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Photo from TravelButlers.com

I’ve never been to Africa, but Game Drive by Marie Moore, set in South Africa, let me feel as if I was along on the trip. I could picture the animals, the traditions like sundowners which are sunset cocktails, the Rovers, and the cottages. It seems like a romantic, exotic, adventure-filled country.

Photo from Camp Figtree

Photo from Camp Figtree

Game Drive

Title: Game Drive (Sidney Marsh #2)

Author: Marie Moore

Category: Mystery

Audio published: April 15, 2013 by Camel Press

Rating: 3½ out of 5 stars

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Purchase: AmazonBook Depository

Sidney Marsh is a Mississippi-born, New York-based travel agent. She and her best friend and business partner, Jay Wilson, are struggling to remain standing in a world where the ground is shifting. Their boss at Itchy Feet Travel has a new scheme to attract customers—safari tour packages. He sends Sidney and Jay on a familiarization trip to Cape Town and safari country to check out the accommodations and confirm that the experience lives up to the hype in the brochures.

Sidney looks forward to the deluxe trip and so does Jay, despite his deathly fear of animals, both wild and domesticated. Their experience will be far wilder than either could have imagined. First Sidney stumbles upon a suspicious rendezvous and possible murder scene in Cape Town. After Sidney’s pocket is picked on a cable-car ride up Table Mountain, she suspects that someone in their group is an imposter, a suspicion that is soon confirmed. At Leopard Dance—the luxury game lodge near Kruger National Park that serves as their base camp—one of the other agents on the “fam trip” turns up dead.

Sidney carries on a risky flirtation with a handsome Afrikaner, who may or may not be the latest manifestation of the “Marsh Curse,” which seems to jinx her every relationship. And Sidney and Jay discover that they have far more to fear from predatory humans than wild animals.

I love exotic settings and South Africa certainly lives up to its promise. Granted, if I actually get to go on a safari, which would be amazing, I don’t want any murders taking place, especially in such a gruesome way as one of the murders in Game Drive. There are a couple and Sidney herself lands in a pretty sticky situation. She trusts the wrong person based on a bit of handwriting and almost dies because of it.

I like Sidney, although I could do without her nasty feelings that something bad’s going to happen. Obviously, something bad’s going to happen. She’s in a mystery. Other than that, she’s nice, smart but not a genius, cute, friendly. She belongs to the “too curious” school of amateur sleuths. She just has to know what’s going on. And her friends, Jay, is a blast. He loves his clothes and is afraid of animals, which is an interesting combo on safari.

For me, the characters and setting outweighed the actual mystery plot a little, but that’s not a bad thing. There were clues, revealed as Sidney discovers them, and several suspicious individuals. I was interested to see the solution, but more interested in Sidney and Jay getting back home alive.

I wonder where Sidney and Jay will get to go next time.

Sidney Marsh Series

  1. Shore Excursion
  2. Game Drive