Down and Out in Kathmandu: A Backpacker Mystery

Down and Out in Kathmandu: A Backpacker Mystery

by Jennifer S. Alderson



Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Eligible for FREE SHIPPING


Down and Out in Kathmandu: A Backpacker Mystery by Jennifer S. Alderson

Zelda wants to teach children English and 'find herself' in Kathmandu. Ian wants to get stoned and trek the Himalayas. Tommy wants to get rich by smuggling diamonds.

How their stories collide will leave you on the edge of your seat!

Travel from the dusty, tout-filled streets and holy sites of Nepal to the sultry metropolises and picture-perfect beaches of Thailand, as Zelda and Ian try to outsmart the smugglers and escape Asia alive.

A fast-paced, thrilling travel mystery sure to captivate readers thirsty for some armchair adventure.

Travel to Nepal and Thailand with three twenty-somethings as they fumble their way towards self-discovery and perhaps a bit of wisdom.

Down and Out in Kathmandu: A Backpacker Mystery is the perfect book for lovers of backpacker fiction and (mis)adventure novels.

This novel is a PREQUEL to the art history mysteries Zelda Richardson gets involved with later in this series. All four mysteries in the Adventures of Zelda Richardson series are stand-alone novels and can be read in any order.

Author's note: Due to popular demand, I removed many swear words from this novel and republished it on July 31, 2018. Same great story, now with less swearing! PG-13 rating.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781519365903
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 12/16/2015
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.49(d)

About the Author

Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. Her love of travel, art, and culture inspires her ongoing mystery series, the Adventures of Zelda Richardson. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

In Down and Out in Kathmandu, Zelda gets entangled with a gang of smugglers whose Thai leader believes she's stolen his diamonds. The Lover's Portrait is a suspenseful "whodunit?" about Nazi-looted artwork that transports readers to wartime and present-day Amsterdam. Art, religion, and anthropology collide in Rituals of the Dead, a thrilling artifact mystery set in Dutch New Guinea (Papua) and the Netherlands.

The Lover's Portrait was Chill With A Book's January 2018 Book of the Month, chosen as one of TripFiction's 10 Favorite Books set in Amsterdam, and won the Silver Cup in Rosie's Book Review Team 2017 Awards, Mystery category. The Lover's Portrait also won a Chill With A Book Readers' Award, Readers' Favorite 5 star medal, was one of The Displaced Nation magazine's Top 36 Expat Fiction Picks of 2016, and came in at 14 in BookLife's 2016 Prize for Fiction in the Mystery category. It was also one of Women Writers, Women's Books magazine's Recommended Reads for April 2017.

Her short story set in Panama and Costa Rica, Holiday Gone Wrong, will help fans better understand this unintentional amateur sleuth's decision to study art history and give new readers a taste of her tantalizing misadventures. Her travelogue, Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand, is a must-read for those interested in learning more about - or wishing to travel to - Nepal and Thailand. It was also awarded a Readers' Favorite 5 star medal.

Learn more about Jennifer and her books on her website (, Facebook (, Twitter (@JSAauthor) or Goodreads (

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Down and Out in Kathmandu: A Backpacker Mystery 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite Three different characters try to find something in Down and Out in Kathmandu by Jennifer S. Alderson. Zelda is an idealistic young woman who wants to follow her friends' example and find herself while traveling. She decides being a volunteer in Kathmandu to teach English to little kids would be just the right path while doing something good along the way. Ian, on the other hand, doesn't need to find himself. All he wants to find is more weed. After all, his friend told him the stuff was even worshiped in temples in Tibet and that you could just pick as much as you want on certain hikes. Zelda and Ian meet at the airport and, over time, develop some sort of on/off holiday fling. But they go their different ways after a while: Zelda goes off to her volunteer experience and Ian goes off to have as much fun as possible. In the meantime, readers also get to know Tommy, who wants to become rich by smuggling diamonds - but then gets himself into real trouble. Unfortunately, Ian also gets caught up in the mess, which leads to Zelda being caught up in the mess. Soon all three fear for their lives - so much for finding yourself, having fun, or becoming rich! The story is more than I expected in the beginning, and I like how volunteer work is portrayed in such a realistic way. I have volunteered a lot myself. So I know that things aren't as glamorous as many people think they are. Volunteering can be tough, dirty, and nerve-wracking, especially when you - like Zelda - are in an area where you feel isolated and cut off from the rest of the world. I also liked how the author managed to show the different types of volunteers there are, and how everyone has a different reason for doing what they do (e.g. one volunteers to "find herself" and the other one volunteers to up her chances of being accepted at the place where she wants to study). It was also interesting to learn a bit more about the culture of the people in and around Kathmandu. In the beginning, I wasn't sure how Tommy fitted into the whole story. I found him annoying and superfluous, but the more the story progressed, the more I began to see the whole picture and, in the end, it all made perfect sense (more or less). It was interesting to see how the plot developed, and how Zelda managed to end up in one troublesome situation after the other. She clearly had to learn a lot about life and herself during all those challenges. It's not what she came to Kathmandu for, but in the end, she kind of got what she wanted: she found herself in a way. If Ian was a real person, he wouldn't think so, but I thought his plot line was quite funny. I couldn't take him seriously and found him very entertaining. Just the way he ended up getting into real trouble in a hotel (can't divulge the details!) was in a way predictable, but very funny! The book was a fun, but also interesting and exciting read!