Laura Shumway couldn’t say why she’d agreed to go on the class reunion trip to Italy. Maybe it was to take stock of her life, or maybe it was just to catch up with old friends, take in the sights, and relax in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Either way, she knew she’d discover a lot on the trip, about both herself and her former classmates. What she didn’t expect to discover was the dead body of esteemed professor Anthony Gilbert. (From Amazon.com)
Sissy: In an effort to get far away from young adult fantasy for a bit, we read this lovely novel about middle-aged women. Yay! Because middle-aged women rock!
Bubby: I wouldn’t know anything about this “middle-age” you speak of. I am still in the full blush of youth, personally.
Sissy: You’re still in the midst of a dream world, apparently. But anyway, the story is set in Italy where a group of 40 former college classmates have gone for a tour/vacation organized by two of the women who have family there. First of all, Connolly’s descriptions of the various parts of Italy they visited are fantastic and made me want to go there immediately! Secondly, I want to eat all the food they ate. Because the characters are middle-aged women, they have the wisdom to fully enjoy things and not be worried about impressing boys, eating “the wrong thing,” or maintaining their size 2. So they happily indulge in the well described fresh Italian cuisine and gelato while their visual senses are tantalized by the abundant art and history. Seriously, I am getting my passport updated.
Bubby: As I recall, you have ALREADY gone to Italy once. Did the Vatican and the whole nine yards. Therefore, if anyone gets to go somewhere it should be me. Poor, untraveled me. I think my favorite aspect of this whole novel is that it is based on an actual “Tour of Italy” that Connolly went on not long ago. There really were 40 women from Wellesley, Connolly’s alma mater, and they really did go to the locations mentioned. Everything is just as it really happened with the exception, of course, of the murder. Maybe if Sissy and I are ever to write that novel we keep thinking about, we need to go on an extended vacation to get the juices going!
Sissy: I guess I have kicked your butt in traveling but that doesn’t stop me from wanting more, more, MORE!! And then there’s the murder. No one deserves to be murdered more than Professor Sleazebag, the slimy user, philanderer and plagiarist. Not that I am condoning murder. The fact that male professors got away with that sort of thing back in the day just makes my blood boil. I think we should hang them all by their tes-
Bubby: Sissy! This is a family blog! You stop that right now. Not that I don’t agree with you but we can’t be vigilantes! I never had a professor like Professor Gilbert, but I did have one who liked to make pointed comments about the “endowments” (or lack thereof) of the various women in his classes. I was quite thrilled when he was “advised to retire” the following year. Our main character, Laura and her vacation roommate Cynthia team up to use their specialized skills in solving the murder before it ruins everyone’s delicious vacation. Turns out that they both may have careers that are a bit jucier than they seem at first – but no spoilers! You’ll have to read Reunion With Death to figure it all out.
Sissy: Delectable mystery in a delightful setting.
Bubby: I concur with my beautiful and intelligent middle-aged sister.
Click HERE to buy Reunion with Death by Sheila Connolly at Amazon.com
We were given a copy of Reunion with Death by the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.
© Bubble Bath Books 2014