Cover Image: Fogged Off

Fogged Off

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Fogged Off is book three in the Cyd Redondo Mystery series written by Wendall Thomas. This is the first book by Wendall Thomas and it did work well as a standalone book.  Cyd is a travel agent who specializes in travel for senior citizens.  I loved the way Cyd was portrayed as a quirky, swearing, off beat character.  The mystery was full of fun twists and turns and kept me amused the whole way through the story.
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Fogged Off  by Wendall Thomas is the 3rd book in the Cyd Redondo Mystery series, and my second book by this author.  I really enjoyed this book, and looking forward to going back and reading the first book in the series, Lost Luggage. Once I started reading this book I couldn't stop, I was thinking how can this all possibly work out? Cyd is a travel agent, with a very colorful family. Cyd agrees to go to London to bring back Jack the Ripper's expert, Shep Heinikov body.   Cyd also needs all of Shep's research of Jack the Ripper since the University is funding the trip.  Cyd sneaky uncle comes along too.  I found this book funny, found myself chuckling throughout the book. I recommend this book for people who love funny cozy mysteries.  I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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3.5 stars

This is a fun series with a bit of madcap humor, but it doesn't get too silly. Brooklyn travel agent Cyd Redondo is hired to go retrieve the body of one of her older clients from London, where he unfortunately died. Cyd, underneath her smart Alec New Yorker persona, is very sharp and detail oriented and this should be a straightforward process.

But, not so much, as it turns out. There is something strange about the whole set-up. Her client might not have died of natural causes, and someone definitely moved his body after he died. He is a Jack the Ripper scholar and actually was a tour guide on a popular London walking tour. The American Embassy rep she deals with is strange, as is the funeral home she was advised to use. And an old sort of enemy turns up again, as well as her sort of love interest. 

Meanwhile she is traveling with her Uncle Leo, the renowned taxidermist. Where does he keep disappearing to? Who is the mysterious lady by his side and what would her Aunt Helen have to say about that? And why is Cyd nursemaid to an endangered dormouse?

Lots of fun, a nice light-hearted read. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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The adventures of Cyd Redondo are amusing, unlikely, and quirky. Love her bag. She gave me so many ideas of things I need to add to my purse. Not Bruce. Read the book. You'll see why I said that. Having visited London and stayed at the Savoy, that helped maintain my interest. Quite the mystery that kept me guessing. Great characters, and boy, are they characters. Take a trip to London via this story. You will have fun. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy via NetGalley.
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When travel agent Cyd Redondo’s client and Jack the Ripper expert Shep Helnikov is found dead in London, she navigates the cutthroat worlds of research librarians, unemployed actors, rodent smugglers and more to find his killer and bring his body back home . . .
Wow what a book.  I am still sat thinking about this book even though I finished it a few days ago.
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I read another book by this author and loved it, this one confirmed my opinion as it's highly entertaining and compelling.
A solid mystery that kept me guessing, a vivid background, and a cast of likeable and fleshed out characters.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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I received this ARC via Netgalley and Beyond The Page Publishing, in return for an honest review. While the third book in this series, it is easily read as a standalone.  Great cozy mystery with lots and lots of action and storyline twists.  This was my introduction to Cyd Redondo, Redondo Travel.  She’s a wonderful travel agent who serves a large, older clientele, while rarely getting to travel herself.  When longtime client Shep Helnikov dies in London, Cyd is contracted by his employer to return his body and his research into Jack the Ripper to the US.  Not quite so easy as it sounds!   Cyd is thrilled to travel to London and see all the places she’s recommended in person.  She’s heartbroken about Shep’s death and dismayed to find that he was murdered.  What was his research about and why would someone kill him?  When another murder occurs, Cyd realizes that her unique insights and role as Shep’s temporary executor can help Scotland Yard solve the crimes.  Oh, and then there’s the endangered dormouse that she finds in her Balenciaga bag, along with figuring out why her Uncle Leon came to the UK and then disappeared from sight.  This was a great story, and I can’t wait to read the first two Cyd Redondo books!
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Fogged Off is book three in Wendall Thomas's “Cyd Redondo Mystery” series and it was my initiation instalment. Cyd is a travel agent in Brooklyn specialising in travel for senior citizens. It is fair to say that Cyd Redondo is something of a character; she introduces herself as “Cyd Redondo, Redondo Travel”, swears a lot, lights scented candles at work and drinks bourbon. The mystery itself was full of madness and mayhem and laugh out loud amusement and I would love to take a trip with 32- year-old Cyd and her seniors. I had a ball reading Fogged Off and have been inspired to grab a copy of the other instalments I've missed.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Beyond the Page Publishing via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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It bears saying again that it’s been a hard two years for everyone, and as we slowly return to missed activities we enjoy, reading a new Cyd Redondo book, Fogged Off, by Wendall Thomas helps make our smiling and laughing return in force. Reading has always been a constant source of pleasure for me, and when I can read something that makes me laugh out loud, I know it’s a balm for my soul. Wendall Thomas’ book series starring Cyd Redondo is a guaranteed mood lifter. The characters, the plot, the dialogue, the setting, and that unique voice Thomas brings to Cyd combine to take the reader on a wonderfully wild adventure. 

