Death by Puffin: A Bachelorette Party Murder in Reykjavik
(Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery)
by Jennifer S. Alderson
About Death By Puffin
Death by Puffin: A Bachelorette Party Murder in Reykjavik (Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery)
9th in Series
Setting – Iceland
Traveling Life Press (November 24, 2022)
Number of Pages: 180
Digital ASIN : B09WX2D57V
Iceland—land of fire, ice … and murder?
After a nasty fight with her boyfriend, tour guide Lana Hansen takes a week off work to get her head straight. Fate brings her to Iceland and the Hotel Puffin where she hopes the magnificent natural surroundings will help heal her heart and point the way forward.
Instead of the rest and relaxation she wishes to find, Lana ends up neighbors with a group of rowdy Americans in town for a bachelorette party and wedding. Their joyous frivolity is a painful reminder of her own relationship problems, and Lana does her best to steer clear of the group.
Yet when someone in the wedding party dies under mysterious circumstances, she gets pulled into the investigation. Can Lana help unmask the killer before they strike again—or will this trip be her last?
The Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries are heartwarming stories about making friends, traveling, and celebrating new experiences. Join tour guide Lana Hansen as she leads tourists and readers to fascinating cities around the globe on intriguing adventures that often turn deadly.
Books in the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery series:
Book 1 – Death on the Danube: A New Year’s Murder in Budapest
Book 2 – Death by Baguette: A Valentine’s Day Murder in Paris
Book 3 – Death by Windmill: A Mother’s Day Murder in Amsterdam
Book 4 – Death by Bagpipes: A Summer Murder in Edinburgh
Book 5 – Death by Fountain: A Christmas Murder in Rome
Book 6 – Death by Leprechaun: A Saint Patrick’s Day Murder in Dublin
Book 7 – Death by Flamenco: An Easter Murder in Seville
Book 8 – Death by Gondola: A Springtime Murder in Venice
Book 9 – Death by Puffin: A Bachelorette Party Murder in Reykjavik
Books 10-12 – More adventures are coming soon!!
Celebrating the End and a New Beginning
By Jennifer S. Alderson
“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” I learned this song during my time as a Brownie, a sort of Girl Scout, and it has stuck with me ever since. Not only because it’s a great way to view friendships, but because it is also applicable to so many other aspects in life – even writing books!
Being a writer gives me the freedom to create new worlds, relationships, and characters whenever I feel like it. Which can be a blessing, but also a burden – especially when my fantasy kicks into overdrive!
I am in envy of writers who can effortlessly switch between their book worlds when writing, and release novels from several series each year. Unfortunately, my brain is not wired like that! Which is why I have decided to take a short break from the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries so that I can write the first three books in another cozy series.
To be clear, I love writing about Lana Hansen and her tours, so this will NOT be her last adventure. Yet, in order to get this new series right, I need to clear my head and start afresh. This one features an art sleuth and antiques expert on assignment in Europe, which is quite a different setup than Lana leading tour groups. Book one of this new series is almost finished; after I have book three completed, I’m going to plan a new adventure for Lana – I promise!
I do have to add that I am as excited about this new series as I am by the Travel Can Be Murder Mysteries, and do believe that readers will enjoy these new adventures as much as they do Lana’s tours! Two beta readers have already read the initial draft of book one and are also quite enthusiastic about it – which is an enormous relief.
Even though this is not the end, knowing Death by Puffin will be the last book published in this series for a while, did affect how I wrote the story. This novel is more focused on Lana’s personal life than any of the previous eight books. Because I don’t know exactly when the next one will be released, I don’t want to leave readers hanging. Which is why several questions concerning Lana’s job and relationship are answered, and a few loose plot threads relating to her good friends are wrapped up.
That’s also why Lana’s best friend, Willow, is in Iceland with her. Willow is one of my favorite characters to write, probably because she is a compilation of several good friends I’ve known over the years – people I could always rely on to be there for me, but who could also be brutally honest when necessary. Having Willow join Lana for the week was a great way for me to bring her back into the story. And in this book, Lana desperately needs her friendship and advice.
To me, this is an important theme of the book – that you don’t have to do it all alone and that no problem is insurmountable, no matter how depressing things may seem at the moment. Sometimes you just need to talk to someone – a friend, loved one, or sympathetic stranger – in order to get perspective on your current state of being, and find a way out.
At the start of Death by Puffin, Lana is incredibly down and can’t see a way out of her troubles. After Willow flies over, she gets Lana out of the hotel and offers her perspective on Lana’s predicament. Her advice is definitely helpful, but perhaps a bit harsher than Lana had hoped. While she is trying to absorb Willow’s words and shift her mindset to see the positive, a guest is murdered in their hotel, setting Lana into an emotional tailspin.
It’s Willow who convinces her that they need to find the killer, for Lana’s own mental health. Willow even helps interrogate the suspects – something she really enjoys doing! To discover exactly why she is so gung-ho to sleuth out the murderer, you’ll have to read the book.
Writing the final chapter was also quite a challenge because I usually tell the readers where Lana is going next. Despite not wanting to leaving any situations unresolved, I thought it was still important to hint at the possible new directions this series may be taking when I resume writing it, probably in the Fall of 2023. After having written nine books about Lana’s tours, it’s time to look for other ways for her to travel the world and solve any mysteries that come her way.
That’s the beauty of being a writer, I get to think up any old storyline I want! As long as there are readers who enjoy the stories, I’ll keep writing more of them.
Speaking of which, I want to give a shoutout to all of the fans of the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series who have left incredible reviews and sent messages making clear that they cannot wait to read more of Lana’s adventures. It encouragement like that that inspires me to keep writing and do my best to make each book better than the last one!
Happy reading and travels, Jennifer
About Jennifer S. Alderson
Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before settling in the Netherlands. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.
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