Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wanderlust Wednesday Review: From Bad to Wurst by Maddy Hunter

Over the last few years, I’ve talked a lot about the Passport to Peril series by Maddy Hunter. Before I started blogging, I was really into cozy mysteries, and this series was by far my favourite, because the books wove together mystery, humour, and travel. Ten books and several years later, each new release still tickles my funny bone, stirs my wanderlust, and keeps me guessing.

Confession: I’ve never had much interest in visiting Germany. I’m not opposed to it, and I’d happily go if I had the chance, but it’s never held the appeal that certain other countries in Europe have. After reading From Bad to Wurst, I have to admit I’m a bit more interested in visiting Germany! I think it’d be really cool to go for Oktoberfest, see the bands play, drink a ton of beer, and try the food, plus the history nerd in me would definitely love exploring some of the sites mentioned in the book.

If you’re looking to travel vicariously and laugh yourself silly while doing it, I can’t recommend these books enough.

The Passport to Peril series:

Alpine for You
Top o’ the Mournin’
Pasta Imperfect
Hula Done It?
G’day to Die
Norway to Hide
Dutch Me Deadly
Bonnie of Evidence
Fleur de Lies
From Bad to Wurst

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

From Bad to Wurst by Maddy Hunter
Series: Passport to Peril #10
Published: December 8th, 2015
Publisher: Midnight Ink
289 pages (paperback)
Genre: Adult Contemporary Mystery
Acquired this book: Bought
Warning: May contain spoilers                   
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

It's Oktoberfest and the globetrotting Iowa seniors are sharing their Sounds of Music adventure with several oompah bands whose dream of performing in a famous German beer hall is about to be realized. But when a deadly relic from wartime Munich rains disaster on the group, their dreams are shattered—until an unlikely guest offers them new hope.

The tour hits a sour note when tragedy strikes a guest who knew the musicians' most guarded secrets. Was the death an unfortunate accident or something more sinister? As the group travels from the beer tents of Munich to the fairytale castle of Mad King Ludwig, Emily strives to restore harmony. But with the situation escalating out of control, could the gang be looking at a terrible end to their German interlude?

Ten books into the Passport to Peril series, and I still don’t know how Maddy Hunter manages to write such fun, funny, unique stories. I’m always impressed, always amused, and always left guessing about the mystery until the last minute.

Every time I pick up one of these books, it feels like being reunited with people I’ve known forever. As soon as I started reading From Bad to Wurst, I was happy to have another chance to catch up with Emily, Etienne, and the rest of the gang from Iowa. By now, I can picture them all so clearly it’s like a movie is playing out in my head as I read. In fact, I’d love to see the Passport to Peril series turned into a TV show or movie. I think it would appeal to people of all ages with its smart humour, relatable characters, and the crazy antics of the seniors. Hunter has a knack for taking a story that should seem ludicrous and making it completely, hilariously believable.

As much as I love Emily - and I really do, I feel like she could be my best friend - the scene-stealing seniors really make these books for me. They’re a mixture of old school and teenage mentality in a way. Their obsession with (and knowledge of) modern technology is so amusing, and I love that you can expect certain things from them in each book, but they still always manage to surprise you. I also really enjoyed the parts with Emily’s mom and dad (I laughed so hard over some of the scenes with Emily’s mom and Nana), and was glad to see more of Etienne in this book. The new characters made great additions as well.

From Bad to Wurst is a laugh-out-loud funny (mis)adventure through Germany. Hunter’s descriptions of the places and history are so seamlessly woven in, I felt like I was right there with the gang as they travelled. This is a great addition to one of my all-time favourite series.

Have you read any of the Passport to Peril books? What did you think? If you haven't read them, do you plan to? Do you like cozy mysteries? Have you been to Germany? Is there anywhere you never thought you'd want to visit, but then something (or someone) changed your mind?


  1. I haven't heard of these. I love the puny titles! Thanks for the intro.

  2. I was in Munich a few months ago (first time in Europe!) but it was just shy of Octoberfest. That alone makes me want to pick up the book! The humor also makes it enticing.


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