- File Size: 2034 KB
- Print Length: 38 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: May 8, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07CYZXXKQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #553,644 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Holiday Gone Wrong: An Adventures of Zelda Richardson mystery thriller series short story set in Panama and Costa Rica Kindle Edition
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This short read is enriched by vivid, detailed descriptions of the exotic locations which really transported me to those places and brought the story to life. The author has cleverly conveyed both the beauty of the places and the joy of experiencing them, which definitely enhances the reader’s enjoyment of the story.
‘Holiday Gone Wrong’ works perfectly well as a stand-alone, but also serves as a great introduction and/or companion to Alderson’s mystery novels which also feature Zelda.
On the positive side, it’s light and breezy and moves quickly. You get some travelogue type color which makes for a pleasant read, and it doesn’t take long to begin and finish. A situation arises in Panama involving unwanted amorous advances from someone who won’t take No for an answer. Because of the situation, Zelda is forced to cut her time short in Panama and head for Costa Rica. She runs into mystery there, and someone insistent in a less amorous vein. It’s all very light and pleasant and there’s no real danger. This short bauble in fact feels like a colorful cozy mystery — very light on the mystery — set in pretty locations.
However, even in a story as brief as this one — the actual story portion ends at 63% on my Kindle — you can draw the reader in, give them a beginning, middle, and satisfying conclusion. I didn’t find that here. While I did enjoy this, I felt like I was just being rushed along from one place to the next. There is a difference between movement within a narrative, and quickness. The difference can sometimes be one of reader involvement, and that’s what I felt the problem was here. We get no setup. We are simply dropped into the water, figuratively speaking, with Zelda while on vacation. A short prolog or chapter of her arriving, acclimating the reader to the exotic setting, seeing it through Zelda’s eyes, would have helped toward that end. As it is, it felt like I was dropped into the second chapter, the first one missing.
That continues throughout this short story, at least for me. The reader is given no background about the guy (I don’t want to give too much away) with the hots for Zelda, for example. Just adding a paragraph or two, a scene where he’d seen her at the hotel bar or sun-bathing, whatever, and a moment showing how dangerous he could be would have lent that initial scene with a tiny bit of believability it doesn’t have. Instead this comes off like standard chick-lit cozy fluff. The entry in this series I read, Lover’s Portrait, was so much better than that. The small mystery Zelda uncovered in Costa Rica in this story continued with that same artificiality. It seemed rushed along, which is not the same as movement.
As I said, I did enjoy this, but if I’d had a better setup that immersed me into Zelda’s time in Panama and Costa Rica, and I’d had a couple more chapters to give this story background and real movement rather than just jumping quickly around, I’d have enjoyed this much more. Stuff written to accompany a series should be like a mini version of it, a satisfying bite. But this felt more like too much of a nibble around the outer edges.
Had this very short story been turned into a novelette by a few more brief but welcome chapters, I’d be much more enthused about it. It is pleasant, light and distracting for when you only have a short time for reading, which is a good thing. If that’s what you’re looking for this will do the trick, and you’ll find it enjoyable. As someone who has read and enjoyed Lover’s Portrait, however, I think it misses the mark slightly in giving readers a real sense of the series, at least the entry I read. I purchased this on Kindle from Amazon Australia. Just a tick over three stars, because it’s a pleasant read.