When a family cruise ship vacation goes from overjoyed to overboard, amateur sleuth Hannah Ives dives in to solve a mystery.
Hannah, her sisters, and fourteen-year-old niece Julie set sail from Baltimore on a bonding cruise, and have a dramatic first night when Pia Fanucci, a bubbly bartender magician’s assistant whom Hannah befriends, narrowly escapes injury during an illusion. But while Pia may make light of the incident, it’s no laughing matter when Julie suddenly disappears. Has she gone overboard, or is she injured somewhere on the enormous ship?
To make matters worse, Hannah meets David Warren, a grieving father whose twenty-two-year-old daughter vanished without trace from an earlier cruise. With claims of a proper investigation proving to be an illusion, Hannah teams up with David and Pia to stop a seafaring predator from striking again.
“Talley’s 12th Hannah Ives mystery delivers steady wit, intrigue, and shocks.” —Publishers Weekly
After a slow beginning, Talley's 12th Hannah Ives mystery (after 2012's The Last Refuge) delivers steady wit, intrigue, and shocks. Hannah, a feisty grandmother and cancer survivor, joins her two compatible sisters and 14-year-old niece, Julie, on an eight-day cruise from Baltimore to Bermuda aboard the luxurious Islander. Once at sea, Hannah befriends David Warren, a terse and edgy passenger traveling solo, and discovers that his grown daughter, Charlotte, disappeared 18 months earlier from the Islander's sister ship while working at their teen camp. What's more, a young girl was viciously attacked on that cruise. Later, Julie is given alcohol-laced drinks, and, more disturbing, is assaulted, beaten, and dumped in a remote area of the ship. Is this somehow connected to Charlotte's disappearance and the earlier attack? David and Hannah make a determined (if not always rational) team in a basically lighthearted read that builds to a satisfying conclusion.