Press junkets, where journalists get whisked off to magical places to enjoy surf and sun while staying in luxurious hotels and dining in fabulous restaurants so they will write glowing destination stories, sounds like a great way to make a living. But in Hilary Davidson’s third mystery "Evil in All Its Disguises" (Forge Books 2013; $25.99) featuring travel writer Lily Moore, it’s not all Champagne and good times.
The intrigue starts when Lily runs into fellow writer and friend Skye McDermott in the lobby of Hotel Cerón, a plush resort in Acapulco which curiously seems to have few guests. Skye, usually calm and pulled together insists the two have a drink and then begins making threats to expose an ex-boyfriend and his illegal machinations. Suddenly saying she had to make a call, Skye departs but instead of returning shortly by the next day, she has not re-appeared. Lily has her passport and purse so Skye could not have gone far. To make matters more mysterious, Lily discovers the hotel is owned by her former boyfriend who may be the ex that Skye mentioned.
Writer Davidson, also a travel writer, used a tragic personal experience for her story.
“A year or so after I started working for Frommer’s Travel Guides one of the editors, a woman named Claudia Kirschhoch, went missing on a press trip to Jamaica,” says Davidson. “She was never found and was declared dead. This isn’t Claudia’s story but some of what happened in that case – there some attempt to at first pretend nothing wrong, and then trying to blame the missing journalist, saying she was using drugs and being sexually provocative are part of the book too.”