Cruising for Murder: A Mystery

Cruising for Murder: A Mystery

by Susan Sussman, Sarajane Avidon
     
 

When the curtains open on Morgan Taylor's second adventure, the Chicago actress is Restless, capital R. Hard at work for eight months starring in "Rent," the run has been good, but grueling. Between Morgan's growing boredom and the fact that her year-old relationship with homicide detective J. Roblings is going almost too well, Morgan's got an old-fashioned case of

Overview

When the curtains open on Morgan Taylor's second adventure, the Chicago actress is Restless, capital R. Hard at work for eight months starring in "Rent," the run has been good, but grueling. Between Morgan's growing boredom and the fact that her year-old relationship with homicide detective J. Roblings is going almost too well, Morgan's got an old-fashioned case of cabin fever. Add the harsh snowy weather and it's more than one showgirl can bear. So when long-time friend Kathy Bloch calls her to replace a last-minute deserter in the cruise ship's entertainment cast, Morgan jumps at the chance to trade the big city for the open seas.

Meeting Kathy and the Island Star in Miami, Morgan is greeted by palm trees, sunny skies - and the news that her predecessor, Angela Parker, was murdered aboard the ship. And is appears not everyone is pleased to see Morgan join the cast. Chorus girl and magician's assistant Jackie takes every opportunity to point out she should be the star. So when another entertainer is found dead, it looks as if Morgan's three weeks of show tunes and suntans are not going to be the vacation that she hoped.

Sussman and Avidon deliver an amazingly fresh and entertaining puzzle sure to have mystery fans crying "encore!" once again.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
. . . light and finely rendered . . .
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her second appearance (after Audition for Murder) as an amateur sleuth, wisecracking Chicago actress Morgan Taylor grabs center stage and never lets go in this frothy, high seas murder mystery. When Morgan accepts a last-minute invitation to replace a performer on a Caribbean cruise ship, she believes that her predecessor, Angela Parker, accidentally fell to her death. Once aboard, however, she learns that Angela's shipmates suspect murder. On day two of the cruise, while swimming off Nassau in the Bahamas, Morgan discovers the body of her nasty roommate, Jackie, weighted down in a duffel bag under water. (A lucky find, that.) Jackie, who had expensive tastes in men, had clearly been up to no good, but what does her murder have to do with Angela's death? When someone trashes Morgan's cabin, spray-painting obscenities on the walls, the pun-loving actress takes the vandalism in stride. Vicious killer on the loose or not, the show must go on, with Morgan gamely serving as the lady who gets sawed in half by the ship's magician. The solution to the two murders that the authors conjure up hardly registers, since their heroine's overwhelming personality has upstaged even the plot long before the end. A subplot involving Morgan's Uncle Leo, who turns up on the cruise accompanied not by his wife, Bertha, but by a gorgeous blonde, presumably will be resolved another time Morgan hits the boards. Agents, Jane Jordan Browne and Annette Green. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Tempted to escape the Chicago winter, actress Morgan Taylor impulsively accepts a last-minute offer to replace another entertainer on a Caribbean cruise ship. She soon learns that her predecessor died under suspicious circumstances, and that there is something very odd about her roommate. Murder threats and red herrings soon plague the ship's staff. The protagonist is a seasoned trouper who quickly adapts to the professional challenges of shipboard entertaining as she competently fills any required role, from star singer to magician's assistant. Her personal issues are a little knottier but she handles these, too, with the aplomb of a Nora Charles- though she is a bit shaken by violence, particularly when it is aimed at her. The first-person narration, lively and contemporary, quickly draws readers into the mind and world of the funny, feisty protagonist. Some unlikely plot devices and a rather complicated solution won't detract from most readers' enjoyment of this light and finely rendered diversion, and teens will probably come hurrying back for the first Morgan Taylor adventure, Audition for Murder (St. Martin's, 1999). Fans of mysteries by Marian Babson, Lise McClendon, and Janet Evanovich should be pleased with this new series.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Why would hoofer/singer Morgan Taylor agree to a grueling few weeks' work filling in for a missing entertainer on the Island Star as it cruises the Caribbean? Well, Chicago's freezing; her touring company of Rent has just closed; her chum Kathy Bloch, the production director, has promised her lots of free time lolling in a deck chair; and—the most compelling reason of all—Morgan's tiptoeing around a commitment to hunky homicide cop J. Roblings and could use the breathing space. But Kathy forgot to tell her that the gal she's replacing, the talented Angela, was hiding a pregnancy and was probably murdered; that she'd be bunking with Jackie, the bitchy magician's assistant; and that Morgan's Uncle Leo would be on board without her Aunt Bertha, clinging to a young lovely's well-manicured hand. Snorkeling on the Nassau stopover, Morgan finds Jackie stuffed into a seabag, as dead as Angela. Their cabin is trashed, ominous notes are slid under the door, and Morgan keeps getting lost in the bowels of the liner and bumping into the supply chief and Mr. Garlic Breath. Still, the show must go on. Before Roblings flies in for a soothing cuddle, Morgan will sing, dance, and uncover blackmail, stowaways, and a cleaver-wielding nutcase. A bouncy, self-deprecating heroine holds the plot together with wisecracks. Not quite up to Stephanie Plum's high jinks but still, like Audition for Murder (1999), very cute.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312252205
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
07/12/2000
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 8.62(h) x 1.07(d)

Meet the Author

Susan Sussman, author of several novels for both children and adults, and Sarajane Avidon, an acclaimed professional actress, live in Chicago. This is their second book together.

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