Simon & Schuster | April 2017 | 336 pgs
Source: Library

I've always love reading a locked-room mystery and what's more the setting of this story is in a luxurious cruise, Queen Charlotte, which is on its maiden voyage to Southampton. 

At its core of this story is the murder of eighty-six-year-old Lady Emily Haywood and a priceless Cleopatra emerald necklace, which, according to legend, places a deadly curse on whoever brings it to sea. Before Lady Em set her foot on board the cruise, she'd already made known to whoever's concerned that she'd be wearing the necklace. Although it was bought by her late husband, it is also a known fact that the necklace was a tomb loot. Lady Em had then decided to donate it to the Smithsonian Institution after giving some thoughts about it and it seems there wouldn't be such a case considering the circumstances.

On board the luxurious cruise are several passengers who are connected to Lady Em in some ways; they're her personal assistant who's been working with her for twenty years, as well as her financial adviser whom she has known so well due to a long working relationship with his family, beginning with his grandfather. There're also some passengers who are on board either thanks to a stroke of luck (like winning a lottery or winning a church raffle) or some simply conducting some lectures engaged by the entertainment director for the cruise trip. These are people from all walks of life and although each projects a respectable demeanour, some of these passengers harbour a secret and most importantly, they've a hidden agenda and their personal evil goal to fulfill until the death of Lady Em ruined their plans. To complicate matters, there's also the ship owner who intends to keep things quiet since he has invested lots of money and efforts in publicising Queen Charlotte, which is believed to have outdone the splendour of Titanic minus the ill-fated tragedy, that is. 

Unfolding over the course of six days on board the cruise, this is an addictive mystery filled with intrigue and a cast of unlikeable characters who would make you doubt their credibility as the story unfolds. While the mystery itself is intriguing, it is actually the characters who stand out the most in its entirety and I'd had a fun time analyzing them alongside with my guesses. 

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8 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    I never could get into Mary Higgins Clark’s books. I’m not sure why either. I like the idea behind this one but doubt I’d enjoy it much either.

  2. Melody Says:

    Jenny - I think her books are either a hit or miss to me; and the reason I read this is because I liked the premise of the story. I could never resist a locked-room mystery, especially one set in a cruise. ;-p

  3. jenclair Says:

    It is funny what appeals in a mystery! I love mysteries involving locked rooms, old manuscripts, archaeology, and I'm attracted to any mystery with snow in the title or a snowy setting. There are other things that trigger my interest and tempt me into reading. I haven't read anything by Mary Higgins Clark in years, but I'm glad that this one worked so well for you.

  4. Lark Says:

    I haven't read MHC in years...her first books were so good, then she had a string of books that weren't, which is when I stopped reading her. But I'm very glad you enjoyed this one!
    P.S. Am still working on a list of possible buddy reads; I'll email you soon!

  5. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Yes, it's funny what appeals us in a mystery. I also love mysteries with settings like boarding school, asylum, haunted house as well as many other things that trigger my interest. :) For some reason, titles with 'The Girl' is equally appealing too although I feel they're overused.

  6. Melody Says:

    Lark - Looking forward to your list, Lark! :)

  7. It's been ages since I last read one of Mary Higgins Clark books. Like Lark, I used to read everything she'd written, but fell off her books at some point. I am glad you enjoyed this one! I should check her more recent work out one of these days.

  8. Melody Says:

    Wendy - Me too, Wendy. Haven't read her books for ages but I was intrigued with this one and I'm glad I enjoyed it.

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