In reviewing the first book in this series, Lost Luggage, I said that Cyd Redondo is one of the best new characters in the mystery/crime genre. After reading two more Cyd Redondo books, I’ll just suffice it to repeat that there are characters that one falls in love with, and Cyd is such a character. She has a knack for bargains and smart deals, the ability to live with an extended family who is overprotective, and the compassion to take care of those she loves and serves. With travels to Africa, Australia, and England, Cyd is no longer the travel agent who doesn’t travel.

A unique aspect of Cyd’s travel agency (her family’s legacy from her great-grandfather Guido Redondo) is that it caters to senior citizens, and Cyd’s affection for them is infectious. One of her long-time clients is Shep Helnikov, who splits his time between four months of the warmer season in London to the rest of the year in dear old Brooklyn. Shep is an expert on Jack the Ripper, having researched him, had a book (Jacked!) published and writing a new book (All Jacked Up) about Jack. Shep leads Jack the Ripper tours and teaches a course in Homicide History at a university during his time in London. Cyd found Shep the apartment he rents in London every year and thinks of him like one of her uncles. 

In a book that will provide many laughs, this story starts with sad news. Shep has died of an apparent heart attack in London. His colleague Dean Dean McAfferty at Brooklyn College, where Shep taught during his time in the States calls on Cyd to go to London and see about the return of Shep‘s body and academic papers. It’s not an entirely unusual request, as Cyd’s Uncle Leon is Shep’s executor, and the colleague is willing to give Cyd a department credit card to foot the transportation, hotel, and an expense account. And, Cyd’s Uncle Leon is accompanying her, much to her Aunt Helen’s displeasure. Since Cyd is going to take care of all the work in London to bring Shep home, she has Uncle Leon sign forms from the State Department designating her as acting executor. 

As sad as the occasion is which brings Cyd and Leon to London, it’s London, and Cyd can’t help but be wide-eyed at the history and majesty around every corner. But, she is ogling it alone, as Uncle Leon has flown the coop, popping into a limousine waiting for him at the airport, while Cyd’s ride was a bit of a downgrade. Luckily, she got an upgrade at the fabulous Savoy Hotel because Uncle Leon was staying elsewhere. Having bought British cell phones before leaving the airport, Cyd is at least hopeful her uncle will keep in touch. He says he’s there for his work, which is taxidermy, but Cyd is skeptical. 

Returning a body from overseas is not a simple matter, nor an inexpensive one, so Cyd Redondo of Redondo Travel is always on the ball and gets her clients repatriation insurance, except Cyd’s irresponsible cousin Jimmy had made a change in Shep’s travel plans for him and failed to reinstate the insurance after the change. Shep’s colleague Dean Dean has also agreed to the college paying the $30,000 in repatriation fees for the body’s shipment. It’s Cyd’s job to get all the paperwork in order and signed and turned in to the funeral home handlers, The Heeps (hey, I don’t make these names up, the author does), who process the papers and body for travel. 

Our favorite travel agent hits the ground running, as always, and sets the tone of fast-paced action for the rest of the book. She goes from the U.S. Embassy, where she learns she’s missing a notary form, to Shep’s apartment, where she encounters a female “friend” of his nosing through his belongings, to the outfit called London Afoot that employed him for the Jack the Ripper historical walks to drinks in a cave-like setting she falls in love with to a Jack the Ripper tour that she missed due to faulty information.

