Deathly Ticket to Spain

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
226 Pages
Reviewed on 11/03/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In Deathly Ticket to Spain by Donna Bashaw, childhood friends Agatha Johnson and Dorothy Collins had so many adventures planned since their retirement. As they pack for their first trip together since moving into their retirement complex, they cannot wait to see what Spain, Morocco, and Portugal have to offer. As they board the plane to begin their holiday with Envy Travel, they meet other travel members, including Robbie, a loud, overbearing misogynist. By the time they arrive in Spain, they discover Robbie has died on the plane. Everyone believes that his death was from natural causes until other mysterious deaths and accidents occur. Agatha contacts her neighbor, a retired detective now police consultant, to find out more about the other tour members. They discover that some members of the tour party haven't been totally honest. There is only one way to solve this mystery. Agatha has a plan to flush out the killer, but will it work?

I instantly fell in love with Agatha and Dorothy; their love of life and adventure was amazing. They shared such a warm and supportive friendship, and both are quite fearless when it comes to danger, especially Agatha. Each of the characters was superb, and everyone had an air of mystery around them which made for such an intriguing plot. The murders could have been carried out by any member of the tour party. There are many cryptic clues and red herrings cleverly scattered throughout which kept me totally enthralled and on the edge of my seat. There were great moments of suspense and tension but also fantastic pockets of humor too; the scene with the missing camel was so funny. The historical references and landscapes of Spain, Morocco, and Portugal were described wonderfully. I felt I was actually there with the two ladies. I especially loved Toledo and Gibraltar. The recipes and travel tips at the end of each chapter were a unique but welcome addition for me. Jake and Agatha's relationship was also quite endearing. I hope he makes another appearance in Donna's next novel when the ladies travel to Russia. Deathly Ticket to Spain by Donna Bashaw was an incredibly enjoyable read.

Susan Sewell

Two retired women embarking on an exciting tour of Spain are unwittingly caught in a deadly web of revenge and retribution in the riveting murder mystery Deathly Ticket to Spain (The Agatha and Dorothy Travel Mysteries Book 1) by Donna Bashaw. Now that her husband has passed on, Agatha moves in with her childhood friend Dorothy so they can save up money to travel the world. When transportation for Envy Travel arrives to pick them up, Agatha's and Dorothy's dreams have come to fruition. Once in the vehicle, they meet one of their fellow travelers, who is the most obnoxious man they have ever met. However, their undesirable acquaintance quickly comes to an untimely end when he expires en route to Spain. Believing his demise to be of natural causes, the tour group continues their vacation. But when strange accidents continue to occur, Agatha suspects an individual with a sinister purpose is targeting their group. Can Agatha and Dorothy find the assassin before it is too late? Or will they become the next victims?

Deathly Ticket to Spain (The Agatha and Dorothy Travel Mysteries Book 1) by Donna Bashaw is an exciting and delightful mystery novel. With engaging protagonists built on Agatha Christie's and Dorothy L.Sayers's heroines, the story is very entertaining. With a sound story structure, the plot is well-formatted and keeps a nice pace, the storyline is enchanting, and the story arc is concise. All these elements make this an irresistible novel and an enjoyable read. It is a stunning start to a new series, and I, for one, am already addicted and anxiously waiting for Agatha and Dorothy's next adventure! Complete with authentic travel tips and recipes from the regions explored, it is an extraordinary one-of-a-kind book that will delight amateur sleuth mystery fans as well as arm-chair travelers alike.

Foluso Falaye

Deathly Ticket to Spain by Donna Bashaw starts out as a delightful trip but turns out to be a dreadful one when people start to die mysteriously. A murderer is on the loose, and it may be one of the many friendly faces that Dorothy and Agatha have seen on the trip. The two friends are retired and on a trip with Envy Travel to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. However, a tour member is pronounced dead as the tour commences, but everyone assumes that he died naturally. When a second person dies, Agatha, who was a criminal court clerk, decides to look closer into the mysterious deaths with the help of her detective neighbor that she calls on the phone. Will Agatha succeed in finding the killer before they strike again?

Expect to go on a trip and make some new friends with the characters in Deathly Ticket to Spain as the story is detailed and well written. Donna Bashaw takes readers through notable places, like the Royal Palace and Plaza Mayor of Madrid; famous paintings, including El Greco and Murillo paintings; and different exotic food. That is just a taste of the cultural richness of Deathly Ticket to Spain; there's a lot more where that came from, and all the colorful details had me salivating for a similar tour, without the murder of course. What makes the book more valuable is the "Readers Note" section, which includes different tips on traveling and many tantalizing foreign recipes. I had a fantastic time reading Deathly Ticket to Spain. Following the murder mystery was very entertaining, especially because the dots connect so well at the end.

Christopher Anderson

Deathly Ticket to Spain by Donna Bashaw is an exciting and well-written book that takes you on a trip from the USA to Spain, Morocco, and Portugal. The book starts with a thank you letter from Katie Matsen from Envy Travel to the two main characters, Agatha Johnson and Dorothy Collins, thanking them for choosing this trip and giving a list of names of their traveling companions. When the bus arrives to pick them up from their residence, they are almost giddy with excitement after looking forward to this trip of a lifetime. But things change almost immediately when one of their traveling companions is found dead on the plane and during Agatha and Dorothy’s trip other unexpected things happen. Agatha, a bit of a sleuth, thinks that the events that are happening are somehow connected and asks her neighbor Jake Porter, a semi-retired detective back home, to do background checks on the other travelers on the trip. Join them on this exciting journey.

Donna Bashaw has an excellent way of writing, taking you to Spain, Morocco, and Portugal in Deathly Ticket to Spain. Donna paints vivid word pictures of the places and vistas that Agatha and Dorothy see. You, the reader, become involved in the gripping chain of events. At the end of each chapter, Donna Bashaw gives you travel tips, recommends sights to see and dishes to try, including recipes, all tied in with this murder mystery story. Along the way, you’re also educated in different activities including Frogging! A well thought out storyline with an unexpected conclusion. Unusually with this kind of crime thriller, it makes a refreshing change for it not to contain swearing and vulgarity within the story, which is much appreciated. An excellent read for both young and old, whether a lover of crime fiction or not.

Donna Parrey

Deathly Ticket to Spain by Donna Bashaw starts with a letter from Envy Travel Agency to the travelers who will soon be embarking on a group tour to Spain. Two feisty ladies, Agatha and Dorothy, are eagerly awaiting this trip of a lifetime. The welcome letter is a clever way to introduce the ladies’ fellow travelers and to familiarize readers with characters they’ll be meeting as the journey progresses. Each of the 16 chapters follows a similar construct: Day 1 is Chapter 1, beginning with the tour’s daily itinerary, followed by the dialogue and prose of the day’s occurrences, and ending with travel tips from Agatha and Dorothy. Open the book, and you’re off on an adventure…and an intriguing mystery. A lot happens in these pages.

Author Donna Bashaw gives the reader plenty for their money. While Deathly Ticket to Spain might be classified as a mystery, it’s also part history lesson, art tour, and travelogue. But wait, there’s more! Each chapter has bonus material at the end, such as authentic recipes and truly useful travel advice. The tour guide’s chatter could be verbatim from an actual tour. It’s quite a detailed script, with dates, foreign names, and more history than one can possibly absorb as it’s being shared. But that’s just setting the scene. What happens over this 15-day tour – dead travelers, a doggie that meets his demise, a stray bullet embedded in the bus, a wayward camel, and more – keeps the reader turning pages until the you-won’t-see-it-coming end. Readers will be happy to book another trip with Agatha and Dorothy.