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Kirkus ReviewsHeller 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 clichés 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.