Cyd must wait through the weekend to obtain the additional paperwork on Monday from a notary. What a weekend it is, too, no sitting around having tea and being a tourist for Cyd. She sees The British Museum only because visiting it connects to her work. Of course, she savors every part of London she encounters. Starting with a Saturday memorial gathering for Shep, at which Cyd meets the rest of the London Afoot guides, the story snowballs into a dramedy of staggering genius. It could be said that only Cyd Redondo could uncover the backbiting world of Jack the Ripper tour guides, track down new clues of Shep’s as to the identity of the Ripper, run (again) into an ecoterrorist and become involved in an endangered species battle, have an encounter with a former lover, and hunt down a murderer. It could also be said that only Cyd Redondo could handle all challenges thrown her way. When Shep’s death is ruled a homicide, Cyd barely has time to grab a pair of new shoes on sale. There are no lulls in the plotting of Fogged Off. It’s fast, it’s furious, but it is always clear.

Wendall Thomas has without a doubt created some of my favorite characters for this series, and the more readers get to know them, the more fascinating we realize they are. Cyd’s father died when she was young, so she’s grown up surrounded by his brothers/her uncles to help raise her. Going into the family travel business has kept Cyd especially close to her Redondo family, and, well, she and her mother live in the Redondo family home. The books in this series are revealing to readers, and to Cyd, that there is an unexpected and fascinating depth to her family members. Uncle Leon in Fogged Off proves to be someone with worldly connections, a debonair operator across the pond from the Redondo familial surroundings. But, Leon and the other uncles always have Cyd’s back, and this family loyalty gives readers a warm, safe feeling. Oh, and look for the mention of the Redondo “eyebrow raise” that all the uncles have. 

The characters who are exclusive to each book are always ready for their closeup (Mr. DeMille), too. Quirky and unpredictable describes the lot. In Fogged Off, the Jack the Ripper tour guides each have their own hook to attract customers, and they wear clothes that are more like costumes to distinguish themselves, too. Cyd’s community of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn provides an endless supply of colorful friends and a nemesis or two who enrich our knowledge of Cyd. The different female residents of Cyd’s community that float in and out can be a little crazy, sometimes in the truest sense. I think there might be a sign as you enter the Bay Ridge community that says, “No shrinking violets allowed.” As if the character pool wasn’t complete enough, there are some reappearances of a few characters from the previous novels, ones who played dramatic parts in Cyd’s unplanned adventures, and one who readers and Cyd would like to be around more. 

Can an inanimate object be a character? Well, I think in view of the actual life it holds from time to time and the amazing effects its contents have on Cyd’s life, we can give her purse this status, her precious red vintage Balenciaga bag. I think it was a stroke of absolute brilliance to include Cyd’s Balenciaga bag on the cover of the book. So many touches of witty connection run throughout this series. Readers will be charmed and smitten by what ends up living in Cyd’s bag this trip. 

I want to stress that Cyd is only 32 years old, and there are plenty of young characters before I add one more reason I adore this series. Cyd doesn’t look at senior citizens as too old, too late to enjoy life’s adventures. As much of her travel business deals with the older generation, she is determined to ensure her clients, old and young, have the best travel experience they can. That the author showcases seniors living life to the fullest, including Shep and Uncle Leon, means something to me personally. This positive attitude toward seniors is a hopeful, bright spot from which I take inspiration.

Writing a review about a book that I so thoroughly enjoyed sometimes results in a rather lengthy review. I may have rambled on about the characters a bit, but they are such great characters. Wendall Thomas is sure to reap the rewards of awards with Fogged Off.  I highly recommend it and the whole series. Someone could read this book without reading the previous two, buy why would you. You really don’t want to miss a thing (eh, Steven).

 

