Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (The Vacation Mysteries, Bk. 1). Apr. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9781250325853. $28. M
The pseudonymous Mack’s first entry in “The Vacation Mysteries” series features author Eleanor Dash, who wants to finish her book tour in Italy so that she can get back to writing and fulfill her publishing contract by killing off her series’ main character, Connor Smith. She also confesses to a priest her urge to kill the con man (and ex-lover) who inspired the character of Connor. Even so, Eleanor is shocked when the real Connor, also on the book tour, tells her that someone has tried to kill him—twice. She thinks he just wants attention—until someone tries to harm her. When one of their tour group is killed, the remaining group members realize they’re all suspects. All of them, including literary rivals, Connor’s ex-wife, and Eleanor herself, have secrets, and reasons to want Connor dead. Mack’s unusual format includes footnotes that directly address the reader, offering a chance to uncover secrets and the killer.
VERDICT This humorous mystery with a touch of romance was auctioned to Fox TV for development as a series, with Mack writing the pilot. For fans of Knives Out or E.J. Copperman’s “Jersey Girl Legal Mysteries.”
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