Dead Man Docking: A Bed-and-Breakfast Mystery
William Morrow, 2005 (2005)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
alk about crazy cruises! Cousins Judith and Renie embark on the cruise of a lifetime as the guests of the cruise liner's owner, Magglio Cruz. When he turns up dead, stuffed in the piano, they realize they should have stayed at home.
hings go from bad to worse as more dead bodies show up. The cast of characters might have been recruited from an old Marx brothers movie. Rick and Rhoda St. George merge gracefully into the 30s theme of the cruise ship. Rick loves to solve crimes as his wife encourages him, reminiscent of Nick and Nora Charles. Delightfully so. Dixie Beal's southern accent is a little thick, but hey, I don't live in the south. Chevy, the wannabe actress turned maid, is a real hoot with her put on black airs. Erma, with her snooty manner, manages to insult everyone around her.
he cousins are the real sleuths of this engagingly funny tale. Renie's penchant for food doesn't distract her from the matter at hand, as long as she has Judith to keep her in line. Judith normally runs a B&B while her husband is a private investigator. Mary Daheim's previous novels revolve around the B&B in Washington State, so this change of setting to San Francisco sends a fresh sea breeze through the series. Daheim has the patter down pat and tells an exciting story that needs no embellishments.
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