23 August 2011

Missing in Mexico by Stuart Gustafson Blog Tour

Partners in Crime Tours is hosting this blog tour and I want to thank them for allowing me to be a part of it. They provide the book - I provide the honest review.

If you decide to pick up this book, the number one thing you must be sure to do is read the chapter headings! There are a couple reasons for this:            1) they give you your Spanish lesson for the chapter. Each chapter is numbered in English and Spanish and the heading includes a Spanish word, pronunciation, meaning and a sentence to show context. I think it has already been established that I'm a bit of a geek and I really enjoyed these little lessons.            2) pay attention to the date included in the heading. There are a couple of chapters that are flashbacks. This really wasn't confusing, as long as the heading was read. Because Sarah goes missing in Mexico at the outset of the book, the flashbacks are used to introduce the reader to her character. I found these chapters interesting and helpful in getting to know Sarah.

It is very obvious that Stuart Gustafson is a travel writer. This is his first travel mystery and it reads almost as if someone has taken a travel book and a mystery novel and shuffled them together like a deck of cards. That isn't meant to be a criticism. The mystery kept my attention but the descriptions of San Jose del Cabo have me searching the net for cheap airline tickets. I have a burning desire to go and see these sites for myself. I found that I enjoyed the mix.

Stan, the private investigator, was an interesting character. I was amused at his attempts at romance. In other mysteries I have read, the investigator is so focused on his case that any romance involved, also involves the case. I think 'Missing in Mexico' shows a more accurate picture of what an investigator's life is really like. Sometimes the clues are really hard to come by. Sometimes there are days when nothing can be done and Stan may as well go out on the town and play tourist - maybe with a 'friend'. Sometimes waiting is the name of the game. It makes for a much slower paced plot than I usually enjoy but the descriptions of the setting helped to take up the slack. I also liked that the romance in the book was sweet and not forced.

Surprisingly, I didn't connect at all with Sarah's parents. I found it hard to sympathize with them. Certainly if Sarah had been my daughter, I would have reacted much differently. Not only didn't I connect well with them, I also didn't like them very much.

I don't know whether I was just really in tune with this author or if the mystery really was quite transparent but I did have it figured out within the first few chapters. While this did give me the satisfaction of feeling really smart, it also made me a little impatient with Stan the detective. The ending of the story was perfect. Perhaps too perfect. I always prefer a less than perfect ending.

Overall, 'Missing in Mexico' was a satisfying read and I look forward to Mr. Gustafson's next travel mystery.

Character Development          3
Editing                                     5
Sex                                          0
Violence                                  0
Romance                                 3
Readability/Flow                    4

Find out what other reviewers have to say. Check out the blogs in the tour.

August 1-Review@Tammy's Book Parlor
August 4-Review@A Good Day To Read
August 5-Spotlight@Suspense By Anne
August 8-Guest Post@Tribute Books Reviews
August 11-Interview@Chris Redding, Author
August 12-Interview@Blog Talk Radio's G-Zone (1pm)
August 16-Guest Post@Words By Webb
August 17-Review@Oodles of Books
August 18-Review@Words by Webb
August 19-Guest Post&Review@The Book Shelf
August 22-Interview, Guest Post&Review@Joel M. Andre, Author
August 23-Review@Coffee and a Keyboard
August 24-Review@Let's Book It
August 26-Review@From The TBR Pile
August 29-Review@Stuff&Nonsense
August 30-Interview@Beyond The Books
August 31-Review@Cami Checketts
September 1-Review@The Musings Of A Book Addict
September 2-Review@Gelati's Scoop
September 5-Review@Kritters Ramblings
September 6-Review@Romancing The Book (Valerie)
September 7-Guest Post@The Top Shelf
September 8-Review@Rhode's Review
September 9-Interview@Stuff@Nonsense
September 12-Review@Lady Lit Reviews
September 13-Review@The Top Shelf
September 14-Review@The World According to Dave
September 15-Review&Guest Post@ Legacy of a Writer
 September 16-Interview@Coffee and a Keyboard
September 19-Review@Reading, Reading, & Life
September 20-Review@Sweeping Me
September 21-Interview@Book Marketing Buzz
September 21-Review@GenreWench
September 22-Review@Terri Forehand
September 23-Guest Post@The Book Faery Reviews
September 26-Interview@Rhodes Review
September 27-Interview@CelticLady's Reviews
September 28-Review@CelticLady's Reviews
September 29-Review&Interview@Darlene's Book Nook
September 30-Review@Books, Products & More


  1. Thanks for commenting on my Teaser, Dana. Some people say there's no such thing as coincidence so maybe you *are* being given a message!

  2. I had the opportunity to grab this as an ARC and I passed, I usually don't enjoy books written in Mexico, I don't know why. Your rating it an average helps me know I made the right decision! Thanks!


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