Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Death by Puffin by Jennifer S. Alderson

Posted December 3, 2022 by meezcarrie in contemporary, cozy mystery, giveaway, Jennifer S. Alderson, mystery/suspense / 5 Comments

DEATH BY PUFFIN by Jennifer S. Alderson
Travel Can Be Murder #9

GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Traveling Life Press
RELEASE DATE: November 24, 2022
PAGES: 224

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!


Other Books In This Series


I love this series so much. Lana Hansen is a genuinely likable character who feels like someone I would be friends with in real life if, you know, she wasn’t fictional. Additionally, I get to travel vicariously in each book to new destinations that I will likely never see in person. Alderson does a fabulous job of giving readers both a ‘tourists-eye view’ and a behind-the-scenes experience of Lana’s tours while also giving us a taste of these delightful places without bogging down the story in too many details. A stay in Iceland is on the agenda in Death by Puffin, and I really enjoyed exploring it along with Lana and her BFF Willow.

There are a few books I haven’t read yet (though they’re on my TBR list) but it doesn’t matter. I’ve popped in and out of the series the last couple of years, as reading time allowed, with no problems. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend jumping in with this most recent one as your first read , though- not without at least some previous exposure to the series and to Lana. But if you just can’t wait and must read this book right away, the author does a good job of giving you the necessary background. You’ll just appreciate Lana’s character more if you’ve read other books in the series first.

Speaking of Lana …she’s what I like to call a reluctant sleuth. She doesn’t want to get involved but she just can’t help herself. All these murders on her tours, though, are causing stress between Lana and her boss, and she’s not even sure Dotty will let her keep leading tours. Along with some relationship issues that need to be addressed with her boyfriend Alex, Lana is wrestling with whether she is a murder magnet or – as Willow believes – more of a guardian angel role? I’m glad that the author chose to address this as a plot point in Death by Puffin. It adds to the believability of the series premise and says out loud what we often think as we enjoy our beloved cozies. After all, how many of us have thought, “I’m glad I don’t live in Cabot Cove!” lol. It also gave us a chance to see Lana on vacation, rather than leading a tour. And I loved that Willow got to sleuth with her, too – they made a great team!

Bottom Line: Iceland isn’t typically top of my list for a destination wedding, but it made the perfect backdrop for the upcoming nuptials in Death by Puffin. And Alderson makes the setting come alive as readers tag along with Lana, Willow, and the bachelorette party from you-know-where on their tour of this gorgeous country. It’s a fairly quick read but packed full of icy cold glaciers, characters you’ll love, characters you’ll love to hate, and a red hot mix of greed, arrogance, and good old-fashioned jealousy. Death by Puffin is entertaining from start to finish, and the murder will keep you engaged in the investigation. Honestly, I could read this series indefinitely – as long as she keeps writing them, I’ll keep reading them!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!

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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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5 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Death by Puffin by Jennifer S. Alderson

  1. Thank you so much, Carrie!!! I’m just thrilled you are still enjoying the series. So you know, I do plan on writing more adventures with Lana. 🙂 I hope you and your family have a very happy holiday!!

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