Like the author, the Blake sisters are originally from South Carolina, and are the opposite of ugly Americans: these travelers are worldly, kind-hearted, and wear their wealth lightly. They’re habitués of boutique hotels, consuming carefully curated history along with upscale versions of local cuisine. Between wildlife safaris and walking tours, they shop for native gemstones and savor the tea grown on the Nuwara Eliya hillsides. During a plantation tour, the sisters are stunned by the mysterious death of a British woman, and begin to discern a connection between the odd behavior of their fellow tourists and the smuggling of multinational industrial secrets.
Other than David, the California-born Tbilisi wine dealer whose romance with Whitt progressed during their dangerous escapades in Morocco, Fielding brings back few characters from her debut, Murder in the Medina. But where the Blake sisters go, trouble follows, and no one less than Interpol inspectors should acknowledge their quick wits and logical deductions. This installment ends rather abruptly, and what seems like the set-up for an alluring criminal mastermind coming to naught. But a journey with the Blake sisters has its rewards. Confident and curious, these seasoned travelers epitomize a thoughtful kind of jet setter, never treating their surroundings like a selfie backdrop.
Takeaway: The second Blake sisters adventure will satisfy readers with its tasty blend of travel, romance and mystery.
Great for fans of: Jennifer S. Alderson’s Death on the Danube, Cynthia Baxter’s Murder Packs a Suitcase, and Marie Moore’s Shore Excursion.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: B