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Travel alongside backpacker and culture-lover Zelda Richardson to Nepal, Thailand and the Netherlands in my adventure-inspired series of mysteries: Down and Out in Kathmandu (2015) and The Lover’s Portrait (2016).
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"Intense and well written story...highly recommended and Alderson just found herself a new fan."
“Had me excited from the get-go... The Lover's Portrait creates both respect and delight.”
The Lover's Portrait: Art Art Mystery
One painting, two claimants, three murders
When a Dutch art dealer hides the stock from his gallery – rather than turn it over to his Nazi blackmailer – he pays with his life, leaving a treasure trove of modern masterpieces buried somewhere in Amsterdam, presumably lost forever. That is, until American art history student Zelda Richardson sticks her nose in.
After studying for a year in the Netherlands, Zelda scores an internship at the prestigious Amsterdam Historical Museum, where she works on an exhibition of paintings and sculptures once stolen by the Nazis, lying unclaimed in Dutch museum depots almost seventy years later. When two women claim the same painting, the portrait of a young girl entitled Irises, Zelda is tasked with investigating the painting’s history and soon finds evidence that one of the two women must be lying about her past. Before she can figure out which one it is and why, Zelda learns about the Dutch art dealer’s concealed collection. And that Irises is the key to finding it all.
Her discoveries make her a target of someone willing to steal – and even kill – to find the missing paintings. As the list of suspects grows, Zelda realizes she has to track down the lost collection and unmask a killer if she wants to survive. Read more...
“The well written description of wartime and present day Amsterdam and the dilemmas concerning the restitution of art, gives this exciting art mystery color and depth.”
"This book is a winner! A great twist on the topic of lost art. A well developed plot by a new author."
“I was completely immersed in the country of Nepal. The images were vividly concocted in my mind.”
"An excellent novel full of travel stories for the new or current backpacker."
Down and Out in Kathmandu
adventures in backpacking
Overworked computer programmer Zelda Richardson is teetering on the edge of burnout.
Inspired by a girlfriend’s trip around the world, she sublets her apartment in Seattle, Washington, buys a backpack and flies to Kathmandu as a volunteer English teacher – determined to make a difference and find herself whilst doing it.
She can’t wait to immerse herself in Nepalese life – wear a Sari, eat with her right hand and wipe with her left – but becomes overwhelmed by its foreignness. Despite the power outages, lack of running water and difficulty in learning the language, she sticks it out, wanting to prove to her friends and family – but mainly to herself – that she can survive without the luxuries of home.
One distraction is the charming Ian, the sexy Australian backpacker whom she gets to know on arriving in Nepal. When her students laugh her out of the classroom and the headmaster publicly humiliates her, Zelda flees to the tourist district of Thamel to drown her sorrows with Ian.
What follows is every traveler’s nightmare as they find themselves entangled with an international gang of smugglers whose Thai leader believes Ian and Zelda have stolen their diamonds.
Can Zelda find a way to get the smugglers off their backs and her Nepalese students to respect her, before her time in Kathmandu is over? Read more...
"A book I'd like to mention to any readers thirsting for some armchair adventure."
"A good book to take to Kathmandu because it does convey the venal, buzzy feel of the city."