Cover Image: Murder on the Class Trip

Murder on the Class Trip

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I'm pretty certain that, if asked, Sandra and Maya would have said herding cats would have been an easier task than acting as chaperones for their two kids on the senior trip to Washington, D.C. Their children want to be any place else as the majority of teenagers want to put lots of distance between themselves and their mothers. That's even before taking into account their fathers. Sandra is divorcing her Senator husband of twenty years and Maya's husband has been in prison. Oh, and the icing on the cake? A nice young woman staffer is found dead in the Senator's bed. The obvious move by the senator is to ask Sandra and Maya to investigate. That goes over like a lead balloon as far as the two female FBI agents assigned to the case are concerned. 
Sifting through the list of suspects, counting heads to keep the teens corralled and tracking down a killer in a city full of secrets and political games makes for a crazy trip for Sandra and Maya but they are up to the challenge. The mystery kept me engaged from the first page and I enjoyed the humor and friendship between Sandra and Maya. So far there are only three books in this series but if it grows like the Hayley Powell series and the Poppy Harmon series have, we will have lots more fun with this terrific sleuthing duo.
My thanks to the publisher Kensington and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Maya and Sandra are co-opted into being chaperones for their high school kids' trip to Washington, D.C.  Of course, these private investigators can't keep away from murder any more then kids on a trip will be to cause mischief.  When Sandra's soon-to-be-ex is the prime suspect, the two quickly are knee-deep in politics, scandal and plenty of red-herrings.

This is the first I have read of this series, though it is the third of the series.  I have read some of Hollis' other mystery series which I have enjoyed.  There is a little more depth to Maya and Sandra's relationships with their significant others (or soon to be) than many cozies as Sandra tries to negotiate co-parenting with her soon-to-be-ex and Maya tries to deal with a newly reintegrated family after her husband has gotten out of prison.  It is nice to see that though the husbands might have issues they are still good fathers.

There's some humor, character growth, relationships that are a bit more complicated than many in the cozy world and a decent mystery.  

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in return for an honest review.
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Murder on the Class Trip is book #3 in the Maya and Sandra Mystery series by Lee Hollis.

I love books with humor and having Maya and Sandra being asked to chaperone their children’s trip to Washington, DC provided that, along with the drama of wrangling teenagers and finding a body.  There were a lot of suspects to choose from and it definitely kept me guessing until the end.  I recommend this book and the entire series.

Thank you to the author, Kensington Cozies, and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) copy of this book and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
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Maya and Sandra end up as chaperones on the senior trip to Washington DC. A slow bus driver, an amorous coach and a history teacher are the other adults on the trip. After a visit to Sandra's husband's office,, one of his staff members is found dead in his apartment, in his bed.. Things do not look good for the Senator from Maine. He convinces Maya and Sandra to find what really happened. Lots of trial and error, some crazy things go on in DC. Luckily the two sleuths figure out what went on during the class trip! Well written, a fun read, great characters and a plot with plenty of twists.
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Murder on the Class Trip:  A Maya and Sandra Mystery
By Lee Hollis
Kensington
December 2022

Review by Cynthia Chow

When private detective partners Sandra Wallage and Maya Kendrick are called into the principal’s office, they’re not in trouble but neither are they being hired for their professional services.  Principal Caroline Williams is begging/guilting the women into being chaperones for their teens’ four-day class field trip to Washington D.C., as the previous Portland High School enlistees dropped out and the excursion is on the verge of being cancelled.  While former police officer Maya has no trouble saying no to an offer that also has their respective teens horrified, Sandra being the ex-wife of a Senator has her far more reluctant to reject the duty.  As it turns out, the recent release of her own husband from prison has Maya awkwardly trying to adjust to their living situation, conveniently making this the ideal time for her to take a break and get out of town.

