Side Trip to Kathmandu, by Marie Moore: Unmasking a Well-Heeled Murderer

kathmanduSide Trip to Kathmandu ($12.95, 186 pages, ISBN: 978-1-60381-297-9), is the third installment in a cozy mystery series by Marie Moore featuring Sidney Marsh, a New York-based travel agent. In this adventure Sidney and Jay are recruited by their glamorous friend and sometime client Brooke for a luxury tour of India and Nepal in an effort to discover which of their fellow travelers is a murderer.

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“Author Marie Moore is a retired tour agent and guide. Her Sidney Marsh murder mysteries are (in Agatha Christie fashion) enchanting tales with strange clues that leave readers in the dark until the end. Side Trip to Kathmandu is a fast moving tale with intriguing characters and unexpected plot twists.”  Read more….

—Don Messerschmidt, Portland Book Review

“The descriptions of India and Nepal are fantastic, and the reader quickly becomes another member of a fantastic tour. The sights, sounds, smells, and even tastes of these countries is conveyed in a vivid and exciting way. And the characters on the tour are certainly very different and each seems to have secrets they don’t want to reveal…. Readers who enjoy a cozy mystery, especially one that takes them to new locations, are sure to find Side Trip to Kathmandu to be a delightful experience.”  Read more…

—Cyclamen, Long and Short Reviews

“I really enjoyed this book. Reading about the exotic locations and meeting the people Sidney and Jay tour around with is just fabulous! Always mystery and intrigue that happens in a Sidney Marsh book. Can’t wait to see what Sidney and Jay are up to next.”  Read more….

—Paula Mitchell for Community Bookstop

“Side Trip to Kathmandu is the third book in the Sidney Marsh Murder Mystery series by Marie Moore, who has now clearly established herself as a master of the mystery/suspense genre. Simply stated, Marie Moore is an exceptionally gifted author who never fails to satisfy her readers and leave them eagerly looking toward her next novel.”

—Midwest Book Review Bookwatch

“Marie Moore’s vivid story combines the thrills of vicarious travel with a baffling mystery. It’s the next best thing to seeing India in person. If you’ve traveled there, you will love this book even more.”

—Annamaria Alfieri, author of Strange Gods, Blood Tango and City of Silver, and writing as Patricia King, Never Work for a Jerk, featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show

“This action-packed adventure was worth the wait as Sidney and Jay travel to India…. Suspects were few, but the suspense was aplenty. The mystery kept me involved as it unfolded and I enjoyed the many curving paths it took to narrow the apprehension to the killer…. A great read, a great adventure, great dialogue, and the great team of Sidney and Jay.”

—Dru’s Book Musings

Sidney Marsh’s job as a New York travel agent is on the line. On her last two tours, she and her colleague Jay ended up smack in the middle of murder and mayhem. Their sleuthing sideline did not endear them to their employer, Itchy Feet Travel, so naturally they are relieved when their wealthy friend Brooke requests their presence on a no expense spared tour of India and Nepal. Another agency has made the arrangements, so all they need do is sit back and enjoy the ride.

Well, not quite all. Brooke has enlisted them to keep a sharp eye on their fellow travelers, all “friends” who have grown rich from the demise of others. After surviving an attempt on her life, Brooke is certain the culprit must be one of the five: a handsome Scotsman, a Bollywood actress, an investment banker, a Parisian filmmaker, or a twice widowed blonde.

Many of the tour accommodations prove to be as dodgy as the reputations of the travelers themselves. After one of the members of the moving house party dies of an apparent heart attack, everyone’s nerves are on edge. Sidney can hardly be blamed for assuming a deadly game is afoot … or for falling for Adam, the doting Scotsman. Now, if only she can unmask the killer before the killer beats her to the punch.

Says Moore, “India and Nepal are two of the most fascinating countries on earth, so that is where I chose to send Sidney and Jay in Side Trip to Kathmandu. It is quite true that a visit of any length to India will change your life. India is so ancient, so complex, so colorful that one cannot help but be affected by her forever. Then there is Nepal, that mystical former kingdom tucked into the highest mountains in the world, closed to modern civilization for so many years and populated by fierce, hard-working and beautiful people. I thought when I visited these marvelous countries that someday I would surely return. And so I have, through Sidney’s eyes.”

Marie Moore is a native Mississippian. She graduated from Ole Miss, married a lawyer in her hometown, taught junior high science, raised a family, and worked for a small weekly newspaper—first as a writer and later as Managing Editor. She wrote hard news, features and a weekly column, and won a couple of MS Press Association awards for her stories. In 1985, Marie left the newspaper to open a retail travel agency, which she managed for the next fifteen years. The Sidney Marsh mysteries are inspired by those experiences. Marie is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. She and her husband live in Memphis, TN, and Holly Springs, MS. For find more information, click here.

Keep reading for an excerpt:

“Worth the trip, isn’t it?”

I looked up from my trance to find Adam MacLeod’s green eyes smiling down at me. The others apparently had gone on ahead. I could see the group following Rahim, snapping pictures, strolling alongside the marble reflecting pool toward the great dome.

“It’s amazing,” I babbled. “One of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. The guidebook says it took twenty-two years and over twenty thousand workers to build it. Can you imagine? Isn’t it wonderful? I can’t believe I’m actually here to see it. But I was in such a daze, staring at it, that I’m about to be left behind. Now I’ll have to hurry and catch up or I’ll lose the group in all this crowd.”

With a wry laugh at my idiotic yammering, he took my arm to prevent me from bolting down the path. I didn’t know why this attractive man made me so nervous. I just knew that he did.

“Slow down, lass, there’s no hurry. I told them I’d come back for you. Take your time. There’s no rush. I’ll see that you’re reunited with the group. Easy now, easy.”

Hearing his words, I did slow down, taking a deep breath and resolving not to act like a fool. I looked up at him as we walked together but he was not watching me. He seemed lost in his own thoughts. His handsome face looked sad, and in the sunlight, for the first time, I noticed glints of silver in his dark hair.

“It’s beautiful, yes, but so sad,” he said in his deep burr, staring at the dazzling marble as we neared the great dome. “She died bearing his child, you know. He never recovered from it. Losing the love of your life in such a way, so suddenly … tears your heart in two.”

I didn’t comment, watching him carefully as we walked. I was thinking of the sudden death of his own wife, and I knew that he must be thinking of her as well. The lines in his tanned face deepened as he clenched his jaw. Had he loved her as this ancient king had loved his queen? Did he love her still? Brooke had said she’d heard mention of other women in Adam’s life since the wife’s accident, but none appeared to be lasting or serious.

Then his dark mood seemed to pass. He pointed to a grassy lawn on our left where a white ox pulled a mowing machine, guided by a turbaned workman.

“I’ll wager you’ll not have mowers like that in New York,” he laughed.

I smiled, standing beside him as we watched the odd, old-fashioned contraption clip the bright green grass.

“Nothing here is like New York,” I said.

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