Thanks to the author and to NetGalley for an early copy of this book
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“Fogged Off” is part of the “Cyd Redondo Mystery” series, but all readers need to know is that Cyd Elizabeth Madonna Redondo is in the book; she is the plot, the plan, the problem, and the solution. She is a travel agent in Brooklyn specializing in travel for senior citizens who did not travel much herself until the last few years. The events unfold in her first-person narrative. Just who is Cyd Redondo, other than an ecoterrorist who drinks absinthe from Dixie cups?
Cyd Redondo Redondo Travel, as she always introduces herself, never wears orange and hates Bono.  She loves libraries and knows CPR, given her clientele and relatives. She never has two cocktails at lunch except during tax and hurricane seasons. She wears wrinkle-proof designer clothes equipped with actual pockets big enough to actually hold things. She never checks luggage, but instead, carries on everything. She brings along a designer Balenciaga handbag stocked with essentials, including but not limited to: granola bars, water, emergency dry ice packs, lipstick, passport, penlight, glow stick, blowtorch, nesting shot glasses, plastic zip ties, lock picks, color-coordinated bungee cords, black silk scarf, roll of quarters, disposable gloves, Tupperware, airline bottles of Jack Daniel’s, promotional swag, and vouchers to pay for everything. 
Cyd is dedicated to her customers. She has no problem withholding information from the authorities to keep her clients and herself safe, and she can lie about anything from the amount of milk left in the fridge to how many times she has been shot. Other characters weave their way in and out of the story, but Cyd holds everything together. 
Only Cyd Redondo Redondo Travel can be hilarious in the midst of trauma. “Fogged Off” has suspense, murders, international scandals, backstabbing, both figurative and literal. Most of all it has humor, frivolity, light-hearted conflict, and well, it has Cyd. I received a review copy of “Fogged Off” from Wendall Thomas and Beyond The Page Publishing. When you stop laughing, you may agree with Cyd who believes that when she is really in trouble in the modern world, senior citizens are the only ones she can count on to save her.
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Cyd Redondo will make you laugh and give you a lovely escape from what is stressing you. She is a travel agent in the family business, Redondo Travel. Her clients are senior citizens and she is very protective of them. Travel isn't something Cyd has much personal experience with but that is changing. This time she heads for London with her uncle Leon to bring back the body of one of her favorite clients, Shep Heinikov. Spending part of the year in Brooklyn and the rest in London, Shep taught classes in the history of homicide at a university and was an expert on Jack the Ripper. When he dies of a heart attack the Brooklyn university asks Cyd and Leon to go to London to put his affairs in order and bring him home. As Uncle Leon is the executor of Shep's estate it sounds like a straight forward trip. If this is a Cyd Resondo mystery nothing will go as planned. I'm not going to give any more details - I don't want to spoil any of the laughs you will be sure to enjoy.
Each of the three books (so far) in this delightful funny series are solid mysteries with a great cast of characters - both human and animal. Cyd's family is wonderful and quirky. I wish I could take a trip with Cyd and her seniors. It would be worth every penny.
My thanks to the publisher Beyond the Page and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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It’s been two long years since I got to spend time with Cyd Redondo, but like any friend you enjoy spending time with but get separated from, I fell right back into her world and enjoyed it!   I didn’t realize how much I missed Cyd until I started this book.  

The quirky humor and Cyd’s way of dealing with any issue that comes her way from her senior clients to her family keep me reading way past my bedtime.  In this book, she and her uncle travel to London to retrieve the body of a client who has passed as he is there giving tours and doing research on Jack the Ripper for his novels. This starts the usual juggling act that has become Cyd’s life.  

Side note - a nutty character named Pete Stacio adds some drama – I’ll give you a moment while you think on that name!?!?!

While I hope I do not have to wait another two years to spend time with Cyd – I do know it will be worth the wait!

This is a romp of a wonderful read!
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I don’t usually like mysteries where the main character travels to a location that they’ve never been to before and manages to solve a murder that has the police stumped. But in this case that didn’t bother me as much since, as a travel agent, Cyd already has connections in London. I enjoyed the story altI could have done without the fashion descriptions. This is the first book I’ve read in this series and it works well as a stand alone story.
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Do I ever love this series! When I'm reading the latest adventures of Wendall Thomas's Cyd Redondo, I forget that I have to spend an hour a day hooked up to a (sometimes painful) machine. Instead, I'm laying there smiling, chuckling, and sometimes laughing loud enough that my husband comes into the room to find out what's so funny. The humor, the references to old movies, the characters, the mystery... everything weaves together into a winning combination that will brighten anyone's day.

Cyd is front and center. This is her show, and I love her voice. For a travel agent, she's done very little traveling herself, and I have to admit that I enjoyed watching her as she traveled the streets of London-- seeing places she'd discussed and booked for her clients and dreamed about, learning that the first floor isn't the same floor in England as it is in the United States... and who knew that closets were American? 

