on June 19, 2000
Chicago performer Morgan Taylor is a will-o'-the-wisp, as she never stays in one place or job for any extended time. After eight months acting in the play "Rent," Morgan is tired and needs to move on. Compounding her feelings of entrapment is that she is beginning to form a commitment with her boyfriend Detective Roblings of one year. When her best friend Kathy, a cruise ship entertainment director, asks her to perform for three weeks on the Island Star, Morgan immediately accepts.
Upon boarding the ship, Morgan learns that the person she is replacing was killed during a storm. Morgan takes over her predecessor's room that she shares with Jackie, an acrimonious woman who must be the roommate from hell. Morgan avoids the queen of bitches and joins her fellow entertainers on a trip to the beach. Morgan finds a dead Jackie bundled inside a beach bag in the ocean and this discovery leads to the realization that Jackie's former shipmate was also murdered. Morgan becomes the next target of a maniac, but in spite of her growing fear, she refuses to run and hide.
The story line of CRUISING FOR MURDER is brisk and breezy while the heroine is a sparkling ball of energy that catches the reader's attention. The who-done-it is fun and anyone who has taken a cruise will know that Susan Sussman and Sarajane Avidon have captured the festive somewhat decadent atmosphere, which adds to the overall plot. This novel is an entertaining effervescent amateur sleuth story.
on November 7, 2000
"Cruising for Murder" is a great second installment in what apparently will be a series of mystery novels centered on the adventures of actress and compulsive crime solver Morgan Taylor. In this case, Morgan finds herself talked into a stint as a song-and-dance performer on a cruise ship where pretty young entertainers keep turning up dead. Self possessed, yet down to earth, Morgan is a warm and enjoyable character and a treat for any reader seeking a sleuth who is also a good friend. The authors do a great job of building a sense of foreboding in a cruise ship setting, and a big part of the fun is getting an inside look at the life of entertainers on one of these floating hotels. I'm looking forward to the next installment of Ms. Taylor's adventures.
on August 25, 2000
I thought this book had too many loose ends. What's going on with Uncle Leo? How did the person trashing Morgan's room get in? What's with the stalker in Chicago? And others I won't mention so I don't give anything away. I thought the "wrap-up" regarding why the victims were killed seemed a little quick and didn't really offer a plausible enough reason. All that being said, however, it's a quick, clever and well-written mystery. I loved "Audition for Murder" and hope there will be more Morgan Taylor mysteries. Maybe even one that answers questions about Uncle Leo and the stalker!