A TRIP TO DIE FOR...
Accompanying her grandmother on a seniors tour of Switzerland, Emily Andrew had envisioned a vacation straight out of a travel brochure: spectacular scenery, great food, and a classy European hotel, all worlds away from her rural Iowa hometown. But her dream trip quickly snowballs into mayhem when smooth-talking tour escort Andy Simon is found dead. To be sure, Andy was as randy as a mountain goat on Viagra, hitting on every miss -- Swiss or otherwise -- within striking distance. His constant advances were driving Emily cuckoo -- but had someone orchestrated his untimely death?
For savvy, resourceful Emily, leading the tour in Andy's place is only natural. But she can't remain neutral when a fellow traveler takes a fatal plunge -- she's convinced a murderer lurks among them. With precision timing, sexy Etienne Miceli steps in to investigate, and Emily warms to the suave detective. Still, with the group roster suddenly sprouting more holes than the local cheese, Emily wonders: is there a safe haven anywhere in the shadow of the Alps?
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January 31, 2003
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Excerpt from Alpine for You by Maddy Hunter
"I am NOT sleeping with Andrew Simon for the next nine days!" My voice hovered at a pitch that could cause spontaneous insanity in dogs. I was squeezing the tour guide's forearm so tightly, his fingers had turned purple. "Major mix-up in the room assignments. MAJOR mix-up." I might have added that had I wanted to sleep with Andy Simon, I wouldn't have had to fly all the way to Switzerland to do it. I would have done it back in Iowa, like everyone else. But why ruin a man's reputation when he was doing such a good job of it himself?
The tour guide, who'd introduced himself at the Zurich airport as Wally, slid his attention from the hand I'd manacled around his arm, to my chest. A stunned look appeared in his eye. And why not? Thanks to the genius of Victoria's Secret, those of us who were modestly endowed could now flaunt awe-inspiring bosom beneath our turtlenecks. I had to watch myself though. My Click Miracle bra was set on maximum cleavage, so if I stood any closer, I'd poke his eye out.
"Have you misplaced your name tag already?" Wally chided. "It's supposed to hang right there, in the middle of your chest."
Wally was your typical boy next door with a few pounds on his bones and lines on his face. Beaver Cleaver at thirty-five. Brown hair. Receding hairline. Hazel eyes with no apparent eyelashes. Chipmunk cheeks. Pudgy around the middle. But he was half a head taller than I am, wore a suit that smacked of custom-made rather than off-the-rack, and he wasn't wearing a wedding ring. He had serious potential. However, if the only thing he noticed about my chest was the absence of a name tag, I figured we didn't have much of a future together. I consoled myself with the fact that he probably wasn't my type.
Of course, I had no idea what my type was anymore. The issue had gotten confused when I'd met Jack Potter seven years ago. I'd graduated from college with a degree in theater and was trying to peddle my talents as an actress in New York City. To pay the rent, I took a job as a ticket seller at Radio City Music Hall, where I worked beside Jack. We had so much in common, I suspected we were soul mates. He was an aspiring actor. So was I. He loved to shop. So did I. He was compulsively neat. I picked up after myself occasionally. And since both of us were having trouble choosing between eating or paying the rent each month, we decided to pool our resources and share an apartment.