Today Lana Hansen is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Death by Leprechaun, the latest novel in the Travel Can Be Murder mystery series.
Welcome, Lana. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
Hello, there! I am Lana, Hansen, a tour guide for Wanderlust Tours. We are a Seattle-based company that specializing in week-long trips to several fabulous European cities. Our high-end tours cater primarily to older, wealthier clients but do sometimes attract a younger couple or family.
In Death by Leprechaun, I have to sleuth out who killed an Irish journalist in order to set my friend Jeremy free. Our trip to Dublin got off to a great start and I was excited to have both Jeremy and his wife on my tour. We got to see many incredible sights before the journalist was murdered in a pub my group was present at.
After the police took my friend into custody, I promised Jeremy’s wife that I would do all I could to help prove he didn’t do it. However, I soon discovered that, if Jeremy was not the killer then the murderer was someone else in my tour group. We were the only people close enough to the victim that we could have harmed him without anyone else seeing it happen. My only choice now is to continue leading the tour as if nothing is the matter and hope the real killer slips up. Jeremy’s freedom depends on it.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have had to deal with a murder during a tour. Death by Leprechaun is the sixth of my adventures during which a client of mine is either murderer or accused of killing someone. The police have not been much help in finding the real killer, but then they didn’t know the murder victim or potential suspects as well as I do.
Ms. Alderson has made it a habit of recording the tours during which someone dies, in her books. She’s even had the audacity to call the series “Travel Can Be Murder”. That’s pessimistic thinking, if you ask me. Travel is usually a fun and uplifting experience!
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
Jennifer S. Alderson may have created me, but I am my own woman.
How did you evolve as the main character?
When Ms. Alderson began writing about me, I was recently divorced, had just lost my job, and was about to lose my home. Taking this job was not a choice, but a way of paying back my landlord, Dotty Thompson. She is the owner of Wanderlust Tours and needed a guide at the last minute. Since I had once worked as a kayaking guide, she figured I would be up for the challenge. But let’s face it – it was Christmas Eve and she had little choice. Still, I am glad it worked out that way. I have fallen in love with the work and now I can’t imagine doing anything else for a living.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
Randy Wright is the little brother I never had. He was the first guide I trained at Wanderlust Tours and we have become great friends outside of work, as well. A few months ago, after a Christmas tour of Rome, I got to witness Randy getting married to his wife Gloria in Tuscany! I also have Randy to thank for introducing me to his older brother, Alex. Alex Wright is the love of my life and we recently moved in together.
Our boss Dotty is an incredible woman and I often seek her advice when things go wrong on a tour. She really is a mother figure to me. Seeing as she has no offspring of her own, she does tend to treat her employees like her children – in a good way! She also takes great care of my cat when I am out of town. Despite a few health problems, she was able to join our Mother’s Day tour to the Netherlands a few months ago, which made the week even more special, despite my own mother being accused of murder!
Willow Jeffries is the sister I never had. She runs a yoga studio in Fremont, the neighborhood in Seattle that we both live in. When we aren’t exercising or thrift store shopping together, we love to cook extravagant meals. That woman is my rock and I know I can always count on her to be there for me. It was a blast having Willow and her wife, Jane, join us on my Valentine’s Day tour to Paris. I’m so glad we were able to prove that Jane was not a killer before the week was through!
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
This tour takes place in Ireland in March, which means lots of rain punctuated with suddenly sunny skies that make you look for rainbows and leprechauns guarding their pots of gold. This city is magical! Seeing the Book of Kells, walking through Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, listening to great live music, and kissing the Blarney Stone, were wonderful experiences. Though I would have preferred spending my free time searching for shamrocks and leprechauns, instead of having to deal with another murder!
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
Death by Leprechaun is the sixth tour that Alderson has recorded, and I believe she is planning on writing about my upcoming trip to Andalucía, Spain, as well. I’ve heard her mumbling about Death by Flamenco – I don’t know how she comes up with these silly titles! Her assumption that someone will die during my upcoming tour is rather negative, if you ask me. Personally, I can’t wait to eat tapas, try dancing the flamenco, and see how the locals celebrate Easter in Seville! Perhaps, just this once, no one will be murdered along the way…
Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog!
[(Author’s note – Unfortunately Lana’s wish for a fatality-free tour is squashed when a travel writer is murdered in the theatre her tour group is learning to dance the flamenco. But don’t tell her that!]
You’re welcome, Lana, and thank you for answering my questions. Good luck to you and your author, Jennifer S. Alderson, with Death by Leprechaun, the latest book in the Travel Can Be Murder mystery series.
Readers can learn more about Lana and her author, Jennifer S. Alderson by visiting the author’s website and her Facebook, Goodreads, Bookbub, and Amazon Author pages. You can also follow her on Twitter.
The novel is available online at AMAZON
About Jennifer S. Alderson: Jennifer was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in the Netherlands. Jennifer’s love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning Zelda Richardson Mystery series, Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries, and standalone stories. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.