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Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise

Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise

5.0 8
by Wendelin Van Draanen

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"The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)" —Midwest Children's Book Review

Sammy knew that getting to know her new rockstar dad on a cruise would be a little uncomfortable. . . . But when the heiress to a perfume empire disappears from the ship, it turns out everyone's in for a rocky ride.


"The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)" —Midwest Children's Book Review

Sammy knew that getting to know her new rockstar dad on a cruise would be a little uncomfortable. . . . But when the heiress to a perfume empire disappears from the ship, it turns out everyone's in for a rocky ride.

In this penultimate book in the Sammy Keyes mystery series, Wendelin Van Draanen pays homage to the mystery genre. This book is a classic locked-room whodunnit—Sammy Keyes style.

The Sammy Keyes mysteries are fast-paced, funny, thoroughly modern, and true whodunits. Each mystery is exciting and dramatic, but it's the drama in Sammy's personal life that keeps readers coming back to see what happens next with her love interest Casey, her soap-star mother, and her mysterious father.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the Sammy Keyes series:
“Van Draanen offers such an explosive combination of high-stakes sleuthing, hilarity, and breathlessly paced action that it’s impossible to turn the pages fast enough.” —Kirkus Reviews

“There’s no stopping Sammy.”—Publishers Weekly

“An intelligent, gutsy, flawed, and utterly likable heroine.”—Booklist

"Move over, Nancy Drew—a new sleuth is on the scene.”—Girls’ Life

"Think a combination of Carl Hiaasen’s Flush and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books and you’ll be right on target.” —School Library Journal

“A high-quality, high-amp mystery series.” —The Horn Book
“This funny, clever series is NOT for kids only. I challenge the most seasoned mystery reader to guess ‘who done it.’” —Cozies, Capers, and Crimes
“Sammy Keyes comes armed with attitude.” —Orlando Sentinel

“Sammy doesn’t find mysteries to solve—they find her.” —Arizona Republic

“Humor, romance and adventure; this story is an absolute blast.” —Chicago Tribune
“If you haven’t met Sammy Keyes yet, now is the time.” —Children’s Literature

VOYA - Morgan Brickey
Sammy Keyes cannot keep away from mysterious happenings—even aboard a relaxing cruise to Mexico. Previously, Sammy was finally able to meet her long-absent, rock-star father, Darren. They decide to go on a bonding vacation. Darren will be performing on the cruise so he brings his band mate, Marko, and Sammy brings her friend, Marissa. As the group is entering the ship, they meet up with the very wealthy and very troubled Kensington family. They bond with the one trustworthy family member, Kip, who is adopted from Africa and thinks the Kensington's are just as odd as Sammy does. The head of the family recently died. On the cruise, his will is going be divulged, and everyone wants a piece of the family fortune. Just after they announce the scandalous will, Kip's grandmother disappears. Kip, Sammy, Marissa, Darren, and Marko all want to crack the case—which includes coded messages, dead ends, and surprise twists galore. This newest installment in the Sammy Keyes series does not fail to entertain. The novel incorporates many plot points seen in classic "who dunnits," and executes them flawlessly. The author is able to keep suspense high, while also developing the relationships between Sammy and other characters, especially her father. The characters of Sammy and Marissa foil one another nicely, and put together with Marko and Darren, a very dynamic and engaging foursome is formed. The book can be read independently of the Sammy Keyes series, but readers who have followed Sammy's journey will be able to fully appreciate the title. Reviewer: Morgan Brickey
Kirkus Reviews
A celebratory cruise leads to mischief and mystery for Sammy as she embarks upon a memorable journey. In this second-to-last title in the long-running series, Sammy is in the midst of transition. In addition to her BFF Marissa's impending move and her grandmother's second marriage, Sammy has just begun establishing a relationship with her recently discovered father, Darren, who happens to be a famous musician. In honor of Sammy's 14th birthday—and in an endeavor to further their relationship—Darren invites Sammy and Marissa to accompany him on a cruise where his band will be performing. Nautical life quickly becomes complicated for the irrepressible sleuth. After meeting JT and Kip, members of the wealthy Kensington family, Sammy and Marissa inadvertently become embroiled in their family drama. When the Kensington family matriarch goes missing midcruise, Sammy joins Kip in his quest to discover what happened to his grandmother. Van Draanen provides a satisfyingly convoluted mystery for Sammy—and readers—to unravel. Secret codes, greedy heirs and ambiguous clues test Sammy's sleuthing mettle. However, at the center of this tale is the emotional journey Sammy takes as she navigates her fledgling relationship with her father. Their emerging bond reveals a new emotional dimension to the savvy teen. Van Draanen's latest tale combines a fresh adventure and diverting mystery with a heartfelt storyline that enriches the series. (Mystery. 10-14)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sammy Keyes Series
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
780L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
10 Years

Meet the Author

WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN was a teacher for many years before turning to writing full-time. Her first Sammy Keyes mystery, Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief, won the Edgar Allan Poe Award. She lives in Central California with her husband and two sons.

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Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Avid mystery readers and Sammy Keyes fans won't want to miss this who-done-it cruise ship mystery as Sammy, her newly-discovered dad, and their best friends, Marissa and Marko, set sail on the high seas. This is a classic Sammy Keyes mystery...with the dysfuntional Kensington family, heirs to a perfume dynasty, as the main cast of suspiciou characters in this wild adventure story. The suspense builds as Sammy and friends kick into crime-solving mode when the Diamond Dame of the Kensignton family, Kate Kensington, suddenly goes missing aboard ship and no one except her adopted grandson Kip seems to care. In the next-to-the last book in the series, Wendelin Van Draanen pays tribute to the mystery genre as she cleverly and meticulously unfolds a well-plotted suspense story that sequentially lays out all the clues to "decode" a mystery that keeps readers guessing to the very end. Along the way, the relationship between Sammy and her dad develops into a trusting, caring father-daughter bond that is truly heartwarming. Put this poignant page-turner mystery on your must read list for a great fall read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cant wait for the next one! She is amazing! Theres 230 pages in it in case u want to kno cuz alot of ppl like knoing for some reason.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best Sammy Keyes books I have read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how Sammy and her dad are bonding and i love marko!Marrissa was a bit annoying at first but now shes ok.Iwish sammy would stop worrying abour Kip and just have fun. I can't wait to see what happens next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book lol i love this seires
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very addicting to read.... started @ 11:00pm and finished @ 1:00am :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favoter so far