Jennifer S. Alderson

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Jennifer S. Alderson

Goodreads Author


Born
in San Leandro, California , The United States
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December 2015

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Hi! I worked as a journalist and website developer in Seattle, Washington before trading my financial security for a backpack. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, Europe, and Central America, I moved to the Netherlands and earned degrees in art history and museum studies.

When not writing, I can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning my next research trip.

My love of travel, art, and culture inspires my ongoing mystery series, the Adventures of Zelda Richardson. In Down and Out in Kathmandu, Zelda gets entangled with a gang of smugglers whose Thai leader believes she’s stolen his diamonds. The Lover’s Portrait is a suspenseful “whodunit?” about Nazi-looted artwork that
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Jennifer S. Alderson Originally I did start out writing a travel memoir! I’d even gotten 70,000 words down before my day job got in the way of writing. I looked at the…moreOriginally I did start out writing a travel memoir! I’d even gotten 70,000 words down before my day job got in the way of writing. I looked at the manuscript every few months and tinkered with it when I wasn’t too tired. But after a while, I realized it was pretty boring. Nothing so terribly dangerous, exciting or interesting happened during those three months of volunteering to justify a book about my time in Nepal.

So I put the manuscript in a drawer and tried to forget about it. After a few years of working eighty-hour weeks, I started taking time off to travel again. I eventually quit my job and moved to the Netherlands to study art history. Everywhere I traveled, that unfinished manuscript went with me. I just couldn’t let it go! After repeated attempts at re-working the original text into a fictionalized story failed, I elected to step back from the manuscript and think of another way to use my own experiences as a backpacker, as basis for a novel. During my travels around Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam I’d met so many hippie-stoners, hardcore trekkers, shady characters, and NGO volunteers that I decided to devise a plot which would incorporate all of these personages and my own experiences into one story. Ultimately only about two-thousand words of my original manuscript made it into Down and Out in Kathmandu!

Though I knew the direction in which I wanted to head, I was having trouble making it work. Friends told me about Arvon writing courses in the United Kingdom that they’d gone on, which sounded wonderful. Shortly thereafter, I took my original manuscript and an outline for a new book to a week-long Arvon writing retreat in Moniack Mhor, Scotland. It was truly magical, and definitely the best decision I could have made at that time! Thanks to the critical, yet positive feedback and week-long guidance of tutors Val McDermid and Alan Bissett, I figured out how to get the book I wanted to write, down on paper. And before the week was over, I had written the first fifty pages of the Down and Out in Kathmandu manuscript.(less)
Jennifer S. Alderson Because of Amazon (and other retailers) search engines. If you are trying to find a book with the word Naïve in the title, you have to use the 'ï'.…moreBecause of Amazon (and other retailers) search engines. If you are trying to find a book with the word Naïve in the title, you have to use the 'ï'. Searching for 'naive' doesn't link to it. So after many Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. searches, I realized a title without the ï is easier to discover. (less)
Average rating: 4.21 · 223 ratings · 139 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Lover's Portrait (Adven...

4.23 avg rating — 112 ratings4 editions
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Down and Out in Kathmandu (...

3.98 avg rating — 49 ratings — published 2015 — 6 editions
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Rituals of the Dead (Advent...

4.34 avg rating — 29 ratings4 editions
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Notes of a Naive Traveler: ...

4.46 avg rating — 26 ratings — published 2017 — 4 editions
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Holiday Gone Wrong (Adventu...

3.86 avg rating — 7 ratings3 editions
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Adventures in Backpacking B...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings2 editions
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More books by Jennifer S. Alderson…
Since finishing Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery, I have noticed an influx in news reports about the restitution of ethnic artifacts – a topic central to my latest mystery. So we are clear, I am not referring to antiquities such as the Parthenon Marbles (or Elgin Marbles, depending on your nationality). I’m talking about shrunken heads, painted shields, feathered headdresses, carved anc... Read more of this blog post »
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Down and Out in Kathmandu The Lover's Portrait Rituals of the Dead
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4.17 avg rating — 197 ratings