The trip from Maine to Sandra’s former stomping ground is familiar but uncomfortable, although it also has her taking advantage of her connections to take the class to meet an actual sitting Senator.  The visit to her husband’s office has Sandra once again feeling the sleights of being a former wife who was cheated upon by her husband, even though Senator Stephen Wallage seems to have no hesitation reuniting with his spouse.  What does become a problem is when his intern Tess goes missing, especially when Maya and Sandra later find her fatally overdosed in Stephen’s bed.  It barely takes a minute for the press to link the Senator and Intern together in a scandal of a broken affair, especially when texts appear as evidence of their torrid relationship.  Stephen denies any improprieties and claims that he’s been hacked, but Sandra was burned one time too many to fully believe him.  The involvement of a senator means that the FBI are investigating, and the agents being women themselves doesn’t mean that they aren’t dismissive of the two “soccer moms.”  Sandra’s son and Maya’s daughter are faster on the draw in looking up security footage to prove Stephen’s innocence, but with Sandra’s ability to maneuver through DC’s social stratosphere and Maya’s police experience, they aren’t far behind.  Soon they are tracking down a lovelorn exchange student, questioning Stephen’s girlfriend, and attempting to wrangle together a busload of teens and their geriatric bus driver.

This third in the series is a true delight as it merrily takes Sandra and Maya through the murky swampland of DC political society.  An equally fascinating plotline is the struggle for Maya and her husband to mend their relationships, as she has learned to be independent while Max is challenged to find purpose as an unemployable felon.  The relationship between Sandra and Maya continues to entertain as they have become equals in their private detective partnership, respecting the other’s skills and becoming true friends.  As one would expect from a novel by Lee Hollis, the humor is sharp, biting, and cleverly observational of Washington politics.  By the conclusion, multiple accusations are thrown and evidence discovered that makes predicting the solution nearly impossible.  This is a fun romp of a mystery series that has developed Maya and Sandra into fully formed characters with whom readers will adore and want to see succeed in their personal and professional lives.  A new path opening up for Sandra looks to be equally compelling and enjoyable, and hopefully readers will be able to again see where the future takes Sandra, Maya, and their compelling family members.
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Maya and Sandra have been chosen to be chaperones for their children's senior trip to the nation's capital.  Neither wanted to do it but in the end both finally and reluctantly agreed.  Sandra takes her son to visit his father who happens to be a senator.  While there they meet a young new intern of Senator Wallage's.  When said intern is murdered in the Senators home he asks Sandra and Maya to look into the young woman's death.  He is adamant that he had nothing to do with her death and wants everyone to know it.  Sandra and Maya take on the challenge and realize there are many roads to look down.  Will they two be able to discover who the killer is before the senator ends up behind bars?
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I also purchase the books I love after reading them on NetGalley.   Murder on the Class Trip is no exception!
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I love Lee Hollis' books, but this one I swear they need a thesaurus. These books are full of marching and heels clacking,. Maybe it's because I have read the three in the series close together but repetitive use of words drives me crackers.

Maya and Sandra are suckered into chaperoning the senior class trip to Washington DC. Sandra, being the wife of a senator, knows her way around and is highly recognizable. When her husband (soon to be ex) winds up embroiled in a scandal that threatens to derail his political career, Sandra and Maya as PIs step in to get him out of the mess. 

All the politics in this book made my head spin. I wouldn't want to be in the spotlight like that for anything. I read to escape the world around me, especially with all the political garbage going on right now during the election season. Having my escape dump me right into a world I read to get away from didn't help.

I like this series and will continue to read as they come out but hopefully the authors will return to the Maine setting and politics will be a very scant part of the rest of the books.

I still highly recommend this author (it is a brother and sister) and their other series.
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When Maya a private investigator and Sandra a pampered housewife and PI  in trading play chaperones on a high school class trip with their kids. While on the trip they encounter a murder in Washington D.C. Now both Mom’s are about to find out which is harder shepherding unruly high schoolers or solving a murder. The last sight they expected to see is a female intern who works for Sandra’s soon-to-been-husband, Senator Stephen Wallace in a  fatally compromising position. Desperate to avoid scandal Stephan begs Maya and Sandra to solve the case. With suspects ranging from senators to students to stalkers Maya and Sandra must follow a twisty trail of clues so they can catch a killer and survive to make the return trip home. This was a fun story between Moms and kids trying to solve the mystery.
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This series isn't quite as hilariously funny as the author's Hayley Powell series, but there were some pretty funny moments in this since a group of high school seniors were on a class trip to DC. I could just picture good ole Clancy the bus driver maneuvering around DC while Maya and Sandra had him chasing down a wayward student. Can you just see him if the kids had talked him into stalking the red hot light at the famous donut place for them? It was funny enough just thinking about him getting 35 chicken nugget meals in the drive-thru, lol.

