Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{August 12, 2011}   Death by Student Loan, by L.C. Russell

From Goodreads: $100,000 student loan is murder-but then so is a human head stashed in your pantry.

Anyone who has ever struggled under the weight of a hefty student loan can appreciate the extreme lengths one might be willing to explore in order to shift the burden a bit-even if it means stealing the head of a corpse, or traveling into the past.

Mariah Garrett has two weighty problems-crushing agoraphobia, and a six-figure student loan, the result of locking herself away in a seaside Victorian cottage to complete her PhD-online. While desperately looking for something to sell on eBay one morning, Mariah discovers a staircase in the back of a closet. As she starts down, her foot catches, plummeting her to the bottom-and into the year 1957, where she meets her long-dead relatives and discovers that even the Nifty Fifties can be a dangerous place.


This was an all around great read!  Russell has created wonderful characters and an exciting time-travel story.  Mariah, suffering from agoraphobia due to a school shooting four years prior, lives alone in her family’s cottage, refusing to attend to daily life outside her home.  When she accidentally discovers a portal back in time, her life takes a turn down “memory” lane as she begins to connect events in 1957 to the newly uncovered skeleton under the pier in the present.  Torn between two lives, two men, and a murder mystery transcending time, Mariah must decide what actions to take in order to do the right thing, including breaking through her agoraphobia and leaving the comforts of her own home.

I really enjoyed this murder mystery.  While the synopsis does state that there is a human head stashed in the pantry, I never expected this novel to take the twists and turns that it did.  I was both shocked and pleased as I read Russell’s wonderful novel.  The characterization and mystery within the story were extremely well written and I really enjoyed Mariah’s complex disposition.  Russell has written a novel for all ages to enjoy, and I highly recommend reading it!  Four and a half stars!

I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Amber says:

Really great review! You’ve definitely piqued my interest and I just added it to my TBR.

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