History is repeating itself on hundred years later on Alaska's breathtaking Inside Passage. Re-creating the famous Voyage of 1897, the Spirit of '98 is setting sail from Skagway, Alaska, en route to Seattle, Washington, carrying two tons of Yukon gold. Alaska State Trooper Alex Jensen and his love, famous female "musher" Jessie Arnold, are among the excited participants. The Grim Reaper is a passenger as well.
Dressed in period coustoume, Gold Rush buff Alex Jensen is only too happy to be representing the Troopers on this historic journey through a giant maze of scenic straits, harbors, and inlets. But the strange disappearance -- and probable death -- of a crew member pulls Alex rudely back to the present. As the only law officer in the vicinity, it is now his duty to unravel a twisted skein of lies, greed, and lethal shipboard secrets -- before the Spirit's fateful encounter with murderers abroad a stolen ketch writes a grim new chapter in Alaska's history.
Henry's celebration of Alaska, begun in Murder on the Iditarod Trail, continues in the fourth Alex Jensen mystery (after Sleeping Lady). Alaska state trooper Jensen and his girlfriend, Iditarod driver Jessie Arnold, embark on a cruise celebrating the centennial of the Klondike gold rush. The cruise ship carries a million dollars in gold locked away with armed guards. Jensen plans a mere ceremonial role, wearing his dress uniform and showing off his handlebar mustache, but several stateroom thefts and a crew member's disappearance force him to investigate. Meanwhile, two men steal a sailing boat; they dump the body of the owner who had died and head for a rendezvous with the cruise vessel. Then the dead body of the missing crew member is found in the freezing water, and Jensen and Arnold must decide which of their shipboard companions to trust. A wrong move could send all aboard to their deaths in the waters of the Inland Passage. The action occasionally flags, and Henry's dialogue is sometimes wooden, but Alaska's spectacular scenery, intriguing history and a well-engineered showdown should please fans of this series. Author tour.