The murder was a twisty one where any number of people could've done it, but Sandra's main concern was finding out Stephen wasn't guilty-she never thought so. Sandra's come a long way as an investigator since the very first book, and I believe Maya might just be pretty proud of how she's turned out. With Maya's ex out of prison now, both the ladies had some new futures to look forward to, although I'm pretty sure Sandra's won't include much of Stephen!
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I very much like cozies. This one is great like all the others that I have read by Lee Hollis. The characters are well-developed and easy to like. There is a good plot. OVerall it was a very good read
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Maya's husband, a disgraced police officer, is newly out of prison and she's trying to find equilibrium- and work for both of them- when she gets roped into chaperoning her daughter's class trip to Washington.  Her partner Sandra, the almost ex-wife of a US Senator, isn't happy about it but she's a bit looser about the experience.  Anyone who has been on a class trip (that's all of us at some point in our lives) will laugh at the constant head counts and some of the other antics of keeping high schoolers reined in.  But, this is a cozy murder mystery so when they find an aide to Sandra's husband dead on his bed, a bottle of pills beside her, Sandra and Maya must investigate (mind you, this is DC and it's Senator's staffer so there would be many many entities involved but hey).  I liked this for the small details (Sandra takes Maya to a real restaurant, the bus driver tries to go through the drive through at McDonald's, the staffers and so on) as much for the mystery. And then there's Maya and Sandra.  I've enjoyed the preceding books in this series- this should be fine as a standalone- and this was a nice move forward.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  Can't wait to see what happens next.
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Maya and Sandra are the reluctant recruits on the class trip to Washington, DC. Two other teachers and a retired school bus driver are the participants in this whirlwind trip.  Sandra’s soon to be ex-husband, the Senator from Maine, becomes embroiled in a murder charge. He hires the detective duo to solve this mystery. There’s some exciting moments such as the duo and elderly bus drive (no students involved) doing a wild chase of a suspect. I loved this book.
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I enjoyed this story.  I’ve chaperoned a few class trips.  Thankfully, none of ours got quite so exciting.  You have students, (always fun), politics, police, P.I.’s, and a wide range of characters.  It was interesting to follow along on the case to see how it would be solved.  I think Maya is the one I could relate to the most.  I am curious to see where Sandra’s life may take her next.  I received this book from NetGalley, but my opinion is my own.
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This is the third book in this cozy series, and I am so glad to report that there is nary a Woke or PC reference in the whole book. That was a welcome development. This installment was a really great cozy mystery, and I really liked it. There is character growth, a mystery that keeps you guessing and a touch of humor.

The SoPo High senior class trip to Washington D.C. is short a couple of chaperones and PI partners Maya Kendrick and Sandra Wallage have been strong armed into volunteering to go. Maya, who was dead set against going changed her mind after her estranged husband is paroled from prison and the house is a bit small for them all. Although she has decided to give her marriage another chance it's still a tough time. Sandra, an ex-PTA president, is all for helping out. It would also be a return to her old stomping grounds, not that that is such a good thing, but Ryan, her son, will at least get a chance to see his father, the Senator from Maine, Stephen Wallage.

Shepherding twenty-five high schoolers around D.C. with a high-strung history teacher tour guide, a hot athletic coach and a senior bus driver is challenging, at best. Take it from me, been there done that with forty 8th graders through Europe, but I digress. When the Russian exchange student, Anton, turns up missing, finding him becomes a priority. Then a young female aide to Senator Wallage turns up missing after a visit from Ryan, Anton and Maya's daughter, Vanessa. Maya and Sandra need to find out just what is going on and what they find is murder.

With Senator Stephen Wallage deep in damage control, he hires Maya and Sandra to find out what happened and clear his name, especially when compromising e-mails surface. The FBI is not exactly happy to have two "amateurs" meddling in their case, but they need all the help they can get.

My thanks to the Publisher and the Author for providing a complimentary digital Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this novel via NetGalley. This is my fair, honest and personal review. All opinions are mine alone and were not biased in any way.
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Maya runs a private investigation firm with her partner Sandra Wallage.

Caroline Williams, principal of South Portland High School asks Maya to chaperone the senior class trip in Washington DC because her teachers have had to cancel last minute owing to personal reasons. It would be a four-day excursion led by their history teacher.

