Murder and mayhem on the Dutch Bulb Fields
Tour manager Fiona Mason’s first assignment turns into a nightmare. As if coping with difficult passengers were not enough, one of them disappears in mysterious circumstances. Suddenly a full-scale investigation is in swing headed by the autocratic Peter Montgomery-Jones who doesn’t make Fiona’s job any easier. The reason quickly becomes clear. The missing man was undercover on the trail of diamond smugglers. When his body turns up Fiona must face the fact that she has a murder in her party. The body count quickly mounts up when they move on to Amsterdam and Fiona needs to work out which of her passengers is the killer before she becomes his next victim.
If you like cozy travel mysteries set in beautiful locations with plenty of red herrings that will keep you turning the page, then join our intrepid woman sleuth on her first outing as a tour manager in the first Fiona Mason Mystery – Blood on the Bulb Fields.
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Blood on the Bulb Fields in Pictures
While everyone else was taking photos of the beautiful bulbs, I was looking for where I could hide a dead body.
As we came out of the windmill, I noticed a stall selling clogs which gave me an idea for the novel.
When Fiona and her party are in Amsterdam, she gives everyone some free time to explore by themselves and arranges to meet at the National Monument in the central square. One of Fiona’s passengers wasn’t feeling too good and needed to sit down while she was wailing. That was another thing I needed to check on my research visit.
Our coach tour also took us Scheveningen where went for a walk on its unusual pier giving me the idea for a strange encounter in the novel.
I must confess that our visit to the flower market at Aalsmeer was on one of our previous visits to Holland when we were holidaying in our caravan. Watching the buyers bidding at a Dutch auction proved fascinating.
Cycling back to the campsite, we stopped at a cheese making farm. I think I had as much fun stirring the curds as Fiona’s passengers in the novel. We wrapped the cheeses we bought in our sweaters to protect them before we put them in our saddle bags for the last stretch of the journey. It took the rest of the holiday to get rid of the smell, but the cheese tasted fantastic!
What better excuse can there be for a holiday than needing to research the next novel?
‘Excellent read, gripping I couldn’t put it down. More like this please.’
‘Set in Holland, this whodunit kept me guessing to the very last page. It succeeds at every level – a fast paced story full of suspense with lots of twists and turns – the tension relieved by light touches of humour – beautifully described background bringing back memories of Keukenhof, Delft and Amsterdam – and superb characterization. Peter Montgomery-Jones is a modern-day Mr Darcy – half the time you want to kick him in the shins but you can’t help loving him and the merry widow Gloria is a joy.’
‘I loved the concept – a novice tour leader for a trip to the Netherlands finds herself embroiled in a web of cross-channel smuggling, intrigue, and murder.
Great character in Fiona Mason, and many interesting secondary characters. Lots of local colour as the group pass through the major tourist sites of Holland. The novel has many twists and turns, with an ending I wasn’t expecting. If you like murder mysteries, especially ones set in exotic locales, you’ll love ‘Blood on the Bulb Fields’.’
‘This is the first Fiona Mason mystery and is a promising start, based on an original idea. Recently-widowed, Fiona takes a job with Super Sun Tours and is thrown in at the deep end from day one when the courier she is supposed to be shadowing is taken ill. Fiona finds herself leading a tour of Holland; trying to avoid admitting it is her first assignment; dealing with difficult clients; and the odd murder or two along the way. There were enough twists in the plot for my interest to be held right to the end and I will certainly be reading more, if only to see if Fiona meets the mysterious Montgomery-Jones again.’