By Adriana Licio.

A book review.

It’s a brilliant series, full of fun, adventure, thrill, and emotions. I have never heard the concept of home swapping while going on a vacation. Hats off to the author for her wonderful work.
I loved all the three protagonists cum amateur detectives, Etta, Dora, and their pet, basset hound, Napoleon, aka Leon. Please find below the summaries of all three books.

Book 1

The Watchman of Rothenburg dies.

The leading ladies, Etta and Dora, are on their way to Rothenburg for their house swapping vacation. They have swapped their house with Dieter Baumann and his wife. The ladies are searching for the house key when one of the neighbors, Joseph, comes to their aide. He invites them for dinner, and they accept. Joseph and his wife, Marie, welcome them, and have a pleasant conversation over dinner. Etta and Dora learn that the couple’s son, Johannes, is a guide who can offer them a tour around the city. Etta says that her daughter, Maddalena, has already booked a sightseeing tour with The Nightwatchman. When they arrive for their guided tour, The Nightwatchman turns over his dog, Napoleon, to Dora. He shows them around all the places but gets murdered in one of them. His dog drags the old ladies towards the garden in an imposing tower at the end of Herrngasse. They find his corpse with a halberd in his chest. The police interview the two women. Etta and Dora decide to investigate the case. The victim, known as The Nightwatchman, was called Sebastian Sauer. The ladies adopt his dog, Leon, a basset hound.
The next day, Etta and Dora visit a cafe and eavesdrop on the conversation about Sebastian and who might have killed him. Etta meets Wolfgang Winter, a theatre director, and learns more about the murder victim as well as the suspect, Johannes, their neighbor’s son. They are invited to a play, ‘ Hamlet’, that also stars Charlotte, Johannes’ fiancee. They witness a big argument between Johannes and Mrs Schilling.
Unfortunately, she too gets murdered. Etta and Dora are puzzled over this case. Are the two murders interlinked? Is Johannes really innocent? Etta comes up with a brilliant breakthrough. There are many surprises for the readers with appropriate twists in the story. Brilliant.

Book 2

A wedding and a funeral in Mecklenburg.

Concetta Natale Passolina( Etta), and her friend, Dorotea Rosa Pepe ( Rosa), along with their dog, Leon, proceed to their next destination, Gut Roseinhem, Mecklenburg. Their hosts, Adelbert, and Birgit, welcome them. They are celebrating the wedding of their eldest son, Philip, with Colette. Birgit and her daughter, Henrietta, are not too fond of the newly-wed bride. Someone shoots her dead during the cake-cutting ceremony. Everyone is shocked at the unfortunate tragedy. Philip loses his temper after seeing his business partner, Irma, holding a gun in her hand. The police take her into their custody but release her owing to lack of evidence. Etta and Dora launch their investigation by questioning Birgit, her family members, and their business partner, Helmut Abraham. Etta suspects Henrietta as well as Birgit. There is another twist in the tale. Ben, the gardener’s body, is discovered at the Peacock House. Etta and Dora make startling discoveries as the case progresses towards a thrilling climax. The pendulum of suspicion oscillates between Georgina ( Philip’s former girlfriend), Irma, and Henrietta. Who is the actual culprit? Will Etta stop the murderer from killing again? There are twists and turns to keep you engrossed throughout the story. Wonderful read.

Book 3

An Aero Island Christmas mystery.

Etta and Dora, with their canine companion, Leon, visit Aero Island in the Baltic near Denmark. Leon rescues a little girl, Emma, going overboard on the ferry. Dora and Etta introduce themselves to the girl’s father, Flemming, and her brother, Thomas. Flemming invites them for dinner during their stay at Freja’s house. Nathalie, Freja’s tenant, welcomes them.They are house-swapping with Freja and Marcus. The couple leaves behind a set of instructions to the elderly ladies.
One day, Etta discovers a skeleton in a temporary wall created behind the boxes of books. It belongs to a missing Polish woman,Agnieszka Kamiński. The old girls don their detective caps and join hands with Nathalie to uncover the mask of the murderer. Their investigations reveal that the archaeologist victim, Agnieszka, discovered some treasure. She approached Sille Skytte( Flemming’s mother-in-law), who dismissed her offer. Nathalie tells them about Agnieszka visiting Malthe Gammelgaard’s art gallery. The list of suspects keeps on growing. It includes Sille because she had rented out the attic, Camille Egede ( Nathalie’s former roommate), Malthe Gammelgaard, Anne ( his wife), and Flemming’s father, Villads.
Who is the culprit? How does Etta reveal the identity of the murderer, especially since it took place around two years ago?
Highly recommended for reading as all the books are thrilling and delightful.

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