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SLEUTH ON SAFARI
The Traveler Cozy Mystery Series Book 1
BY A.R. KENNEDY
Naomi and her estranged sister are off on a trip of a lifetime—an African safari, a bucket list trip for Naomi on which she got a last-minute deal. Naomi thinks traveling with her sister will be the worst part of her African safari until she finds one of their fellow travelers, the unlikable Dr. Higgins, dead. She gets more adventure than she bargained for when she starts investigating what she thinks is murder but the luxury lodge says was a tragic accident. She only has a few vacation days, and a few game drives, to find the killer.
For fifteen minutes, we stood at the conveyor belt, waiting for my luggage to arrive. The constant trail of luggage became a trickle and I began to worry. I had a vision that my vacation slideshow would be me in my Supernatural TV series T-shirt and jeans, with a soundtrack of my sister’s voice saying, “I told you so.”
I glanced at Charlotte. After a fifteen-hour flight, Charlotte had emerged refreshed. I was a little worse for wear. She gave me a dismissive look and I wiped a few crumbs from breakfast off my jeans.
She smiled briefly and the other expression returned.
“You know you look like Mom when you’re annoyed,” I told her.
She glared at me and whipped around. She and her bright pink luggage stormed off. Her pink flowy top wafted over leggings with a black-and-pink chevron pattern. I had to admit, she did look nice. And did not look like she had spent almost a day traveling. I looked down at myself. The same could not be said. My wrinkled black T-shirt and torn jeans, paired with Converse sneakers with tips that used to be white, made me cringe. Nothing about me said glamour.
I didn’t worry about being left in a foreign country by myself. I could find her a mile away with that highlighter pink gear.
I said a quick prayer before turning back to the luggage belt. I exhaled and smiled. She didn’t see the last bag to drop onto the conveyor. My worn tan duffle bag.
Fifteen minutes, and two wrong turns later, I arrived at the domestic airlines check-in line.
“Naomi! Over here.” Charlotte waved her fingers at me and I waved back, from the end of the line. “Come up here!” I was fine having fifteen people between us but she was not. “Could you let my sister through, please?” She plastered on her best smile and they conceded. The travelers cleared a path and I slithered through with a feeble smile. “Her luggage was delayed. Thank goodness she got it!” She grabbed me when I was within reaching distance and pointed at my T-shirt. “Can you imagine having to wear that for your whole vacation!”
No one hid their smiles and a twentysomething man, who had helped her with her luggage earlier, openly laughed.
The next agent became available and we handed her our passports. Charlotte looked at my bag as I placed it on the stand to be checked.
“What is that?” she asked, pointing to the shiny gray strip along the side of my bag.
“Duct tape. The tool of champions.”
She shook her head. “No wonder Dad got you in the divorce.”
Boarding passes in hand, we cleared security and headed to the gate. The short flight would be departing soon and then our vacation, a safari, would officially begin.
I handed her my backpack and made for the bathroom.
“Really? You’re not going to change?” Despite being three years younger, she always ordered me around. Or at least tried to.
“Into what?” I asked. My luggage, like hers, was headed to our next flight. I said a silent prayer as I gave it to the airline’s check-in agent that I would see it at the next airport. Charlotte was right. I did not want to spend the entire trip in jeans and a T-shirt. Even a T-shirt with cute guys on it.
She opened her carry-on. I peered in. She had more clothes in there. I didn’t know how she could fill so much, neatly, into that small space. “Let me give you something.”
“Why? Once we get there, we’re going to bed.”
“No, we’re having dinner around the fire when we arrive.” She pulled out the travel agent’s itinerary from a front compartment. Mine was somewhere crumpled at the bottom of my backpack. She pointed to the line, “Welcome Dinner.”
I didn’t want dinner. I wanted sleep.
“Plus,” she leaned in and whispered, “the people on the tour with us have to be on this flight.”
I looked around the small gate area and had to agree. To appease her, I grabbed my cosmetics case out of my backpack. It was better than putting on that frilly yellow top she was holding out for me.
Charlotte was pleased, especially when she saw it was the one she had given me for Christmas and that it was in good condition. I had never used it.
In the bathroom, I brushed my teeth and splashed water on my face. I ran my fingers through my hair. I looked at my makeup case, hoping it had dry shampoo in it, but knowing it didn’t. My sister’s case would. My pride wouldn’t allow me to ask her for it. However, my pride did not keep me from returning to my sister in faded, ripped jeans, a wrinkled sci-fi themed T-shirt, and sneakers.
Even though she no longer was carrying her hot pink luggage, she was still easy to locate. Her “Meet People” voice, the one she had learned from our mother, could be heard twenty feet away. I hid several rows away, in view of the boarding gate, until our flight was called.
“It took you all that time and you look like that?” she asked. “You’re going to feel silly at dinner looking like that.”
I rolled my eyes.
In the same tone I had used earlier, she added, “You look like our mother when you do that.”
A R Kennedy lives in Long Beach, New York, with her two pups. She works hard to put food on the floor for them. As her favorite T-shirt says, ‘I work so my dog can have a better life’. She’s an avid traveler. But don’t worry. While she’s away, her parents dote on their grand-puppies even more than she does. Her writing is a combination of her love of travel, animals, and the journey we all take to find ourselves.
Links to A.R.‘s website, blog, books, etc.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/A-R-Kennedy/e/B00GOKCWHE
Thanks, A.R., for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!