This is an entertaining British formula of romance, travel and mystery. Tansy is a small minded, trendy Londoner who plans for about six months, a long backpacking trip with her boyfriend. Tansy refuses to say they are 'backpackers' because she states this puts a label on her. This trip is precipitated by the death of her alcoholic mother and her inability to deal with her life after this death. Her long-time boyfriend, Tom, plans most of the holiday to sites he would like to see only to tell her a few days before she leaves that he had cancelled his ticket and would not be going. Furious, Tansy leaves without saying goodbye and arrives in Vietnam. She is immediately sent into culture shock. The noise, the odors, and just getting across the street are all obstacles to her. Tansy just wants to get through the holiday to be able to say she did it now. She is drinking heavily and meeting other 'backpackers' - she prejudges all of them and hilariously decides whether they have fashion-sense, want to have sex with her, are arrogant, etc. Tansy does this with the natives, also, which gives one a good frame of her mind.
The reader is privy to the e-mail communications to and from her friends and family. They all know her itinerary and it seems someone is killing blonde Londoners in their 20s. This killer is also leaving ordinary objects with the dead women. Tansy is a blonde Londoner in her 20s and the killer almost seems to be following her route. Is she paranoid or is she being stalked?
When Tansy meets up with Max, a kind guy she had met on her first day on the road, about a month later, they began a friendship/relationship that Tansy assumes is a holiday fling. She doesn't mind sticking with him either because of the murders taking place.
But by the end of the book, the reader has been treated to humor, a bit of scenic traveling, a "who done it" and some romance.
This report prepared by Jody T. Bixby