Drowned Under

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and Netgalley for giving me a review copy of this eBook.  The comments below are my own.

What would you do if you learned that your former mother-in-law and father-in-law are missing from a cruise ship off the Australian coast?  If you are Cyd Redondo of Brooklyn's Redondo Travel you'd drop everything and head to the ship to investigate.  That's the premise of this lively tale.  The action begins when Cyd makes a spectacular, but humiliating, entrance to the cruise ship by being lowered (with all of her luggage) from a police helicopter to the top deck.  Then, she finds a body in her stateroom.    From that point on, it's a continuous romp of over-the-top silliness of the good kind. There is a clever storyline and an interesting mystery or two for Cyd to solve.  There's even a neat hook at the end which can be carried through to a Cyd Redondo sequel.

I recommended it as a fun light read, nothing too serious to upset you.  Readers can learn something life aboard a cruise ship for the crew and about endangered Tasmanian wildlife.
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This was a quirky mystery that takes place on an Australian cruise ship at Christmas time. I thought the cover was cute when I saw it on netgalley, and I'm glad I got a chance to read it. The main character Cyd is a travel agent. At first I wasn't sure about her - she spends a LOT of time talking about her designer stuff - especially her purse and shoes. But she was light-hearted and fit the story. I liked the glimpses of Tasmania, and I thought the mystery, as well as the mysterious circumstances, were enjoyable. There are some funny characters and cruise insights too. 

Although it is book two in a series, it worked just fine as a stand-alone. However, it does spoil a lot of the mystery of book 1, so you may want to read them in order.
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What do you do when you dread Christmas - for a whole lot of reasons. Cyd wants to be anyplace for the holiday and, when her ex shows up asking for her help finding his missing parents, the answer drops into Cyd's lap. They have gone missing while on a cruise in Australia and since Cyd is a travel agent, she is ready to go find them. She had no plans to miss the ship, having to board said ship via helicopter and stumble upon a murder. All that follows is pure madcap.
If you are a fan of slap stick humor and travel, give this one a try. Cyd is a bit of a ditz, trouble finds her on a regular basis and you will come away with a whole new way of thinking about going on a cruise. You will want to give it a pass and stay on dry land. I enjoyed it beginning to end. Having said that, this pair (so far) should be read in order because of a spoiler. 
My thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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It’s the week before Christmas, and Cyd is dreading the upcoming holiday filled with rumors, whispers, and awkward family moments.  Then Barry Manzoni comes to her for help.  Barry is a childhood friend and Cyd’s ex-husband.  His parents are on an Australian cruise, and they vanished part way through.  Even though they didn’t book with Redondo Travel, Cyd still begins to use her contacts to see what she can learn.  In fact, she uses one of those contacts to get herself booked on the next cruise their ship is taking, which is following the same route.  Okay, so she might be using the trip to avoid Christmas with her family, but she does want to help Barry.

After a whirlwind trip half way around the world, she arrives on the ship only to find a dead body.  The crew want to say it is a tragic accident, but Cyd suspects foul play.  Does this tie into the disappearance of the Manzonis?  Can Cyd trust anyone on board?

If you haven’t read the first book in the series, a warning – this book does by necessity spoil some of the events of the first book in the series.  If you have read the first book, you know exactly what to expect here, and you won’t be disappointed.  We’ve got a fast-paced story with twists that keep Cyd hopping as she tries to uncover what exactly is happening.  There is a strong screwball comedy element that keeps us laughing, although some events and Cyd herself keeps us grounded.  I did feel the book got a bit frantic at times, but it never lasted too long.  The characters are a little caricature as well, but that just makes them fit perfectly into this world.  There is a smattering of foul language here.  We also have a very strong sub-plot with another endangered animal, but there is no animal cruelty involved this time around.  I enjoyed the different take on the Christmas setting – since the book is set mostly off the coast of Australia, we don’t have cold and snow, after all.  This is a fun ride, so pick up this book and hold on tight.
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Once again, Wendall Thomas has crafted a laugh-out-loud funny mystery that will have readers learning things along the way. There always seems to be a wildlife angle for Cyd-- by the way I liked finding out what happened to Barry the chameleon from Lost Luggage-- and this time it involves her former teacher, Sister Ellery Magdalene Malcomb, in addition to an international fugitive with more wigs and costume changes than a Las Vegas showgirl, and a Tasmanian Tiger. Never heard of a Tasmanian Tiger? Neither had I. See what I mean about learning stuff?

