Monday, October 7, 2013

Book Review: A Cruise to Die for by Aaron J. Elkins and Charlotte Elkins

Title: A Cruise to Die for
Author: Aaron J. Elkins and Charlotte Elkins
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (September 3, 2013)
Genre: Mystery

Format: Ebook ARC
Length: Novel
Source: Publisher

This should be the cushiest job Alix London's ever had. Surrounded by art and wealth and the sun-drenched Greek isles, she's aboard a sumptuous mega-yacht with no responsibilities save the occasional lecture to the guests of her temporary employer, Panos Papadakis, one of the world's richest men. But there's a catch: she's there as an undercover operative of FBI special agent Ted Ellesworth, a member of the Bureau's Art Crime Team. They hope Alix can gather the inside information they need to finally put the cagey Papadakis away. Moguls, murders, a forged Manet, and the Albanian mafia all play a role and send this pleasure cruise into murderously dangerous waters. The second Alix London mystery finds the art restorer in a world brimming with idle luxury, spectacular locations, and deadly intrigue, all served up with the style and sophistication with which Charlotte and Aaron Elkins have rewarded mystery fans for the past 30 years.

Teasers: Izzy had a curious way of speaking, halfway between supercilious and self-mocking, that gave much of what she said a wry tinge of irony, as if she were an observer taking in everything she saw, including herself, with tolerant, faintly cynical amusement. [42% Ebook ARC. Love this description of Izzy. It really fits her.]

“I guess he was still steaming over those credit card bills and looking for someplace to get it off his chest because he charged off looking for Donny like a bull hunting for a china shop—hey, I think I just invented a metaphor.” [67% Ebook ARC. What a fun image of a bull hunting for a china shop!]

Review: Step aboard a luxury cruise of a lifetime in Aaron J. Elkins and Charlotte Elkins’ A Cruise to Die for.

The unique and well-written characters made this book. Alix London is a likeable heroine. A bit bumbling in her spy skills, she does have a way to be in the right place at the right time. Ted Ellesworth was a harder read than Alix and quite the undercover agent. The array of the yacht guests were sometimes more interesting than the storyline and were quite fun to read about.

For a mystery, I felt this one was a bit slower in pace than the ones I’m used to reading. I also wished the killer’s reveal was handled differently. However, the clues and red herrings did keep me guessing.

The authors explored the lifestyle of the superrich, and I enjoyed vicariously living in such splendor for a few hours. The art history and archaeology mentioned when they were in Crete fascinated me.

A Cruise to Die for by Aaron J. Elkins and Charlotte Elkins is a whimsical and fun read, and I would enjoy reading more books featuring Alix London.

Four Bookworms = I really liked it!