Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Cosy #Mystery DEATH BY WINDMILL by Jennifer S. Alderson

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs here https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading Death by Windmill by Jennifer S. Alderson

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Lana Hansen is scheduled to lead the Mother’s Day tour of the Netherlands despite her boss Dotty Thompson’s reservations. Lana and her estranged mother, Gillian, haven’t been close for the past ten years, since Lana was sacked from her job as an investigative reporter for the Seattle Chronicle. Dotty is determined to bring them closer together and has a plan.

Unbeknownst to Lana, Dotty and her friend are joining the cruise but she is less than pleased when she discovers Dotty has asked her mother to join them. Adding to Lana’s dismay and anger is the fact that one of the guests is the person responsible for destroying her career.

The passengers are a diverse group, a few appeared in previous books. Some are definitely more likeable than others who always find something or someone to complain about, even before they get on the boat.

[quote] “I don’t want to hear your excuses. The view from our room is substandard, and I want to know what you are going to do about it. We expected better from Wanderlust Tours. We are paying quite a bit to be here, you know.” [unquote]

While on the tour Lana discovers more about the incident that cost her job and anger prompts her to do something drastic and, I thought, out of character. When a death occurs it’s initially unclear whether it’s an accident or murder but the police have their eye on someone.

I enjoyed the well described armchair travel aspect of the story very much, imagining the sights and locations in Amsterdam—the Keukenhof Garden, the museum of bags and purses, the floating flower market and the windmills, to name but a few.

Book description

A Mother’s Day trip to the Netherlands turns deadly when a guest plummets from a windmill. Was it an accident or a murder? For Lana Hansen, the answer will mean freedom or imprisonment for someone close to her…

Wanderlust Tours guide Lana Hansen and her mother, Gillian, haven’t seen eye to eye in over a decade, ever since Lana was wrongly fired from her job as an investigative reporter. So when Lana’s boss invites Gillian to join her upcoming Mother’s Day tour to the Netherlands, Lana is less than pleased.

What could be worse than spending ten days with her estranged mother? Lana is about to find out…

The tour begins on a high note when the majority of guests bond during their visit to the Keukenhof flower gardens and a cruise around the picturesque canals of Amsterdam.

Despite her initial reservations, Lana thinks this might be the best group she had ever led. Until she discovers one of her guests—a recent retiree named Priscilla—is the person who destroyed her career in journalism.

All Lana can see is red. But circumstances dictate that she figure out a way to lead the tour, make peace with her mother, and not murder her guest. She doesn’t know whether she can handle the pressure.

Lana needn’t worry. Shortly after their fight, Priscilla falls off the balcony of a historic windmill at Zaanse Schans. Was she pushed or simply careless? The investigating officers suspect murder—and topping their suspect list is Lana’s mom!

Can Lana save Gillian? Or will her mother end up spending the rest of her days in a Dutch prison?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Celebrating 6 Years Of Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT With Team Member Robbie @bakeandwrite

Recently we celebrated our review team’s six year anniversary by revealing fourteen of the team’s favourite books.

You can find out which books they were in part one and part two.

I invited some of my team members to tell us more about being part of the book reviewing team.

Welcome to Robbie Cheadle, who also writes book reviews at Robbie’s Inspiration Blog

I have always been a reader. I read books at such a fast rate when I was a young girl that my own four library cards were not enough. I used to use my younger sister’s three library cards as well as my own [Cath was not a big reader back then and preferred to visit her friends down the road than read] and I still had to make two trips a week to the local library. That mean I read at least fourteen books a week. I used to ride to the library on my bicycle which my dad fitted wit a basket for my books.

Even back then, I never read the same books as my friends. I read strange books like Fattipuffs and Thinifers by André Maurois, Helter Skelter, the Charles Manson story by Susan Atkins and all the Eva Ibbotson books, which I didn’t think were unusual, but my friends definitely did. I lived in a Catholic community and books about witches, wizards, dark magic, banshees, and other magical creatures were not encouraged. When I was ten, I ran out of books to read in the children’s section of the library, so I resorted to reading my mom’s books behind the couch. My reads included The Shining and Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. My peer group were not reading these books in the fifth and sixth grade.

The result of my unusual and advanced reading tastes was that I never participated in reading groups at school. I was a “lone wolf” reader and was never interested enough in popular peer group reads to change this position.

As an adult I never belonged to book clubs as they seemed to involve more socializing and drinking of wine that discussion of the books I like to read. As a result, I never joined one, so I don’t know if my views are actually fact or not.

When I started to blog, I quickly saw that a lot of readers shared their reviews on-line. There were all sorts of book reviewing groups among blogging groups and on Goodreads where people read the same book and discussed their opinions of the books and the writing style. This interested me and I started following lots of book bloggers and reading lots and lots of book reviews. One book blogger that particularly interested me with her detailed reviews was Olga Nunez. I realized that Olga belonged to an on-line book reviewing club called Rosie’s Book Reviews and was sufficiently interested to find Rosie’s wonderful blog and follow many of her reviewers.