That's one of the things I like the most about Thomas' writing. Yes, I have a blast laughing my head off, but I also like to learn. In Drowned Under, I not only learned about those tigers, I learned quite a bit about the cruise ship industry, and although I can't say I want to board one any time soon, at least I understand them and the people who frequent them much better.

If you're in the mood to laugh, pick up Drowned Under, and if you haven't had the pleasure of reading Lost Luggage, get your hands on that one, too. And you're not just reading these books to laugh. In both, Thomas has crafted intriguing mysteries to solve with a main character who has to be related to MacGyver. Now all I have wonder about is what my husband is going to say when I tell him that I want a Balenciaga bag personally packed by Cyd Redondo herself?
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Drowned Under by Wendall Thomas is the 2nd book in the Cyd Redondo Mystery series, and my first book by this author.  I really enjoyed this book, and looking forward to going back and reading the first book in the series, Lost Luggage.  Once I started reading this book I couldn't stop, I was thinking how can this all possibly work out?  Cyd is a travel agent, with a very colorful family.  Cyd agrees to take a complimentary Australian cruise to search for her ex in-laws. When she arrives her friend is dead in their room, and she is determined to find the truth.  I found this book funny, found myself chuckling throughout the book.  I recommend this book for people who love funny cozy mysteries. 

I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press .  Thank you.
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Drowned Under by Wendall Thomas is the second book in Cyd Redondo series but can be read as a standalone.

Not having read first book I still had no problem getting into the story. Any previous references were clearly explained.

Cyd runs tourist agency and works at the bar part time. When her ex-husband declares that his parents have gone missing while on the cruise, book by Cyd's rival agent, she still accepts the challenge and goes to look for them soliciting help from a fellow agent.
However when she finally gets to the meeting place she finds her friend dead. All of a sudden, doctor and ship official show up and strange things start to happen,

I found this book to be almost a parody of sorts and so over the top, from her misadventures, such as landing on a ship in unbelievable manner to constant mention of designer clothes and accessories, to bizarre behavior of certain characters I felt that this was meant to be a comedy fiction rather than a mystery.
Occasionally there were funny parts and mystery was quite clever.
If you prefer your cozies to be entertaining rather than mysterious this is the great choice.
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I enjoyed the first Cyd Redondo novel but even then I thought it was a bit over the top.  Unfortunately, this time out, I found it less amusing and more annoying.  Cyd is meant to be a madcap amateur detective/travel agent/advocate for the elderly.  She's off to Australia to find her ex's parents  but finds her buddy Harriet has been murdered.  Once again, an endangered species- this time the Tasmansian tiger- figures in the plot.  I wanted so much to like this but it was just exhausting.  Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.
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A fast paced book full of murder, mystery, mayhem and laughs. What happens when your ex finds you ad asks you for a favor? Well I guess you say ok and then find yourself in the middle of murder. Thank you NetGalley.
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This is a light, humorous, entertaining tale. A wonderful few hours of escapism on a cruise. Obviously not everyone's idea of a good time, but definitely mine. A fun adventure away from reality. Kind of reminds me of Stephanie Plum and her crazy antics.
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This has been a difficult book for me to get into. The concept and the premise of the mystery are interesting, but the humors and the unnecessary tidbits are distracting. These "extra" deter my forming the connections with the characters let alone enjoying the plot. I literally dragged myself to finish up the book regardless how much I wished I could fall in love with it. 

The plot isn't bad to do the book justice. There are great elements to make the series standout among many other titles in the genre. 

"Drowned Under" has its own charm that would mostly appeal to readers who enjoy abundance of over the top humors. Unfortunately, the author's style isn't quite my cup of tea. Overall, it is just an OK read in my opinion.
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Cyd Redondo is not looking forward to the Christmas holidays since she is persona non grata with her family and the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn residents for her last adventure that led to her Uncle Ray going to prison. Then Cyd's ex-husband Barry asks for her help. His parents have vanished from an Australian cruise. With the help of her friend Harriet Archer, Cyd gets a free cabin aboard the Tasmanian Dream and makes the long distance trip. After missing the ship, Cyd hitches a helicopter ride and makes a dramatic landing on top of the gorgeous ship's doctor. Cyd's reunion with Harriet goes bad when she finds her dead in their cabin. While the cruise staff hurry to cover up the death, Cyd rushes to collect forensic evidence to prove Harriet was murdered.

The search for Barry's parents leads to the Fiuntain, a former insane asylum turned spa where several elderly cruise members have visited.  And Ron Brazil, one of the ship's dancers is up to no good.  The fate of the last Male Tasmanian tiger is at stake and it's to Cyd and Ron to save him.

This was a hilarious read and another enjoyable book in the Cyd Redondo mystery series.

