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Princess Charming [Mass Market Paperback]

Jane Heller
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 26 2005
Talked into a Caribbean cruise by her best friends, feisty P.R. executive and divorcee Elaine Zimmerman finds herself falling for gorgeous fellow passenger Sam Peck, but her vacation takes an unexpected turn when she discovers that a mysterious hit man, hired to kill someone's ex-wife, is on the ship. 50,000 first printing.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

Product Description

From Booklist

When Elaine, Jackie, and Pat plan their yearly getaway, they are unprepared for life on the luxury liner Princess Charming. Elaine agonizes over how her travel agent lied to her: the quality of the single men on the ship is debatable, and she can't see out the porthole in her minuscule cabin because a lifeboat hangs there! When Elaine overhears a plot to murder a divorced woman onboard the ship, she suspects every man she meets of being the hit man. When Jackie becomes ill, or is poisoned, and Pat falls down the stairs, or is pushed, Elaine finds a threatening note and must race against time to find the man who has orders to kill before the cruise returns to Miami. Heller uses stereotypical passengers and situations to highlight the humor of Elaine's plight. She is surrounded by amorous octogenarians, feuding newlyweds, and polyester heaven, and her reactions to the cruise make for an unforgettable read. Heller keeps getting better! A must purchase for all collections. Melanie Duncan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Heller strikes again with this razzle-dazzle cruise ship murder mystery, sure to be a big hit with her faithful following (Infernal Affairs, 1996, etc.). The Princess Charming is the crown jewel of the Sea Swan line. Middle-aged clich‚s Elaine Zimmerman (world-weary, hardened divorcee), Pat Kovecky (mom with a heart of gold abandoned by husband in mid-life crisis), and Jackie Gault (hot-to-trot suddenly single fortysomething) have done Canyon Ranch, hit Telluride, been to Anguilla--why not a Caribbean cruise? At least that's what Pat and Jackie tell a reluctant Elaine, who, of course, loses her luggage as soon as she steps on board and is forced to buy sequined gowns from the on-ship boutique to wear day and night, for everything from day trips to shipboard strolling. But that's the least of Elaine's problems. The first day out she overhears an ominous phone call and learns that someone on board is trying to murder one of her friends. Meanwhile, after years of dating Mr. Wrong and all his brothers in Manhattan, she's finally met a man she likes, at her assigned dinner table no less--Sam Peck is wealthy, handsome, successful, and suave. All of the tablemates, however, become suspects in Elaine's quest to save her friend (she's still not sure which of the two is in trouble). The oversexed elderly couple and the rich Greenwich stockbroker and his shopaholic wife could be less harmless than they first appear--and even Sam himself could be a heartless killer. The popular travel magazine, Away From It All, comes into play, with a surprise ending that hinges on a secret identity, but rest assured that they all- -including the endearing worrywart Elaine--get what they truly deserve. As easy and mindless as seven days at sea on a deluxe cruise- -slick, sassy, and expertly executed. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very cute! Sept. 12 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Heroines: One average, one plump, and one extremely tall and thin (main character)
Pat, Jackie, and Elaine, a trio of divorcées known as the "three blonde mice", escape the bitter New York winter and set off on a tropical cruise upon the "Princess Charming", a ship caught in a 1980s interior decorating vortex whose passenger and activities lists are filled with every cruise stereotype imaginable.
A series of mishaps, an overheard phone conversation, and an anonymous note slipped under a door makes it plain that one of the women is the target of a planned hit by her embittered ex-husband. But which gal is at risk? And which passenger was hired to send this unfortunate lady to sleep with the fish? The polyester-clad-disco-king-has-been? The used car salesman with the short-lived short-term memory? The fastidious, well-to-do, bird-watching bachelor?
What worked for me:
  Ms. Heller's writing gets to the essence of the subject quickly, distilling the key pieces of information and throwing them out at the reader in startling combinations. It's amazing what she can convey in her effectively succinct yet descriptive phrases!
I loved the tongue-in-cheek humor in this story. Elaine was the epitome of the catty, witty friend you love to hear talking about others but secretly pray that she never talks in that way about you.
There were a slew of wacky, true-to-life characters in this book with plenty of choices for possible bad guys to keep you guessing.
And I enjoyed the burgeoning romance between the man-wary Elaine and her new friend Sam, but I enjoyed their octogenarian tablemates far more. We should all be so lucky in our love lives!
Size-wise the ladies were varied.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The Goldern Girls on The Love Boat Dec 5 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is exactly what this book reminded me of. But, I know that the 'Three Blond Mice' weren't quite the age of the Goldern Girls, but Bea Arthur makes a terrific Elaine.
This is a very light-hearted story of three friends who, every year, go on a holiday, and this yr they have chosen to go on a cruise. Basically, the three middle-aged women have ex-husbands and they just want to get away from life for a while but the opening of the story introduces the reader to the fact that one of the women are going to get killed, commissioned by her ex-husband. The rest of the story is really about the three women, the men that they meet and of course, finding the killer before it is too late.
This is a very easy to read book, but I found that it wasn't very exciting and it nothing really happened. I really did conjure up Bea Arthur on The Love Boat, and if you liked those two shows, then you will love this book. Personally, I thought that 'Infernal Affairs' was much better and quite funny, where this is quite flat and uninteresting. Unless you are a huge fan of Jane Hellar, don't bother with this one.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Heller's Weakest Mystery-Romance at Sea April 1 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Heller has always been a 4 star comedic read for me. I can always count on her for a good evening's entertainment. This is the one time she failed me. Even then I can't say that this is badly written or that I couldn't finish it. I made it through without any big problem but I was disappointed when done. There hadn't been much LOL either. Essentially this is a tale about 3 women friends, all divorcees or about-to-be, who take a cruise together only to discover that one of them is the target for a hit-man by an ex-spouse who wants to get rid of her and his obligations to her. The lead woman meets a man onboard, who she starts having a shipboard romance with, only to ultimately wonder if he is the hit-man. Yes, it is a pretty lame idea, especially for Heller. Well, everyone has a miss and this was hers.
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1.0 out of 5 stars "Love Boat" meets " Murder She Wrote" in print. July 8 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Please....give me a break. Based on the other Amazon reviews I read, I expected an edge of the seat thriller with lots of laughs. Instead I found this book, boring, predictable and utterly forgettable. If it hadn't been chosen for my book club's selection for the month I never would have even finished it. I can't even compare it to anything else I have ever read. It truly reminds me of reading a really bad script for a TV sitcom. This probably won't even get printed....feel free to edit my comments if it might save some other poor , unsuspecting readers from the torture of reading this book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars It Just Went On and On..... June 29 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was hoping for a fun and charming "mystery-romance" book for the beach. But, this was not it. It just went on and on....and, I didn't think it would ever end. So, I skipped to the back, found out who it was and just ended it. It's way too long, and just not exciting enough. I couldn't care less who the culprit was or who was going to get killed....that's a bad sign in a mystery book. Not worth it.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my first taste of Jane Heller's delightful and witty writing, and it has caused me to consistantly search the "new arrivals" rack for more of her work. Any woman who has had the joy of a long term, loyal friendship with other women will surely smile as Elaine and her friends look out for each other thru the ups and downs of their respective problems.
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4.0 out of 5 stars an enchanting little bit of fluffy stuff June 9 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While drawn to the book by its cruise ship location, I found that it's not really true to the experience of cruising, although it certainly is to the spirit. The mystery is fun. The hero is enchanting. In short, if you are expecting anything deep and profound, skip this one. But for a lazy day by the pool, or better yet a deck chair on the sundeck, dive right in!
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