Ah, Oktoberfest in Bavaria. Giant mugs of beer. Alpine hats. Gents in lederhosen. Ladies in dirndls. Oompah bands. Bratwurst. Piping-hot pretzels. Cold-blooded murder.
I suspect that murder isn’t a typical feature of Oktoberfest, but no matter where I lead my group of Iowa seniors, murder always seems to follow.
I’m Emily Andrew Miceli, escort to a core group of globetrotting seniors whose lengthy bucket lists include lots of foreign travel. Our current tour is taking us to Germany, where the musicians in our group are scheduled to play a few polkas in the celebrated beer tents of Munich. My parents are joining us for this trip, so I’m holding my breath that Mom can rein in her compulsion to alphabetize everything and that Dad won’t break his neck while viewing every inch of real estate through the narrow lens of his camcorder. I also have to keep Mom away from my independently minded grandmother, because Mom delights in micro-managing Nana’s schedule, which really sets Nana’s false teeth on edge. Good thing my husband is accompanying us, too, because if things start to go south, I might need reinforcements.
But really, Oktoberfest in Bavaria! What could possibly go wrong? Well, other than a run in with unexploded World War II ordnance, the tragic death of the most beloved member of the musical troupe, a string of emergency room visits that upset the entire dynamic of the tour, a terrifying new challenge for my dad, and a guest psychic whose uncanny predictions hit more raw nerves than she’d bargained for. But did anyone other than yours truly find it odd that she failed to predict the most shocking incident of all?
As we explore all the touristy sights from picturesque alpine villages, to the circus atmosphere of Munich’s Hippodrom beer tent, to the grandeur of Mad King Ludwig’s fairy tale castle, it’s becoming obvious to both Etienne and me that a killer walks among us, but our search for clues is going nowhere fast. It’s difficult to ferret out a killer when you’re being foiled at every turn by guests whose ultimate goal is to protect the well-guarded secrets they’d hoped to take to the grave with them. And don’t even get me started on Bernice. I don’t care if her sudden physical transformation has left her looking like a million bucks. No way is our next trip going to include an overnight shopping spree in the jungles of New Guinea!
You can read more about Emily in From Bad to Wurst, the 10th book in the “Passport to Peril” mystery series, published by Midnight Ink. The first book in the series is Alpine for You.
About From Bad to Wurst
It’s Oktoberfest and the globetrotting Iowa seniors are sharing their Sounds of Music adventure with several oompah bands whose dream of performing in a famous German beer hall is about to be realized. But when a deadly relic from wartime Munich rains disaster on the group, their dreams are shattered—until an unlikely guest offers them new hope.
The tour hits a sour note when tragedy strikes a guest who knew the musicians’ most guarded secrets. Was the death an unfortunate accident or something more sinister? As the group travels from the beer tents of Munich to the fairytale castle of Mad King Ludwig, Emily strives to restore harmony. But with the situation escalating out of control, could the gang be looking at a terrible end to their German interlude?
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About the author
After experiencing disastrous vacations on three continents, Maddy Hunter decided to combine her love of humor, travel, and storytelling to fictionalize her misadventures. Inspired by her feisty aunt and by memories of her Irish grandmother, she created the nationally bestselling, Agatha Award-nominated Passport to Peril mystery series, where quirky seniors from Iowa get to relive everything that went wrong on Maddy’s holiday. From Bad to Wurst is the tenth book in the series. Maddy lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband and a head full of imaginary characters who keep asking, “Are we there yet?” Visit Maddy at www.maddyhunter.com.