Book review: Killer Cruise by Laura Levine

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Every now and then, I get this hankering to read a mystery book. When the mood strikes, I’m either looking for a funny mystery  or a serious, more intense one. Recently, I was craving the former, so I picked up one of my favorite humor mystery authors ever—Laura Levine.

If you’ve never read a mystery by Laura Levine, you’re missing out! Being the book worm that I am, I’ve read works by both her and other authors who try to sneak in humor with suspense but I’ve got to say, hands down, Levine does it the absolute best!

Her novel Killer Cruise, which is the title I chose this time around, was as exceptional as the rest of her books.

Here’s a quick synopsis from Amazon:

Wordsmith Jaine Austen’s ship has finally come in. Her new teaching gig on a fancy cruise line nabs her a free vacation–and access to a 24-hour buffet! But sooner than you can say “bon voyage,” Jaine’s all-expenses-paid trip to the Mexican Riviera seems destined to be a wreck.

Things are already off to a rocky start when Jaine discovers a stowaway amidst her luggage–her persnickety cat Prozac. Jaine’s sinking sensation grows stronger at dinner, where she meets chatty Emily Pritchard, a wealthy seventy-year-old who’s traveling with her two nephews. Jaine can’t help noticing the tension among them, especially when the cruise’s charming–and sleazy–British dancer, Graham, whisks Emily out onto the dance floor.

Soon Emily is accepting Graham’s invitations to every social event on the ship. Two nights later the bubbly couple announces their engagement, but the news is quickly overshadowed the next morning by the discovery of Graham’s body with an ice pick protruding from his chest. . .

Between hiding a furry fugitive, flirting with Emily’s nephew Robbie, and baiting the hook for a clever murderer, Jaine is about to dive into her most dangerous case yet. . .

The Great Word Nerd review:

Like all the books in Levine’s mystery series, this one is lighthearted and filled with tons of humor. Even her characters are quirky, which only adds to the mix.  And of course the classic email exchanges between Jaine’s family–a characteristic her stories are famous for–are knee-slapping hilarious and will leave you keeled over with laughter. To top it off, there’s a mystery sprinkled in amidst all the fun and entertainment!

If you love intense murder mysteries that you can solve before the protagonist, this is probably not the series you’re looking for. Levine’s clues are subtle, and often nonexistent. And it’s really not till the absolute end chapters of the book that she reveals the culprit—at which point you see a clearer picture of the murderer’s motive, strategy, method, etc.

But if you enjoy some suspense and love reading books that will keep you engaged from beginning to end with lots of humor scattered throughout for good measure, give Levine a shot and you won’t be disappointed! When I go to the local library and gather my monthly stash of books, I love having a Laura Levine book among the pack.

Of all the mysteries by Laura Levine, Killer Cruise definitely ranks up there as one of her best!

Verdict: 4/5 (a point deducted for length—I’m a sucker for long stories, especially from my favorite authors.)

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