Book Review: Catch Me If Yukon by Maddy Hunter

Catch Me If Yukon
A Passport to Peril Mystery #12
Maddy Hunter
Midnight Ink, December 2018
ISBN 978-0-7387-5397-3
Trade paperback

Tour guide Emily Andrew-Ciceli might as well be herding cats when she leads a group of senior citizens from Iowa on a cruise along the Alaskan coast. The ladies hiss and spit, while the men growl and wander like tomcats. All are somewhat lax about keeping to a schedule. Then one turns up dead when she goes off on her own after a spat with one of the group and events become more serious. At first her death seems a tragic accident, but then there’s talk of murder.

Meanwhile, the group watches a glacier calf, goes whale watching and ziplining, but it is the photo of sasquatch while shooting photos out a bus window that gets everyone in an uproar. As media people follow them around after the picture is posted online, it’s hard for either Emily or the police to catch a killer.

The murder mystery isn’t really the point of this story. It’s a group of sometimes charming, sometimes aggravating seniors who drive the narrative. Amusing dialogue and characterizations, along with the well-depicted scenery of Alaska make the read terrific fun.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, November 2020.
http://www.ckcrigger.com
Author of The Woman Who Built A Bridge (Spur Award Winner), Yester’s Ride,
Hometown Burning and Six Dancing Damsels: A China Bohannon Novel

Book Review: Alpine for You by Maddy Hunter

Alpine for You
Maddy Hunter
Pocket Books, February 2003
ISBN 0743458117
Mass Market Paperback

Emily Andrew, currently unemployed, agrees to go along with her grandmother on a seniors’ tour to Switzerland. After all, what can go wrong when you’re surrounded by a bunch of, well, old people? And she can fend off the advances of the smarmy tour escort without too much trouble.

She should have known better. First, the hotel has no reservation for her and her grandmother. The food is less than appetizing and she’s been stuck permanently at a table full of people she’d just as soon avoid. Then, she discovers that apparently at least one person can’t handle smarmy tour escorts and the man is found dead in the middle of their first night in Lucerne.

Since he died under questionable circumstances, the police are called in and Emily meets the detective, Etienne Miceli, the man of her dreams, the man whose children she wants to have, the man who can make her toes curl just looking at her. This may turn out to be a great trip, especially as she’s been asked to take over as tour escort and all her trip expenses will be paid. There’s a real tour guide with them so being an escort couldn’t be but so tough, could it?

Then again, anyone who thinks a classroom full of kindergartners must be horrendous has never had to deal with 30 senior citizens—cranky, eccentric, lascivious, demanding. The only bright spot is that Etienne seems to return her interest despite the fact that she always looks like something the cat dragged in, thanks to lost luggage, endless rain and fog, and a few dives into rivers and lakes to retrieve an errant toupee, among other things. And then more bodies start to appear and this is, after all, her problem since she’s the group’s escort, solver of all dilemmas.

This first in a new series is delightfully fresh, with a great deal of humor, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Decidedly a cozy, it does have a little bit of a sexual edge but it’s all talk, mostly very funny. I’m really looking forward to more from author Maddy Hunter and am happy to note that the wait won’t be too long as the second in the series is due out in September 2003.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, November 2002.
Review first published on murderexpress.net in 2002.

Addendum: after too long a wait (no fault of the author’s), the 7th in the series, Dutch Me Deadly, was released in February 2012 by Midnight Ink. It’s on my Nook now and I can hardly wait to read this next in a series I’ve really missed.