by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
Autumn is setting in at Beech Mountain, North Carolina, and the Mountaintop Lodge is fully booked for the tourist, leaf-watching season. Owner Misty Murphy is expecting a rather unique group of guests, as the all-women Dangerous Curves Motorcycle Club has reserved all of the rooms while they tour through the mountains and enjoy the lodge’s fire pits and nearby Greasy Griddle Diner. Purchasing the lodge was the first step in Misty’s new post-divorce, empty-nest new life, so she can’t help but admire the independent spirit of the motorcycle riders as they roar in wearing leathers and helmets. Ranging in ages and on cruisers and sportbikes, their inclusivity is only limited to members who follow their safety rules. Unabashedly breaking these is Erika Hursey, who not only pops a wheelie but seems to have no respect for the group’s leader. Misty’s radar also detects that something is not right with statuesque Katie Martin, who hides her true hair color and uses a misleading bike cover to disguise her type of motorcycle.
The first of the speed bumps to hit Dangerous Curves is the theft of one of the member’s bikes, which is seemingly part of a string of local robberies. When Erika fails to keep track of the sweeper on her ride and abandons Gerri Burnham, Erika is ostracized and blamed when the last-rider road guard is found dead on the side of the ride. Misty is less willing to jump to conclusions when she learns that Gerri’s stepdaughter’s family was in town before the accident, demanding that Gerri release funds from her late husband’s estate. When evidence quickly appears that Gerri’s accident was intentional, Misty finds herself suspecting her guests, a guest’s stalker, and even an inebriated, selfie-stick wielding college student. Chapters narrated by Misty’s fluffy white feline Yeti provide extremely catty observations, while the burgeoning romance for Misty with the handyman adds banter and levity as they engage in a mature, very fun string of dates full of adequate food but great conversation.
Full disclosure, I was completely sold on this second of the series at the first mention of Dangerous Curves. Having first joined Dangerous Curves Honolulu in 2002, the all-women’s motorcycle riding club not only taught me how to ride safely, it bonded me with women who shared a love of motorcycle riding. Diane Kelly gets all of the details right here, from the emphasis on safety (although we did ride staggered and not always single lane) to the extremely diverse collection of women who varied in age, race, education, and choice of bikes. As much of a pleasure it was to read about this celebration of female companionship, the mystery here is just as compelling as it focuses on motives that involve stalking, robbery, and inheritances. A heroine hitting the mid-century mark is refreshing as well, especially as it has Misty starting over with a new career and even a new romance. Incorporating all of the humor from her Tara Holloway mysteries and the unique pet-centric viewpoints of her Paw Enforcement and House-Flipper series, this latest of her many novels delights with a compelling plot, well-developed characters, and an extraordinarily intelligent and engaging protagonist. While I will miss Dangerous Curves as they ride off for their next long group ride, I look forward to the next appearance by Misty, Yeti, and the rest of the Beech Mountain residents.
To enter to win a copy of A Trip with Trouble, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “trouble,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 19, 2022. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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