Often, more than one reviewer would read the same book offered to the club and I loved reading the different viewpoints. All the reviewers have a different reviewing style and I learned to look for, and appreciate, different things in books. This has helped my own writing as well as my own book reviewing process. I decided to ask Rosie if I could join her book reviewing team and she graciously added me to her group. I still have rather different tastes in books and read and review a lot of classics, but I do like to read at last one book a month from Rosie’s lovely list. I always look for other reviews of the same book by other team members as I am fascinated to learn what they enjoyed about a book I have read and what they did not enjoy. I have found that certain of the team members share similar tastes to me, so I look out for books they have reviewed and sometimes request them from Rosie.

Some of the recent books and authors I have read and enjoyed during my time as a Rosie’s book reviewer are as follows:

I enjoy being part of Rosie’s team and have discovered some great new authors this way. She had a splendid team of reviewers whose opinions on books I value, including Rosie’s own reviews. If you like to read a wide variety of different genres and authors and like the idea of being part of a book reviewing team, then I would recommend this lovely group.

Thank you Robbie, I enjoy seeing all the different books that team members enjoy.

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Notes Of A Naive Traveler by @JSAauthor #Travel #Nepal

Today’s team review is from Robbie, she blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Robbie has been reading Notes Of A Naive Traveler by Jennifer S Alderson

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My review

Notes of a naïve traveler tells of a young American woman’s adventure as a volunteer teacher in Nepal. The book is presented in the form of a series of emails home from the woman, in a very similar style to a diary.

For me, the beauty of this book lay in learning, in such an intimate and first-hand way, about life for a woman with a Hindu family in Nepal. Jennifer Alderson does a great job of telling it exactly as it is, and it was quite a shock for me, another woman living a western style life, albeit in Africa, to read about how traditional and stereotypical the lives of some woman still are. Of course, I do know that, but it is quite a different experience to read about it like this.

The first two-thirds of the book are about life in Nepal and the writer’s experiences as a volunteer teacher in a school there. It certainly removes the glamour of such a role and illustrates exactly how hard it is to teach in difficult circumstances, with few teacher’s aids and an expectation from the children of harsh discipline. When Jennifer does not meter out corporal punishment it is seen to be weakness by the children.

Jennifer describes the challenges of keeping clean when having to use a bucket shower and very basic bathroom facilities, intermittent electricity and a father who is completely disinterested in his wife and children but prefers the company of his male friends. She also describes her gradual disillusionment with the family and school as various parties try to manipulate her into making a financial contribution to the school. Their focus on monetary contributions and disregard for the time and effort contribution of a voluntary teacher is highlighted.

The last third of the book is much less intense and tells the story of Jennifer’s experiences in Thailand. She has a great time and participates in fun and exciting activities. Jennifer describes the beautiful beaches, terrific heat, boat tours and snorkeling. This section creates an interesting contrast to the first part of the book.

I rated this book four stars out of five.

Book description

“I never thought I would have reason to say to someone, ‘Sorry I’m late, it took longer to dismember the goat than originally planned.'”

I was twenty-six years old, worked at a well-paid job, rented a fantastic apartment, and enjoyed a large circle of friends. I had everything, except I didn’t. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was missing out on the experience of living.

Part guidebook on culture and travel, part journey of self-discovery, this travelogue takes you on a backpacking adventure through Nepal and Thailand and provides a firsthand account of one volunteer’s experience teaching in a Nepali school and living with a devout Brahmin family.

Trek with me through the bamboo forests and terraced mountaintops of eastern Nepal, take a wild river-rafting ride in class IV waters, go on an elephant ride and encounter a charging rhinoceros on jungle walks in Chitwan National Park, sea-kayak the surreal waters of Krabi, and snorkel in the Gulf of Thailand. Join me on some of the scariest bus rides you could imagine, explore beautiful and intriguing temples, experience religious rituals unknown to most Westerners, and visit mind-blowing places not mentioned in your typical travel guides.

Notes of a Naive Traveler is a must-read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to travel to – Nepal and Thailand. I hope it inspires you to see these amazing countries for yourself.

Related subjects include: travel, adventure, memoirs, non-fiction, backpacking, volunteering, travelogue, travel writing, solo travel, culture, journals, cultural heritage, cultural travel, Asia, Nepal, Thailand.

About the author

Hi! I worked as a journalist and website developer in Seattle, Washington before trading my financial security for a backpack. After traveling extensively around Asia and Central America, I moved to Darwin, Australia, before finally settling in the Netherlands. There I earned degrees in art history and museum studies. Home is now Amsterdam, where I live with my Dutch husband and young son.

My travels and experiences color and inform my internationally-oriented fiction. Down and Out in Kathmandu: A Backpacker Mystery is a travel fiction adventure through Nepal and Thailand. The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery is a suspenseful ‘whodunit?’ which transports readers to wartime and present day Amsterdam.

Both novels are part of an on-going yet stand-alone series following the adventures of traveler and culture lover, Zelda Richardson. The third installment, another art-related travel thriller (working title: Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery) will be released in the January 2018.

My travelogue, Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand, is now available as paperback and eBook. A must-read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to travel to – Nepal and Thailand.

Jennifer S. Alderson

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