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by James Mengel


‘House Rules’ - a murder mystery novella, the first in the world to be set against the backdrop of Couchsurfing, the popular international travel network that provides members with free hosting and tourism advice. 

Written by James Mengel, himself an experienced traveller and host since 2007, it is based on real experiences with his visitors—with the exception of the murder of course! 

It begins in Brisbane, Australia, but soon moves to various locations throughout Europe, ending up in the French Alps for an exciting denouement. 

Guranteed is a ending that will hit "like a punch in the guts". 

And that´s a promise!


Get the first three chapters free of charge to whet your appetites. 

Click here to download the free chapters.

The story


Joe, an experienced Brisbane travel host, has just welcomed his latest visitor: the 23 year-old German Nick, who gets a job as a dancing instructor at a Latin dance school. Due to his stunning good looks, Nick is a hit with the ladies and soon becomes involved with the 40 year-old cougar Kate. One Sunday night Joe goes to the movies and on his return discovers Kate viciously stabbed to death in Nick's bed. His guest has vanished, leading everyone to suspect him as the murderer. It soon comes to light that Nick returned to Germany the morning after the murder, but he cannot be found there either. Police investigations in Brisbane and in Germany grind to a halt so Joe decides there is only one thing to be done to solve the mystery: he must go to Germany and find Nick himself and learn what really happened. His search leads him to various cities in Germany, Switzerland and ultimately the French Alps and what he experiences there will surprise and shock the reader, especially the dramatic ending and the double twist that no one will see coming.

The twist towards the end arrives unexpectedly, which will

surprise and delight most readers.   Patrice Shaw, PS Editing


         It is very clever writing.  Sylvia Marson, Eagle Eye Editing

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