Saturday, August 21, 2010

How Not to Survive a Vacation by Desert Sleuths Sisters in Crime

The final event of the the Desert Sleuths chapter of Sisters in Crime's Write Now! 2010 Conference was the launch of their new anthology, How Not to Survive a Vacation.  I won't be doing a formal review of the book.  It wouldn't be fair, since I was just named Fan Guest of Honor at their conference.  However, I don't actually review other crime fiction anthologies, either.  How do you properly review a collection with various authors?  In the past. when I discussed an anthology, I've highlighted those stories that were memorable.   So, I'll mention the stories that popped for me.

How Not to Survive a Vacation is a collection of crime fiction short stories written around the theme of vacation.  The stories fit in three categories, "Marine Getaways," "Mountain Getaways," and "Desert Getaways."  The landscapes are integral parts of the stories in which, unfortunately, very few people actually get to enjoy their vacations.   

JoAnne Zeterberg launches the collection with a fun police procedural, "Death on the Intergalactic Sea."  It comes as a shock to Echo McClelland to discover her fantasy cruise is actually a science fiction/fantasy cruise, complete with costumed characters.  So, it doesn't make it any easier to find a killer.  Merle McCann's historical mystery, "The Bride Wore Black," takes us back to Seattle in 1909 for the story of a bride whose wedding plans ended in tragedy.  Or did they?  Susan Budavari's "Sins of the Father" might have the most unexpected twist at the end of the story.  Or, maybe it's Deborah J. Ledford's "Loose End," a story that really leaves the reader dangling.  And, I want to highlight Judy Starbuck's "Cowgirls Don't Cry" for the realistic depiction of Arizona, essential to this vacation mystery.

I can't highlight all eighteen stories in How Not to Survive a Vacation.  Everyone will discover a favorite, and it might be based on your own favorite vacation spots, seaside, mountains, or desert.  However, I can say the reader will be very glad they're not on some of these trips. If you think you're had the vacation from hell, check out a few of these stories. It's enough to make you want to tuck in safely at home, and NOT go anywhere.

The Desert Sleuths' website is

How Not to Survive a Vacation by Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime.  DS Publishing, ©2010. ISBN 9780982877401 (paperback), 206p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I bought a copy of this book, although I was later given an autographed copy as well.


Deborah J Ledford said...

You are so kind to mention the Desert Sleuths anthology. We are also proud to announce that the incredible authors Sophie Littlefield, Rebecca Cantrell, Kelli Stanley, Julia Blackwell and Simon Wood provided excellent blurbs for the collection. Thank you so much for your support, Lesa!

Ricky Bush said...

Sounds like a unique and creative theme for a collection. By the way, Sisters In Crime is a GREAT organization.

JoAnne Zeterberg said...

Thanks so much for the kind words about our anthology, Lesa! We're looking forward to seeing you in September for Authors @ The Teague and appreciate all your support!

kathy d. said...

This sounds like a fascinating book, right up my alley. These stories remind me why I take a virtual vacation in August, traveling around the U.S. and the world via armchair and real books--with page-turning and bookmarks and a big TBR pile.

No problems, no sweat, no dead bodies, except within the pages.

This is my kind of book.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Deb. Yes, you had some terrific authors blurbing the book. And, I really enjoyed it. Thank you.

Lesa said...

Sisters in Crime is a great organization, Ricky. And, I think you'd enjoy the book.

Lesa said...

JoAnne, I'm looking forward to hosting all of you that day as well. It was a fun day last year, and I'm looking forward to a repeat!

Lesa said...


After reading this book, I think you're wise! A virtual vacation is much safer.