Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shore Excursion by Marie Moore

Article first published as Book Review:Shore Excursion by Marie Moore on Blogcritics.

Vacation and time to enjoy our lives is a theme that resounds in numerous ways. There are many ways to vacation, especially as you get older. Cruising has long been a favorite although even this form of travel has received a black eye.

Marie Moore has given us another reason to worry about cruising with Shore Excursion. She has given us a funny but gutsy heroine that really cares about her clients. As the host for guided tours, Sidney Marsh along with her best friend Jay often work together as they follow their eclectic group of travelers. The group is a mixture of ages and call themselves the high steppers. Sidney enjoys her group, but seems to attract trouble in strange places. Her current trip begins mysteriously when she finds herself being followed by a homeless man. While the incident creeps her out, she does not dwell on it as she rounds up her group and gets them ready for the vacation of their dreams.

However, even as they bus to the terminal, they run into circumstances that seem strange and just a bit suspenseful. Their bus is sideswiped, but they are helped out by some good Samaritans. Sidney is somewhat intrigued by a few of the newer people in the group, they are not as old and do not fit the usual profile. Even as she rolls the thoughts through her mind, trouble continues to plague them.

Finally reaching the ship, she is relieved that all are there and accounted for. Yet trouble is still not far away, as she soon understands when one of her high stepper clients is found murdered. What is she to do, especially when the Captain announces the death as suicide. As the deaths continue, Sidney is determined to find the cause. Can she find the answers before any more of her group dies? Will she be able to stay out of harm’s way as she pokes her nose into the secrets someone is willing to kill for to keep quiet?

Moore has created characters so real you can visualize them. The humor that she imbues them with is contagious. Sidney is like many young women, her head is turned by handsome men, and she often makes bad decisions. But she is also very courageous and not afraid to delve into the mystery of the happenings of her charges. Her best friend Jay is such a great character; I actually wanted him to have a more active role. He was one of my favorite characters. Moore’s background in the travel industry is evident in her understanding and descriptions at each port of call. Some of the prose was like listening to the tour guide and seeing the places yourself.

If you enjoy travel, especially to different countries you will enjoy this book. It is light and funny, filled with enjoyable experiences. There is a bit of suspense and danger as well, but it does not overshadow the sense of fun imbued with the telling. A few red herrings are thrown in to keep you guessing, so you find it hard to second guess the culprits.

I believe this would be a fun summer or vacation read, with just enough teeth to keep you interested while lounging and enjoying the experience along with the characters.

Rating 3/5

The blog tour's official site is:

      Marie Moore's web site:

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:

Shore Excursion blog tour site:
Shore Excursion Book Summary
Travel agents are a vanishing breed, but Sidney Marsh, a New York transplant from Mississippi, is holding her ground--at least on land. She is the tour leader on a cruise through Scandinavia for a group of eccentric senior citizens who call themselves the High Steppers. Sidney expects her days to be filled with long meals, shopping expeditions and visits to museums, churches and fjords. But this cruise is anything but routine. There is a killer on board, targeting the High Steppers and quite possibly herself.

After the first suspicious death, the captain and his crew are grimly determined to carry on as usual. Disgusted with their inaction, Sidney decides to take matters into her own hands and launch her own investigation. She enlists the halfhearted help of her friend and business partner, the flamboyant and fun-loving Jay Wilson. Suspects abound. What about those two handsome young men who stay mysteriously aloof? One of them has his eye on Sidney. So does another passenger, far too charming and again too young to fit the "High Stepper" mold. Then there's Captain Vargos, the arrogant ladies' man whose plans to thwart Sidney's investigation might include seduction.

Who is that crew member shadowing Sidney? Is the theater really haunted? Even the High Steppers themselves are not as predictable or harmless as they seem. The closer Sydney gets to the truth, the less she understands. Shore Excursion is the first book in a new mystery series featuring amateur sleuth Sidney Marsh.
Marie Moore Bio:
Shore Excursion is Marie Moore’s first novel, but not her first writing experience, and like Sidney Marsh, she is a native Mississippian. She graduated from Ole Miss, married a lawyer in her hometown, taught junior high science, raised a family, and worked for a small weekly newspaper, first as a writer and later as Managing Editor. She wrote hard news, features and a weekly column, sold ads, did interviews, took photos, and won a couple of MS Press Association awards for some of her stories.

In 1985, Marie left the newspaper to open a retail travel agency. She completed agency and computer training with Airlines Reporting Corporation, Delta Airlines and TWA, earned her CTC (Certified Travel Counselor) designation, and joined the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). For the next 15 years, she managed her agency, sold travel, escorted group tours, sailed on 19 cruises, and visited over 60 countries. Much of the background of Shore Excursion comes from that experience.

Marie also did location scouting and worked as the local contact for several feature films, including Heart of Dixie, The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag, and Robert Altman’s Cookie’s Fortune.

In mid-1999, because of her husband's work, Marie sold the travel agency and moved to Jackson, MS, then New York City, Anna Maria Island, FL, and Arlington, VA. She and her husband now live in Memphis, TN and Holly Springs, MS.

Marie is a member of Sisters in Crime.

Price: $13.95
ISBN: 9781603818742
Pages: 230
Release: April 1, 2012

Amazon pre-order buy link

Barnes& pre-order buy link


Marie Moore said...

Thanks so much, Leslie, you for nice review of my book, Shore Excursion, the first book in my new Sidney Marsh series. I am especially pleased that you liked Sidney's best friend, Jay, because I love Jay too! You will see much more of him in all of Sidney's adventures. Come along with us on the next one, Game Drive, which takes Sidney and Jay to Cape Town and on safari in South Africa. It should be out by the end of 2012. Thank you for all your good comments!

Tribute Books said...

Leslie, you're right - this would be the ultimate book to read on a cruise ... as long as you didn't believe in fiction becoming reality, right? :)