Midwest Book Reviews, Bookwatch Feature
by Shelley Glodowski
Yvonne Suarez, travel agent and sleuth, takes an exciting trip to Scotland, along with a client named Fiona Batson. The trip has a dual purpose: Yvonne wants to check out sites to include in travel packages, and Fiona would like to solve a decades old mystery involving the disappearance of her brother, Duncan:
"'Oh my, he's been missing for ages. Lately...I...I've been dreaming about him.' Fiona watched Yvonne make a note on her pad. 'A voice in my head keeps telling me that I need to return to Edinburgh to find out what happened to him. Not knowing what happened to Duncan is what killed my mum. She died of a broken heart. Eventually after losing his son and wife, and after I'd grown up and moved away, Dad's delayed grief sent him to an early grave. So can't you see? It's up to me to figure out what happened and bring peace to my family.'"
Dingwall takes the reader on an excellent excursion through Scotland while Yvonne and Fiona dig into thirty-year-old history to uncover the secrets Fiona's family wants kept hidden. CELTIC CURSE is a fascinating, well-crafted whodunit with an abundant overview of Scottish history, culture, and just plain old blarney.
All About Women Magazine: October 2013
Danielle Bussone, Reviewer
Celtic Curse, A New Travel Mystery by Wendy Dingwall (Excerpted)
Former travel agent and author, Wendy Dingwall, takes the reader on an invigorating journey throughout a provincial area of Scotland. She breathes life into the tale not only through the travails of her characters but in the observation of the minutest details of daily life in the region. She recounts historical features of the areas characters frequently making you feel as if you are there marveling at the architectural wonders the locale affords. You feel as though you can taste the Shepherd’s Pie and sticky toffee pudding. You feel yourself dab the froth of ale from the corner of your mouth with an embroidered linen napkin. You luxuriate in the softness of tartan scarves died in the various plaids of Scottish clans as they glide silkily through your open fingers.
Celtic Curse by Wendy Dingwall is the second novel in the Yvonne Suarez travel mystery series. As the summer season concludes and the season for curling up with a good whodunnit is upon
us, Celtic Curse is the book to reach for when searching for a satisfying mystery to read.
Midwest Reviewer's Bookwatch: July 2013
Christy Tillery French, Reviewer
Travel agent Yvonne Suarez is thrilled to do some amateur sleuthing when she is asked by Fiona Batson, the housekeeper of a former client, to travel with her to Scotland. Fiona hopes to find out what happened to her brother Duncan, who disappeared shortly before his family moved to America in the ‘60s. Yvonne uses this excursion as a familiarization trip for her agency, touring historical attractions and checking out restaurants and hotels, while helping Fiona search for clues to her brother’s whereabouts. Yvonne begins her investigation at the wool mill where Duncan worked as he vanished shortly after collecting his last paycheck. Suspects spring up fairly quickly, from a disapproving father to a close friend to persons trying to thwart an allegation of corporate pollution. When Yvonne comes under fire, she’s sure she’s on the right track but can she find the killer before he stops her?
Celtic Curse is a delightful addition to the Yvonne Suarez Travel Mystery series. Dingwall’s skillful descriptions of the beautiful Scottish countryside and its historical landmarks paint a realistic picture for the reader, as if actually visiting there. She brings back David Ludlow as Yvonne’s lover and the chemistry between the two is charming and sweet. She very adeptly reveals the complex layers of Yvonne’s past relationship with her abusive ex-husband and the thin line she must walk to ensure his relationship with his daughter is not damaged. The mystery is a good one with enough suspicious characters to keep the reader guessing throughout while being entertained with stunning imagery.
Rita Reviews: Holiday Travel Guide
November 15, 2012
“I usually hate books that have a lot of characters to follow (unless it is an epic) but I will say that Mrs. Dingwall does an excellent job of creating all the characters so that while each has their own identity the story still flowed very smoothly. For a debut novel I will say that is excellent work. I loved the mix of Mythology, Greece, and Mystery. I think the best thing was how the mystery sort of crept up on you as though you were actually watching it all unfold.”
All About Women Magazine
by June Windle Bare
January/February 2012 Issue (Excerpted)
“The weather outside is frightful…” If that song strikes a note this time of year, perhaps an escape to sunny, warm Greece would be more palatable. Caution, however, might be in order if you go with Fort Lauderdale’s Pinkerton’s travel agent, Yvonne Suarez … unless you want murder and mayhem to accompany your vacation.
Hera’s Revenge is a well-researched book, taking the reader to Greece, with its beauty, ancient history, mythology, and architecture. Wendy Dingwall transfers sights, sounds, and savory Greek foods and wines to the reader’s mind. If the reader has been to Greece, the book will bring back enjoyable memories. If a trip to Greece is in your “bucket list” of things to do, Hera’s Revenge might be a good way to feed the dream.
Most of the characters the reader meets in the book are figments of Dingwall’s fertile imagination; however, a few are based on her experience as a travel agent. She even sees herself and other agents in the character development of Yvonne Suarez.
LIBRARY JOURNAL - May Issue 2011
"Yvonne, super conscientious travel agent, plans the perfect Greek tour for her group, only to have corpses pop up almost immediately. And then a priceless little gold sculpture of Hera is stolen from the museum when her group is there. As the wide-eyed bunch explores Athens and beyond, Yvonne befriends handsome David, who assists her in this homage—both in tone and locale—to Mary Stewart’s The Moon-Spinners. ...An abundance of red herrings...the author’s love of Greece and her insights into a tour group’s dynamics make this light romantic suspense debut a welcome distraction for an armchair traveler. A series to watch."
MIDWEST BOOK REVIEWER (Advance Review)
Christy Tillery French, Author of the Body Guard Series
Yvonne Suarez, travel agent with the Pinkerton Travel Agency in Fort Lauderdale, FL, books a group tour to the Greek Islands. From the beginning of the tour, when a man’s body is found on the baggage claim conveyor belt in Athens, the trip goes awry. Bad luck follows the group as they continue on their tour, and Yvonne begins to suspect some of the passengers aren’t who they say they are. When two of the women meet with accidents which could have been fatal, Yvonne teams up with fellow traveler David Ludlow in hopes of keeping her tourist group safe. Yvonne is attracted to David but her years married to an abusive husband interfere with her ability to trust him. David, on the other hand, would like nothing more than to begin a relationship with Yvonne. But danger lurks ahead for the two, in more ways than one.
The premise for this mystery series is a refreshing addition to the mystery genre. The author excels at interweaving interesting historical and mythological data into the plot. This, along with her vivid visual descriptive, leaves the reader feeling as if s/he is actually touring the Greek Isles along with the group. Although characters abound, the author’s unique ability to introduce and flesh out each one voids any sort of confusion as to who’s who. Yvonne Suarez is an intriguing character, a woman who had the strength to leave an abusive relationship and harbors empathy for those in like situations. The mystery is one readers will be challenged to solve, filled with twists and turns and plenty of red herrings.
MAGGIE BISHOP author of One Shot Too Many, her latest Appalachian Adventure mystery.
“Amongst Grecian ruins and museums, Travel agent Yvonne Suarez leads a tour group in Hera’s Revenge when dead people and other strange events force her into amateur sleuth mode. A budding untimely romance threatens to distract Yvonne from the case and the tour. Embark on a good mystery and explore Greece via author Wendy Dingwall’s tale where lives and land crisscross.”