How Not to Survive a Vacation by Desert Sleuths Sisters in Crime
The final event of the the Desert Sleuths chapter of Sisters in Crime's Write Now! 2010 Conference was the launch of their new anthology, How Not to Survive a Vacation. I won't be doing a formal review of the book. It wouldn't be fair, since I was just named Fan Guest of Honor at their conference. However, I don't actually review other crime fiction anthologies, either. How do you properly review a collection with various authors? In the past. when I discussed an anthology, I've highlighted those stories that were memorable. So, I'll mention the stories that popped for me.
How Not to Survive a Vacation is a collection of crime fiction short stories written around the theme of vacation. The stories fit in three categories, "Marine Getaways," "Mountain Getaways," and "Desert Getaways." The landscapes are integral parts of the stories in which, unfortunately, very few people actually get to enjoy their vacations.
JoAnne Zeterberg launches the collection with a fun police procedural, "Death on the Intergalactic Sea." It comes as a shock to Echo McClelland to discover her fantasy cruise is actually a science fiction/fantasy cruise, complete with costumed characters. So, it doesn't make it any easier to find a killer. Merle McCann's historical mystery, "The Bride Wore Black," takes us back to Seattle in 1909 for the story of a bride whose wedding plans ended in tragedy. Or did they? Susan Budavari's "Sins of the Father" might have the most unexpected twist at the end of the story. Or, maybe it's Deborah J. Ledford's "Loose End," a story that really leaves the reader dangling. And, I want to highlight Judy Starbuck's "Cowgirls Don't Cry" for the realistic depiction of Arizona, essential to this vacation mystery.
I can't highlight all eighteen stories in How Not to Survive a Vacation. Everyone will discover a favorite, and it might be based on your own favorite vacation spots, seaside, mountains, or desert. However, I can say the reader will be very glad they're not on some of these trips. If you think you're had the vacation from hell, check out a few of these stories. It's enough to make you want to tuck in safely at home, and NOT go anywhere.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
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My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.