Jennifer S. Alderson

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Jennifer S. Alderson

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

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Hi! I am an American expat currently living in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, I moved to Darwin, Australia, before finally settling in the Netherlands. When not writing, you can find me 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 award-winning Zelda Richardson Mystery series, Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries, and standalone stories.

The Lover’s Portrait (Book One) is a suspenseful whodunit about Nazi-looted artwork that transports readers to WWII and present-day Amsterdam. Art, religion, and anthropology collide in Rituals of the Dead (Book Two), a thrilling ar/>
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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: 3.99 · 671 ratings · 257 reviews · 9 distinct worksSimilar authors
Rituals of the Dead (Advent...

3.93 avg rating — 222 ratings6 editions
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The Lover's Portrait (Adven...

4.14 avg rating — 245 ratings — published 2016
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Marked for Revenge: An Art ...

4.26 avg rating — 53 ratings3 editions
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Down and Out in Kathmandu (...

3.80 avg rating — 75 ratings — published 2015 — 6 editions
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Notes of a Naive Traveler: ...

3.89 avg rating — 46 ratings — published 2017 — 4 editions
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Holiday Gone Wrong (Adventu...

3.35 avg rating — 26 ratings3 editions
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Death on the Danube: A New ...

4.50 avg rating — 2 ratings
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Adventures in Backpacking B...

liked it 3.00 avg rating — 2 ratings3 editions
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Zelda Richardson Mystery Se...

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More books by Jennifer S. Alderson…

Introducing the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series!

I am thrilled to introduce my newest creation, Lana Hansen – star of the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series!

Join Lana as she leads tourists and readers to fascinating cities around the globe on intriguing adventures that, unfortunately for Lana, often turn deadly.

I’ve been kicking around the idea for a new travel-themed cozy mystery series for about a year. It’s taken me awhile to flesh out the characters and... Read more of this blog post »
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Down and Out in Kathmandu The Lover's Portrait Rituals of the Dead
(3 books)
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3.98 avg rating — 567 ratings

The Lover's Portrait Rituals of the Dead Marked for Revenge: An Art ...
(3 books)
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4.06 avg rating — 520 ratings

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Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery (Mystery & Thrillers)
3 chapters   —   updated Nov 11, 2019 04:17PM
Description: A museum researcher must solve a decades-old murder before she becomes the killer’s next victim in this riveting dual timeline thriller set in Papua and the Netherlands. Agats, Dutch New Guinea (Papua), 1961: While collecting Asmat artifacts for a New York museum, American anthropologist Nick Mayfield stumbles upon a smuggling ring organized by high-ranking members of the Dutch colonial government and the Catholic Church. Before he can alert the authorities, he vanishes in a mangrove swamp, never to be seen again. Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 2018: While preparing for an exhibition of Asmat artifacts in a Dutch ethnographic museum, researcher Zelda Richardson finds Nick Mayfield’s journal in a long-forgotten crate. Before Zelda can finish reading the journal, her housemate is brutally murdered and ‘Give back what is not yours’ is scrawled on their living room wall. Someone wants ancient history to stay that way—and believes murder is the surest way to keep the past buried. Can she solve a sixty-year-old mystery before decades of deceit, greed, and retribution cost Zelda her life?
Death on the Danube (Mystery & Thrillers)
3 chapters   —   updated Nov 11, 2019 04:12PM
Description: Death on the Danube: A New Year’s Murder in Budapest Who knew a New Year’s trip to Budapest could be so deadly? The tour must go on – even with a killer in their midst… Recent divorcée Lana Hansen needs a break. Her luck has run sour for going on a decade, ever since she got fired from her favorite job as an investigative reporter. When her fresh start in Seattle doesn’t work out as planned, Lana ends up unemployed and penniless on Christmas Eve. Dotty Thompson, her landlord and the owner of Wanderlust Tours, is also in a tight spot after one of her tour guides ends up in the hospital, leaving her a guide short on Christmas Day. When Dotty offers her a job leading the tour group through Budapest, Hungary, Lana jumps at the chance. It’s the perfect way to ring in the new year and pay her rent! What starts off as the adventure of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare when Carl, her fellow tour guide, is found floating in the Danube River. Was it murder or accidental death? Suspects abound when Lana discovers almost everyone on the tour had a bone to pick with Carl. But Dotty insists the tour must go on, so Lana finds herself trapped with nine murder suspects. When another guest turns up dead, Lana has to figure out who the killer is before she too ends up floating in the Danube… Introducing Lana Hansen, tour guide, reluctant amateur sleuth, and star of the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery Series. Join Lana as she leads tourists and readers to fascinating cities around the globe on intriguing adventures that, unfortunately for Lana, often turn deadly.
Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand (Travel)
3 chapters   —   updated May 19, 2019 11:53AM
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 May 19, 2019 11:53AM
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.
Marked for Revenge: An Art Heist Thriller (Mystery & Thrillers)
3 chapters   —   updated May 19, 2019 11:51AM
Description: An adrenaline-fueled adventure set in the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, and Turkey about stolen art, the mafia, and a father’s vengeance. When researcher Zelda Richardson begins working at a local museum, she doesn’t expect to get entangled with an art theft, knocked unconscious by a forger, threatened by the mob, or stalked by drug dealers. To make matters worse, a Croatian gangster is convinced Zelda knows where a cache of recently pilfered paintings is. She must track down an international gang of art thieves and recover the stolen artwork in order to save those she loves most. The trouble is, Zelda doesn’t know where to look. Teaming up with art detective Vincent de Graaf may be her only hope at salvation. The trail of clues leads Zelda and Vincent on a pulse-pounding race across Europe to a dramatic showdown in Turkey that may cost them their lives.
More of Jennifer’s writing…
Deadly Provenance
Jennifer S. Alderson is currently reading
by Lynne Kennedy (Goodreads Author)
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The Last Wild Men...
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Jennifer’s Recent Updates

