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Lost Luggage (Cyd Redondo Mysteries) Paperback – October 3, 2017
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"Laugh-out-loud funny and enchantingly ridiculous... a highly entertaining..." (Jessica Howard Shelf Awareness)
"Wendall Thomas' debut mystery, Lost Luggage, is a romp that may remind readers of the best of Janet Evanovich or Tonya Kappes. But, Cyd Redondo, narrator and amateur sleuth, may actually be more reminiscent of MacGyver. She's resourceful, intrepid, and uses her shoes to get out of so many jams...Lost Luggage is a funny romp with a little bit of sex and a lot of humor. As I said, think of Cyd Redondo as MacGyver on an African adventure." (Lesa Holstine Lesa's Book Critiques)
"Lost Luggage will have readers laughing and crying. As they travel with Cyd they will have their eyes open to the world of smugglers and pet stores." (Women's Book Review)
"Thomas makes a rollicking debut with this comic mystery featuring an unconventional protagonist who proves to have the skills of MacGyver. With its sexy overtones, this fun, character-driven novel will appeal to Janet Evanovich fans." (starred review) (Library Journal)
About the Author
Wendall Thomas teaches in the Graduate Film School at UCLA, lectures internationally on screenwriting, and has worked as an entertainment reporter, script consultant, and film and television writer. Her short fiction has appeared in the crime anthologies Ladies Night (2015) and Last Resort (2017).
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Before I go any further, I do want to warn animal lovers that this is not just a laugh-out-loud funny book; it's about the very serious topic of animal smuggling, and there are two short scenes which describe how the animals are readied for transport. These scenes made me yearn for instant karma: may every smuggler be readied for transport in the exact same way and be loaded on around-the-world flights only to end up as unclaimed baggage.
I love Cyd Redondo. Growing up with a herd of "brousins" (a cross between brothers and cousins), she still gets called "Cyd the Squid," but those brousins keep their distance. Cyd is into kickboxing-- in her stilettos-- and when she explained why she trains in that footwear, it made perfect sense. She's got a Balenciaga bag containing so many goodies that she could outfit a platoon, and that bagful of stuff isn't mere feminine vanity. This woman is a worthy successor to MacGyver. Lord, have mercy! And believe it or not, she is one amazing travel agent. Too bad she's fictional: depending on the age requirements, I'd love to have her handle all my travel plans.
Lost Luggage has so many things that made me laugh out loud, and it's the sort of book that I'd love to share all those things with you, but I will exercise restraint and let you discover them for yourselves. (I will admit that Barry the chameleon was my second favorite character, though.) Besides the amazing female lead and the marvelous humor, there's actually a good mystery to solve, too. If you've been pining for a mystery that makes you laugh, Lost Luggage is the one for you. As for me, it's going to be a long wait for the next book in the series!
The mystery revolves around the poisoning death of the pet shop owner in the building next to Cyd’s travel agency. Cyd arrives in Africa with her new love-interest, Roger, as her “plus-one,” having won a trip there, only to learn that she’s a prime suspect in the murder. The adventures begin, each more wild than the last. Cyd barely has time to catch her breath before she’s caught up in yet another dangerous situation. The novel never drags, and the author does a great job with plot complications and surprises. The setting is vividly rendered, and there’s a terrific cast of characters. It’s exciting, funny, and clever. A satisfying, thoroughly enjoyable read on many levels. I'd follow Cyd Redondo anywhere! Highly recommended.
Thomas writes with some wonderfully colorful and often times humorous prose. A very enjoyable read!
Winter is coming and, in my opinion, we readers are in the mood for a fresh, new, fast-paced, funny, smart, getaway car of a story that we can jump into and forget all the other stuff we don't want to think about right now. Bonus: For all its chills, thrills and laughs-out-loud, Thomas tells some hard truths with a warm, kind heart and a deft touch. I never loved a chameleon before I met Barry.