I received a digital ARC from Netgalley and Poisoned Pen Press with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.
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Just wasn't my cup of tea,just couldn't  connect with these characters.I loved the cover,it's what attracted me to this book.
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DROWNED UNDER is the second book in the Cyd Redondo Mystery series by Wendall Thomas and is another zany, seat of your pants read! Travel agent extraordinaire, Cyd Redondo, escapes from Brooklyn just before Christmas and jets to Australia. She’s on the hunt to find her awful ex-in-laws, who seem to be missing from their cruise ship after her ex-husband begs her to locate them. She’s also trying to escape the wrath of her family and community for landing her uncle and cousin in prison. Ms. Thomas writes jaw-dropping action while inserting humor and one-line zingers at every opportunity. She’s created a great cast of supporting and entertaining characters and I especially enjoyed the elderly ex-nun on the hunt for a new man, in the form of a wig-wearing gigolo, while on the cruise ship. I appreciated the effort the author took to bring the plight of extinct or soon-to-be extinct animals into the story through her use of the Tasmanian Tiger in the plot. DROWNED UNDER is a highly entertaining story and provides a fun escape from reality. The perfect vacation read!
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Review: I am wondering how anyone can find this novel (tripe) entertaining. In the author’s attempt at being glib and funny, the pages are peckered with this constant stream of internal dialogue that is supposed to encompass every scene with commentary in the form of witticisms. Add in how hot she thinks she is and how every guy wants a piece of her middle aged flesh and you have pure literary drivel. What really detracted from the overall story line was the focus on all of Cyd’s accessories. From designer bags, dresses and shoes, this barrage of nonsensical bullshjt was never ending.

Cyd’s characterization is at once vapid, scattered and vaguely offensive to females.  The supporting characters are one dimensional and drive the scenes to awkward resolutions that favor dimwits flouncing act. The scene development is right on the verge of fantastical. I think the author hoped this would add vibrant movement, only it comes off as thinly sheathed in reality and lacking in clarity.

Author James W. Ziskin is not only in the preface, hailing accolades of this work like a perseid meteor shower, but rates this novel a 5 star work in Goodreads. Coincidentally the author lists James Ziskin in the acknowledgments. We also have Kirkus Reviews spinning their paid-for shtick as well. I would skip all of Ziskin’s novels as anyone who had really read this is busy self-defenestrating.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for an advanced copy of Drowned Under in exchange for an honest review. I recently read Lost Luggage, the first book in the Cyd Redondo series, and it did not appeal to me.  I did not like its frenzied slapstick humour, its over-the-top, frantic action scenes, and found Cyd to be ditsy, unfocused, and an incompetent travel agent. I am happy to say that this second novel was more enjoyable and a positive improvement over the first, which was set in Africa and involved the cruelty of animal trafficking.

This book started out in the same over-the-top manner, but I was glad I stuck to it. Cyd seemed smarter and more resourceful. She managed to get herself into bad situations, but this time was rarely the cause of them. I became engaged in the plot to save the last Tasmanian tiger.  Having watched a tragic documentary about their extinction, I wished this storyline was true. Along with Cyd’s determination to prove her friend and her future roommate on the Australian cruise ship had been murdered, and her part in exposing a conspiracy to defraud senior travellers, the plot held my interest.  

 I was annoyed with all the unnecessary focus on designer clothing, brand name shoes and accessories. I was wanting to focus on a travel adventure, not feel I was reading a fashion magazine. After several dozen mentions of her expensive, Balenciaga bag, we get it. It was a useful accessory to Cyd in situations in both books, but it was tiresome relying on the brand name repeatedly. I found all the high-end clothing and shoe references interrupted the storyline, and made her sound conceited despite her mention of travel agent discounts and sales. 

 I have always enjoyed stories of travel adventures and misadventures, but Cyd made me grateful that my travels in Africa and Australia very rarely involved any use of a travel agent. I would read another book in the series, but hopefully the tendency for slapstick humour continues  to be more restrained and also the focus on brand name fashion will be reduced. The plot was well imagined and held my attention.
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What a great discovery, this was the first book I read in this series and very glad I requested it.
It's an entertaining and fun read, full of quirky and likable characters and and enjoyable plot.
The mystery is fast paced and it keeps you guessing till the end.
I look forward to reading other installment in this series.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and Netgalley for this ARC
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Thank you to net galley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this book it was a great experience




Eggnog notwithstanding, travel agent Cyd Redondo is not looking forward to the holidays. The borough of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn—along with most of her family—holds her responsible for landing her Uncle Ray in a minimum security prison.
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