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Friday, July 1, 2016

Vacations Can Be Murder: A Diega DelValle Mystery By Jane DiLucchio

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

When Diega Delvalle and her three friends began their vacation in Talkeetna, Alaska, she knew that they had her best interests at heart. After months of suffering, Diega’s beloved partner finally succumbed to breast cancer, and her friends hope that this wilderness escape will pull her out of the pit of grief. Their plans are off to a rocky start when Diega meets her former student Missy Granger, who has come to the isolated town in order to investigate the death of her cousin. Missy refuses to accept that Gail Vladinski could have died as a result of an accidental fall, and readers know from the prologue that Missy’s suspicions are correct.

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As someone with an admitted ‘white horse complex’ that compels her to rescue and advocate for any cause she sees as just, Diega is unable to resist helping Missy find some resolution to her despair. That need only becomes amplified when Missy herself drowns, with gossip and even the police glaring in Diega’s direction. In a sparsely populated area where looking for a man means that, ‘the odds are good, but the goods are odd,’ these four lesbians will find themselves immersed in the conflicts between nature conservationists, hunters, prospectors, and businessmen.

Image source: Regal Crest Enterprises

One might wonder how the largely male population of Talkeetna might react to these women, one of whom is transgender. Surprisingly, their city-folk/tourist characteristics are what truly set them apart from the locals, not to mention their brazen attitudes and forthright opinions. What supports the novel and completely engages readers from start to finish are the relationships between the women and the obvious love and history they share with one another. The setting proves to be as distinct as the characters, as Talkeetna has the appealing but dangerous attractions that include river rafting, mountain climbing expeditions, and isolated forest hiking trails. The dark side of human nature intrudes on the beautiful landscapes, culminating in an exciting conclusion that will ultimately warm the heart.

To enter to win a copy of Vacations Can Be Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “vacations,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 9, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).


  1. Sounds like an interesting series. Thanks for the great review & chance to win. doward1952@yahoo.com

  2. Just added this to my TBR list and can't wait to read it.

  3. Timely & interesting -- give me a chance!!!

  4. This sound like an interesting series. Thank you for introducing me to a "new-to-me" author and the chance to win.

  5. Oh, I haven't heard of this author or series yet. Excited to add this to my wish list. Thank you for the chance!

    brookeb811 at gmail.com

  6. I have never read anything by this author. Interesting that it takes place in Alaska. Adding to my TBR list.

  7. I have never read anything by this author. Interesting that it takes place in Alaska. Adding to my TBR list.