Death by Windmill: A Mother’s Day Murder in Amsterdam by Jennifer S. Alderson

Death by Windmill

A Mother’s Day trip to the Netherlands turns deadly when a guest plummets from a windmill. Was it an accident or a murder? For Lana Hansen, the answer will mean freedom or imprisonment for someone close to her…

Wanderlust Tours guide Lana Hansen and her mother, Gillian, haven’t seen eye to eye in over a decade, ever since Lana was wrongly fired from her job as an investigative reporter. So when Lana’s boss invites Gillian to join her upcoming Mother’s Day tour to the Netherlands, Lana is less than pleased.

What could be worse than spending ten days with her estranged mother? Lana is about to find out…

The tour begins on a high note when the majority of guests bond during their visit to the Keukenhof flower gardens and a cruise around the picturesque canals of Amsterdam.

Despite her initial reservations, Lana thinks this might be the best group she had ever led. Until she discovers one of her guests—a recent retiree named Priscilla—is the person who destroyed her career in journalism.

All Lana can see is red. But circumstances dictate that she figure out a way to lead the tour, make peace with her mother, and not murder her guest. She doesn’t know whether she can handle the pressure.

Lana needn’t worry. Shortly after their fight, Priscilla falls off the balcony of a historic windmill at Zaanse Schans. Was she pushed or simply careless? The investigating officers suspect murder—and topping their suspect list is Lana’s mom!

Can Lana save Gillian? Or will her mother end up spending the rest of her days in a Dutch prison?

Wunderlust Tours is off to the Netherlands for a Mother/Daughter trip over Mother’s Day. Lana is excited that a couple of the Fabulous Five from her first tour will be on the trip with their daughters but is surprised when her boss Dotty joins the trip with her best friend. Before they get on the plane she learns why. Dotty has invited Lana’s mother Gillian to come along in hopes that this mother/daughter combo can heal the rift between them. She has even added Randy as the head tour guide to be sure Lana has whatever time she needs to be with her mother. What Dotty didn’t count on is that one guest could throw the whole trip into a tailspin by her relationship to Lana. When the guest ends up dead, falling off a historic windmill, Lana and her mother both find themselves on the investigator’s suspect list.


I really love this series. A former investigative reporter, Lana Hansen has the skillset and instincts needed to be a great amateur sleuth. This time the victim personally did something to hurt her and she learns other hurtful things as she investigates but she sticks with it all while doing her job as a tour guide too. The woman can think on her feet as she takes on everything thrown at her.

Ms. Alderson’s character development is top-notch. The recurring characters grow book to book and all the characters continue to evolve within the pages of this story. The mystery she has created for them is excellent as well. Her attention to detail shines and kept me guessing right up until the end. I had an idea of where she was going but wasn’t sure until it was spelled out for me.

I really enjoyed the mother/daughter theme, their interactions added so much to the story.  The virtual vacay to Amsterdam was great too. The author continues to take me places I will never actually be able to travel to and her descriptions make every place we go so easy to visualize.

Every book in this series has been a Perfect Escape. I can’t wait for Death by Bagpipes coming September 18 and Death by Fountain coming December 18 for my next virtual vacations with Lana and Dotty. Sans the dead bodies they are so much fun!


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About Jennifer S. Alderson

Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before settling in the Netherlands. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.


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