cover image Death on Tour

Death on Tour

Janice Hamrick, Minotaur, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-67946-0

A passport's not needed to enjoy Hamrick's ditzy debut, the first in a new cozy series and the winner of the 2010 Mystery Writers of America/Minotaur Books First Crime Novel Competition. While Austin, Tex., high school teacher Jocelyn Shore and her fashionista cousin and best friend, Kyla Shore, are on an Egyptian tour, one of their group, unpopular 55-year-old Millie Owens, takes a fatal plunge off the great pyramid of Khafre outside Cairo. The police later determine that Millie was murdered, stabbed in the neck. Entries in a journal that Jocelyn finds in Millie's bag suggests someone on the tour might be dangerous. Good-looking Alan Stratton, who's traveling alone and wears no wedding ring, adds romantic interest. Hamrick does a good job capturing life on an exhausting budget tour as her snazzy if snarky amateur sleuth, who tends to be hard on the middle-aged and elderly, investigates some fishy fellow tourists with a hypercritical eye. (May)