“Death in any circumstances has a tendency to put the wind up you, but when you stumble over it on a pleasure cruiser’s deck you get panicky. Comparable to meeting the devil in Paradise.”
Being an amateur detective isn’t always easy. Sometimes you don’t solve the case. Even worse, sometimes the police beat you to it. Algernon Vereker has recently gone through this humiliating experience, and the memory still stings. His best friend Manuel Ricardo is convinced that the cure for everything is salt water—in this case, a Mediterranean cruise on the S.S. Mars. The moment they step off the gangplank, however, Vereker’s interest is piqued by the strange behavior of the passengers in the next cabin. Rough waters lie ahead, and this time there will be no Scotland Yard coming to the rescue if Vereker fails to spot the killer. Continue reading “The Pleasure Cruise Mystery (1933) by Robin Forsythe”
“You seem to know everything.”
Miss Withers smiled grimly. “I don’t—but I intend to.”
This journey across the Atlantic was meant to be the start of Rosemary Fraser’s independent life. The nineteen-year-old has grand plans for her trip around the world, but nothing is turning out the way she hoped. On the very first night of the voyage, she meets an attractive man who convinces her to tryst with him in a storage locker, only to be humiliated when a fellow passenger locks them in. Her partner leaves Rosemary to bear the shame alone.
Rosemary has become the laughingstock of the ship. And if her parents find out what happened, all of her dreams are over. So when Rosemary vanishes from the deck one foggy night, the other passengers assume she committed suicide—all except Hildegarde Withers. She suspects there is a killer on board, but will she be able to convince Scotland Yard? Continue reading “The Puzzle of the Silver Persian (1934) by Stuart Palmer”
“Well, we’ve got a bit of a puzzle now, no mistake.”
When a chance meeting with a stranger on a train offers Harry Morrison the opportunity of a lifetime, he grabs it. Charles Bristow has a brilliant new business idea: refurbish outdated ocean liners for inexpensive cruises that move continuously around the British Isles. Rather than a fixed cruise, passengers can hop on or off as they like, more like a floating hotel. Harry’s expertise as a travel agent will be key to making this plan work. Once they’ve added a third partner, bored millionaire John Stott, the enterprise seems foolproof.
Disagreements start cropping up between the partners almost immediately, however, and a competitor is trying to beat them to the market. Tensions rumble beneath the surface, until murder finally strikes during a cruise. Inspector French must plumb these murky depths in search of the truth. Continue reading “Fatal Venture (1939) by Freeman Wills Crofts”
“In any community, no matter how confined by natural barriers, or how small, there is always murder. I’m unfamiliar with the census number of the population that surrounded Cain and Abel but I imagine it must have been quite negligible.”
On New Year’s Day, most New Yorkers are sleeping off the revels of the night before. Myron Jettwick’s sleep is more permanent. The millionaire lies dead on his yacht, and his nephew Bruce knows that only the eccentric detective (and nut fancier) Cotton Moon can solve the crime. Luckily, Moon’s yacht happens to be docked right next door. With the aid of his secretary/bartender Bert Stanley, Moon’s investigation takes him from the East River to the Caribbean in search of a slippery killer—and the even more elusive sapucaia nut. Continue reading “Holiday Homicide (1940) by Rufus King”