Review: Murder Will Travel by Emily Toll

Title: Murder Will Travel

Author: Emily Toll

Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime [2002]

ISBN: 0-425-18453-6

No. of Pages: 262

Lynne is a tour guide who takes a small group to Sanoma County, California for a week of wine tasting, cooking classes, balloon rides and fine dining. The group stays at a boutique winery which was owned by the Belladuce family until their financial situation forced them to sell the property to a Silicon Valley millionaire and his wife. Just as the group is settling in for its week of relaxation someone is murdered in the winery and the ensuing investigation causes some problems for some of Lynne’s group members.

I sought out this book because it’s set in wine country and I have a fondness for such locations. In that respect the author was successful, setting the scene well and including some interesting facts about the region as the tour group visited wineries, the giant redwoods and other attractions.

In other aspects the book didn’t work for me. The protagonist was dull and hardly generated enough of the plot movement to even be considered a main protagonist. She certainly wasn’t any sort of amateur sleuth in traditional cosy fashion. But the investigation didn’t feature heavily enough for the policewoman to be considered the main plot driver either. The rest of the characters were either dull as rocks or too stereotypical for words. The millionaire geek is a quite absurd caricature and I found myself annoyed that the writer would be so shallow in her character development.

The plot, what little of it there was, fell apart completely with the most ridiculous resolution. It was like the culprit was chosen at random after the book had been written because nothing that happened during ‘the big reveal’ bore any relationship to prior events. However by the time I got to the ending (admittedly having skimmed the last third of the book due to fast-waning interest) I wasn’t expecting much else as there didn’t seem to be a lot happening for the preceding 250 pages either. If there was a story arc among the descriptions of places visited and vignettes about young love blossoming I missed it completely.

In short, I won’t be looking for any more books by this author.

My rating 1/5

Other Stuff

Here’s another review by Harriet Klausner which is far more favourable

According to fantasticfiction.co.uk there are 3 more books in the Booked For Travel series.

Emily Toll is a pseudonym for author Taffy Cannon who writes a series featuring a female police detective Rebecca Rothenberg

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5 Responses to Review: Murder Will Travel by Emily Toll

  1. Dorte H says:

    Perhaps it is wise to use a pseudonym sometimes 😉
    I think it is quite amazing you got through it. Not that I often put down books once I have started, but with 1 star of 5 I think I would be too annoyed with the book.

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  2. bernadetteinoz says:

    Dorte I’m a fan of dumping a book if it’s no good and I probably wouldn’t have finished it all except that it was the only book I had with me yesterday and I had to unexpectedly stay back at work for hours waiting for some techies to fix something. It’s not like me to leave the house with only one book and now I know why 🙂

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  3. Maxine says:

    Sounds dire. I have read the occasional book like this and it is a frustrating experience when the ending is weak. I’ve also been stuck in situations where I’ve been forced to read a book I’m not enjoying very much because I’ve been stuck somewhere, which irritated me to the extent that for about the past 30 years I have always carried at least 2 books with me.

    I think that Harriet Klausner is a story in herself isn’t she? Is she the one who reviews all those books on Amazon and Dorothy L list? If she’s the person I am thinking of, then I think she is almost invariably positive in her assessments.

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  4. Cathy says:

    Bernadette–I read this book quite a while ago, but it lingers in my memory. I hadn’t read very far at all but was finding the main character very annoying and nothing else redeemable so far. Then a new character walked in, and I immediately said, “That’s the one wot done it.” I skipped to the back, found out I was correct, and promptly ditched the book. Sorry you couldn’t do the same!

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  5. bernadetteinoz says:

    @Maxine – I thought that Harriet Klausner name sounded familiar so that makes sense – I read a few of her reviews and they were all positive.

    And yes I normally have multiple books on hand plus my iPod which always contains several audio books and a load of podcasts – alas Thursday was one of those days when everything that could go wrong did go wrong and I was left with one dull book and several hours to fill.

    @Cathy I’m glad to hear someone else thought the same thing – the reviews on Amazon which is the only place I could find any were all pretty positive – I thought maybe I was being unfair.

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