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Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery (Mystery & Thrillers)
1 chapters   —   updated Feb 21, 2018 01:39PM
Description: Art, religion, and anthropology collide in Alderson’s upcoming art mystery thriller, Rituals of the Dead, Book three of the Adventures of Zelda Richardson series.
Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand (Travel)
3 chapters   —   updated Dec 24, 2017 09:08AM
Description: Part guidebook on culture and travel, part journey of self-discovery, this travelogue takes you on a backpacking adventure through Nepal and Thailand and provides a firsthand account of one volunteer’s experience teaching in a Nepali school and living with a devout Brahmin family. A must-read for those interested in learning more about Nepal and Thailand. Available as paperback and eBook available at your favorite online retailer.
The Lover's Portrait: An Art Mystery (Mystery & Thrillers)
3 chapters   —   updated Sep 24, 2017 12:08PM
Description: 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... Available as paperback and eBook at your favorite online retailer.
Down and Out in Kathmandu: A Backpacker Mystery (Mystery & Thrillers)
3 chapters   —   updated Sep 22, 2017 01:32AM
Description: Zelda wants to teach children English and 'find herself' in Kathmandu. Ian wants to get stoned and trek the Himalayas. Tommy wants to get rich by smuggling diamonds. How their stories collide will leave you on the edge of your seat! Travel from the dusty, tout-filled streets and holy sites of Nepal to the sultry metropolises and picture-perfect beaches of Thailand, as Zelda and Ian try to outsmart the smugglers and escape Asia alive. Available as paperback and eBook from your favorite online retailer.
Origin
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by Dan Brown (Goodreads Author)
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Jennifer’s Recent Updates

Adventures in Backpacking Box Set by Jennifer S. Alderson
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The Art Whisperer by Charlotte Elkins
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Great story about forgeries, art restoration, museums and murder. The pacing is excellent, the mystery is not overly-complex and believable. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the American Southwest.
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Fatal Finds in Nuala by Harriet Steel
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I really enjoyed reading this gentle mystery set in 1930s Sri Lanka. This time, an art-related theft drives the plot, one that I found quite intriguing. The setting is lovely and makes me long to visit the island one day.
Inspector di Silva and his w
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Provenance by Laney Salisbury
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Loot by Sharon Waxman
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I Was Vermeer by Frank Wynne
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D.E. is on page 634 of 771 of The Goldfinch
Jennifer S. Alderson rated a book it was amazing
The Art Whisperer by Charlotte Elkins
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Great story about forgeries, art restoration, museums and murder. The pacing is excellent, the mystery is not overly-complex and believable. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the American Southwest.
Jennifer S. Alderson is currently reading
Origin by Dan Brown
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Offstage in Nuala by Harriet Steel
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More of Jennifer's books…
“Meandering cows, tenacious bicyclers, belching taxis, rickshaws, fearless pedestrians and the occasional mobile ‘cigarette and sweets’ stand all fought our taxi for room on the narrow two-lane road turned local byway.”
Jennifer S. Alderson, Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand

“I ended up in the back seat of a chicken truck’s cab heading through beautiful scenery and disastrous roads to my hotel. About an hour later, we stopped to sell a few hundred of the chickens to a butcher shop.”
Jennifer S. Alderson, Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand

“The ride back to Kathmandu was comfortable and relaxing. There were more overturned trucks (the gas-powered ones seem to tip the most often, I’m surprised there weren’t more explosions), goats being herded across the highway by ancient women, children playing games in traffic, private cars and buses alike pulling over in the most inconvenient places for a picnic or public bath, and best of all the suicidal overtaking maneuvers (or what we would call ‘passing’) by our bus and others while going downhill at incredible speeds or around hairpin turns uphill with absolutely no power left to actually get around the other vehicle.”
Jennifer S. Alderson, Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand

“Of all human activities, writing is the one for which it is easiest to find excuses not to begin – the desk’s too big, the desk’s too small, there’s too much noise, there’s too much quiet, it’s too hot, too cold, too early, too late. I had learned over the years to ignore them all, and simply to start.”
Robert Harris, The Ghost

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”
Toni Morrison

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.”
Mark Twain
tags: age

“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.”
Ray Bradbury

“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss

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