But Maya turns down the offer citing some work cases she’s handling. In truth, the last  thing  Maya wants is to go on a trip with a bunch of rowdy teenagers. She’s already managing her kids at home. When she considers her daughter Vanessa would also be on trip she eventually relents. 

During the trip in Washington DC, Sandra gets a call from Suzanne Sandra’s soon-to-be ex-husband  and US Senator Stephen Wallage’s personal assistant that Tess her roommate—who’s also an intern working for Stephen—hasn’t come home. 

According to Suzanne, Tess had to deliver some papers to Stephen’s apartment sewing as he prefers hard copies of his reading material. 

When Sandra and Maya head to Stephen’s condo they find Tess dead in his bedroom. They also find a bottle of pills  tipped over on the night stand. Did she commit suicide? The two women quickly call the police. 

Soon after some evidence comes to light that suggest Stephen may have been romantically involved with Tess. But Stephen insists that there’s nothing physical between him and Tess that he was only mentoring her. 

Now Sandra has to help clear Stephen’s name before he gets locked up for a crime he says he didn’t commit. 

A well-crafted and beautifully written mystery. Recommend.

Thank you to Lee Hollis, NetGalley and Kensington for the arc of this book.
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This is the third Maya and Sandra mystery and the first in the series that I have read. Maya Kendrick was a former police officer who is now a private investigator in Maine. Sandra Wallage is the soon-to-be ex-wife of one of Maine's US Senators and her partner.

After being guilted into taking part as chaperones to their children's senior class trip to Washington DC, they find themselves trying to solve the murder of one of Sandra's husband's staffers. Despite loud and frequent claims by a rival in the Senate, Senator Stephen Wallage has an airtight alibi. He was on the Senate floor when the murder happened, but the rest of his staff is still under suspicion.

Between dealing with an anal head chaperone who is obsessed with counting her charges and a fellow chaperone with a major crush on Sandra, Maya and Sandra still find time to investigate. I liked the insider's look at the Senate that Sandra has. I liked the way the two women leaned on each other's strengths in this investigation. 

I liked that both women were having husband problems. Maya's has just been released from prison. He's an ex-cop who was convicted of corruption. Now, he's determined to rebuild his relationship with his wife and his daughter and rebuild his life too. Sandra's almost ex was a serial cheater who would like to resume his relationship with her. 

This was an entertaining story.
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Maya and Sandra are back, this time solving a murder while chaperoning a field trip to Washington D.C.. I thought this book started a bit slow but ramped up nicely about halfway through. I like the characters of Maya and Sandra but felt many other characters were either too over-the-top or one dimensional. This is a lightweight mystery, so the occasional departures from reality are not a surprise. I miss the Maine setting of the other books. 

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Fun high jinks and murder occur in the book, Murder on A Class Trip by Lee Hollis.  Maya and Sandra are private investigators, who happen to get stuck being chaperones on a school trip to Washington D.C.  The other two chaperones are teachers and a couple of the high schoolers are their own kids.  While touring D.C,  Sandra's soon to be ex-husband,  Senator Stephen Wallace’s female intern, is found dead in his bedroom.  Her death appears to be suicidal at first but upon further investigation, it turns out that she was murdered.  Stephen then asks Maya and Sandra to investigate so that he can be cleared.

This story is loaded with plot twists, political drama (fictional of course) and interesting characters.  An entertaining read!
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Murder on the Class Trip is the third title to feature Maya and Sandra. Earlier entries in the series are Murder at the PTA and Murder at the Bake Sale. From the books’ names, readers know that these are cozy mysteries.

Maya and Sandra are parents, friends and private detectives. This time, they are also chaperones on a class trip. Their respective children are not pleased about this.

The trip takes the duo out of Maine and to Washington DC. Sandra’s almost ex is a Senator there. When a young female intern is found dead in a compromising position, needless to say, he is quite upset. He asks for the help of Maya and Sandra to get to the bottom of things. The FBI is considerably less than thrilled that Maya and Sandra are investigating but the two persist until matters are resolved.

There are plenty of suspects and motives in this entertaining mystery. This book will be enjoyed by those who like sitting down with a reliable, cozy title.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for this title. All opinions are my own.
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