Jennifer S. Alderson wants to read
The Prisoner in the Castle by Susan Elia MacNeal
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The Prisoner in the Castle by Susan Elia MacNeal
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Ribbons of Scarlet by Kate Quinn
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To the Land of Long Lost Friends by Alexander McCall Smith
"Oh, how exciting, a new “No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” book. Number 20 in the series to be exact.

Mma Ramotswe meets a friend at a wedding that the newspaper said died in a car accident. From this, master story teller Alexander McCall..." Read more of this review »
Death on the Danube by Jennifer S. Alderson
" So glad you enjoyed it! "
" Pamela wrote: "Thank you so much for including my novel Bridge of Sighs and Dreams alongside such gifted authors and their fine works. I have enjoyed ...more "
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Secretive by Sara Rosett
Secretive (On The Run #2)
by Sara Rosett (Goodreads Author)
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I just love this On the Run series. Zoe Hunter is smart, a bit eccentric, resourceful, and fast on her feet. The banter between her and her ex is great; the dialogue really does make these stories come to life. Lots of adventure, a touch of romance, ...more
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Old Scores by Aaron Elkins
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Clever art history mystery about forgeries, the worth and perception of art, and what some will do to 'make it' in the art world.
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Murder in the South of France by Susan Kiernan-Lewis
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Great beginning to a new (to me) series. This story sets up the characters, plot lines, and settings that I imagine will be flushed out during the many following novels. Excellent descriptions of France and the wonderful cuisine. I look forward to co ...more
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GREEKSCAPES by Pamela Jane Rogers
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I enjoyed reading this memoir by artist and author Pamela Jane Rogers. Her descriptions of Greece - the islands, locals, expats, monuments, and food - were so enticing that I now want to visit the country!

Her story begins in the US as she
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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

Polls

February 2019 Subgenre (Historical) Poll

We ask that you only vote if you are planning on participating in our discussion should your choice win.

Which Historical book would you like to read in February?

 
  21 votes, 24.4%

 
  18 votes, 20.9%

 
  15 votes, 17.4%

 
  13 votes, 15.1%

The Axeman (in the US) a.k.a. The Axeman's Jazz (in CA, UK & AU) by Ray Celestin
 
  10 votes, 11.6%

 
  6 votes, 7.0%

 
  2 votes, 2.3%

 
  1 vote, 1.2%

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“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

“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.”
Neil Gaiman, Make Good Art

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