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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Rome Un-Holiday by Katie Bloomstrom is the third novel in the Samantha Stone series. After two relatively successful missions, Sam Stone plans to spend a lengthy vacation in Rome with her famous heiress friend, Leah, for her new Italian film. What started out as the vacation of her dreams takes a turn when her friend gets moody, the premiere of the film ends with a bodyguard dead, Leah's grandfather is missing, and not to mention the horrible reviews that her film has received. Now it's up to Sam to do what Leah thinks the police can't: solve her grandfather's disappearance and bring him home, preferably alive, all while updating her blog, learning Italian, and finding time to do some sightseeing.
Set up in a similar format to the past novels, Rome Un-Holiday follows a blog format, but Sam has a sharp wit and sarcastic humor that bring charm to the story. Sam's commentary makes her futile attempts to communicate endearing. One of the things I love most about her is how many mistakes she makes. She's not immediately perfect at being a private investigator or conversing with Italians. Her stumbling and figuring out everything along the way make her realistic and fun to read. This is an excellent follow up to What Happened to Vegas. Katie Bloomstrom never misses a beat with humor and spontaneity. The side characters are just zany enough to be interesting and not overwhelming. Leah is a bit sporadic, but it works realistically with her character's moods, and makes it easy to agree with Sam's annoyance. Rome Un-Holiday is a rich foray into a cozy mystery, filled with humor, intrigue, charm, and a delightful heroine full of spunk, strength, and a 'never give up' attitude. A must-read for any mystery lover!