet Rogers. During the talk, Chet taunts them- by interrupting their conversations and making snide remarks about them in front of media and audience.
The group is scheduled for a flamenco class. It is late in the night when they finish their class, completely exhausted. The lights at the theatre they are in turns off all of a sudden and the next thing they know, Chet is lying dead on the floor.
Death by Flamenco is the seventh book in Jennifer Alderson’s Travel Can Be Murder series.
In the previous book, we readers were given a clue as to what other destinations Lana would be covering in the near future. Andalucía, Venice and Reykjavik to name a few. Well, here we are, in Seville, with Lana and her group of tourists, attending the travel expo and then touring Andalucía.
Lana does not want to attend the expo as a speaker, not after what Chet wrote about her in his blog. Honestly, I felt Lana might have been going through a bout of low self-esteem. Not to blame her for it, though. She’s going to be in the midst of established travel vloggers and lifestyle bloggers. Lana’s blog hardly has a handful of followers while the other guests have millions.
But Dotty, her boss, tells her this is an opportunity that is not to be missed. Dotty has arranged a tour for the speakers at the expo – a marketing gimmick of sorts, hoping they will mention Wanderlust Tours in their videos and blogs. Lana arrives at Seville and meets the guests/fellow speakers. Some of them are not who they seem to be. They might portray a nice and miss-too-goody-shoes attitude on reel, but in real, they are different.
Randy, Lana’s co-guide and friend (Lana is dating his brother Alex), gives her some news. In Death by Fountain, we saw Randy and Gloria get married in the picturesque Tuscany. Lana knew that one day, Randy would leave his tour-guide job and settle down for a job in Seattle. Well, you might now guess what kind of news Randy has for Lana.
At the expo, things did not go well. Chet was one of the speakers (he isn’t a part of the tour group) and he made sure his displeasure was heard. Whenever the other speakers had something to say, he would make a negative comment.
The group is scheduled for a flamenco class at a theatre and Chet is also present. When the session ends, everybody is tired and on their way to changing rooms when the lights turn off. Lana was wearing a tortoise-shell comb and when the lights went off, she felt a tug and someone forcefully pulled the comb off her hair. The next thing she knows, the lights come back and she finds Chet lying in a pool of blood. He’s killed with her tortoise-shell comb.
The local police withhold the guests’ passports. Lana becomes the main suspect in Chet’s murder. Once again, Lana must call her boss and give her the bad news. But this time, Dotty wonders if Lana is a bad influence to her tour.
Like the previous book and the one before it, the ‘theme’ seems to be: a group of tourists, a murder – the victim was connected to the group – and everybody ends up being a suspect in the crime. Once again, we have the same theme in Death by Flamenco. The only change perhaps is Lana ending up as one of the suspects.
As much as I like this series for the rich descriptions of the cities – which in my opinion, is akin to a virtual tour, I am a tad bored of the aforementioned ‘theme.’ I hope Jennifer tries something different the next time.
Randy’s news was no surprise – it was bound to happen one day or the other. I wonder who’s going to join Lana next? Hope it is someone who can assist her in her amateur sleuthing. But what was surprising was, Lana’s boss Dotty wondering if Lana is a bad influence for her business, after all, almost every tour that Lana’s been has had a murder or two. Well, I don’t think Lana will be fired from her job. How do I know this for sure? Jennifer Alderson is mentioned that there will be more books in the series… That’s how. 😀
Death by Flamenco by Jennifer S. Alderson is an entertaining read. If you love travel-themed cozy mysteries, you might want to give this book a try. Though seventh in the series, this book can be read as a standalone.