No mention of Cyd Redondo is complete without her Balenciaga bag, the bag that MacGyver would kill to possess. It is even gaining a reputation. Don't believe me? Well, one character confronts Cyd and tells her, "I don't trust you. I trust your purse." All women should be so lucky to have a purse like Cyd's. Armed with such handbags, it would only be a matter of days until women ruled the world. Maybe even the universe.

Cyd's uncle and aunt add even more spice to the tale, especially Aunt Helen. All I can say is mess with the Redondos at your own peril. And don't forget that no Cyd Redondo adventure is complete without a critter. This time it's Bruce, the Casanova of rodents. So not only do I want a Balenciaga, I want a Bruce, too.

If you're in the mood for a good mystery filled with wit and humor, do yourself a favor and read all of Wendall Thomas's Cyd Redondo mysteries. Start with the first, Lost Luggage, enjoy your way through Drowned Under, and finish off with Fogged Off. Then you and I will be in the same boat-- waiting to see what Cyd Redondo gets up to next. This is a series that's good for what ails you. Do not miss it!
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Whip Smart Romp….
The third in the Cyd Redondo mystery series and another whip smart, dryly witty, quirky and cleverly plotted tale.  A joyous romp with a delightful cast of characters and a very worthy addition to this excellent series. Top notch.
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Smart, witty, whimsical, and worldly, with crisp pacing and impeccable plotting. Practically the platonic idea of the perfect cozy mystery.
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When Jack the Ripper expert and client Shep Helnikov is found dead in London, travel agent Cyd Redondo is given the task by his university to arrange for his body and his research papers to be returned to the US.  As temporary executor for Shep, Cyd travels to London along with her taxidermist uncle Leon and quickly finds several roadblocks.  Scotland Yard believes Shep's was murdered while doing one of his London Afoot! Ripper walks and is holding his body, pending their investigation.  When Cyd visits Shep's apartment she finds it ransacked and one of his young girlfriends hiding inside.  Then another Ripper expert is found murdered in a similar fashion and Cyd figures the only way she will be able to bring Shep home is to solve both murders.

If that isn't enough, Cyd also finds herself involved in another endangered animal case when a hibernating dormouse is left in her beloved Balenciaga bag.  Former wildlife colleagues Hazelnut and US Special Agent Roger Claymore are begging for her help.  So Cyd tries to see London landmarks, enjoy her stay at the legendary Savoy Hotel, buy some killer heels on sale and figure out what her uncle Leon is up to in her few days in London. But when Leon goes missing, Cyd is forced to use Shep's groundbreaking new Ripper research to get him back safe.

This was another hilarious entry in the wonderful Cyd Redondo mystery series.

I received a digital ARC from Netgalley and Beyond the Page Publishing with no requirements for a review.  I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.
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At first I wasn't too keen on this one until our girl starts running into complications in her mission to bring one of her (dead) clients back to the US.  Sometimes silly but always interesting as I felt myself in her shoes.  You'll enjoy this departure from the usual cozy.
Thank you netgalley and the publisher for this arc
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verbal humor, snarky, situational humor, London, family, friendship, family-dynamics, law-enforcement, murder, murder-investigation, smuggling, endangered animals, laugh riot, ridiculous characters, actors, academics, theft, cozy mystery*****
Absolutely hilarious characters and situations! The publisher's blurb is a terrific hook and while I totally geeked this one, I can't wait to go laugh my way through the other Cyd Redondo books. Not because this can't stand alone, but because it is just so much fun. Cyd is a hoot, but the relatives and acquaintances are positively wacky, including the embassy workers. And I won't even begin on those from The Yard! Absolutely LOVED it!
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Beyond The Page Publishing via NetGalley. Thank you!!
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I am so thankful to NetGalley for introducing me to this wonderful series!
Even though this is the third book in the Cyd Redondo series Wendall Thomas is skilled enough to bridge the gaps a new reader might find as a result of not reading the first two books. The main character Cyd is easy to get to know and like, with a spunky and witty personality that resonates with the reader. You can't help but root for her through once calamity after another as the book progresses.
The mystery itself is complex and intriguing, with plenty of suspects and dead ends. The setting of London, England is so well depicted that it's almost the next best thing to being there. In fact, it leaves one wanting to visit.
This page-turner of a mystery was difficult to put down and definitely fun to read. I look forward to going back and reading the first two books in the series.
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