Many thanks to Ipso books and Netgalley Deserves to be among Classic Cruise MysteriesThe Widow s Cruise compares favorably to other classic mysteries set on cruise ships such as Agatha Christie s Death on the Nile and Eric Ambler s Journey to Fear The closed society with it s limited suspects and simmering tensions among a few characters thrown together is a standard Golden Age ploy but Nicolas Blake the poet C.
Day Lewis uses it to create an interesting group of literate and academic passengers, allowing us to see a bygone world of English public schools with it s literate professors and students struggling with jealousies and resentment Strangeways is a less outlandish detective than some other series such as Poirot and Lord Peter Wimsey both of whom I like but are often characterized by their eccentricities and while I was somewhat troubled that his loose connection to Scotland Yard seemed to give him incredible power and authority, he is presented as a quite regular guy In these days of so many historical mysteries, it s good to read a mystery from an earlier time that presents characters accurately as they are seen at the time The book is frank about sexuality and is presents it s non English characters with respect and lacks the Imperialist posturings of so many historical mysteries trying to set the record straight And while it is not that hard to figure out the solution, it is still fun to follow along with Nigel and see how he solves and presents the mystery.
The Only Thing I Have Against Cruise Life, Said Clare, Yawning Again, Is That It S Turning Us All Into Busybodies And Gossips Renowned Sculptor, Clare Massinger, Is In A Bit Of A Creative Slump To Provide A Little Inspiration, Nigel Strangeways books Them A Relaxing Cruise On The Aegean Sea Filled With Greek Temples, Swimming Pools, And Sandy Beaches, This Scenic Vacation Should Be The Perfect Getaway But When They Meet The Other Passengers, Nigel And Clare Realize The Cruise May Not Be As Peaceful As PlannedIt Seems Everyone Knows Everyone Else S Business A Schoolteacher Recovering From A Nervous Breakdown Is Confronted By A Former Student A Scholar Is Embarrassed By A Scornful Reviewer A Seductive Temptress Is Known To A Bishop, And, To Top It Off, Two Busybodies Are Keeping Tabs On EveryoneAs The Passengers Lives Become Increasingly Intertwined, It Seems A Plot For Revenge May Be Afloat Amidst Steamy Assignations, False Accusations, And Suicide Threats, Nigel S Holiday Doesn T Last Long, And He Must Take Charge To Uncover The Truth Before The Passengers Have Something Disturbing To Gossip About Intelligently doneThis is one of those mysteries where there is the obvious murderer but it was done in such a way that I was left with a sensse of wow at the end Just about all of the ugly human traits were on display but it was a very interesting mystery Day Lewis redeemed himself from that atrocious Murder With Malice story.
Nigel Strangeways books a cruise to the Greek Islands with sculptor Claire Massinger only to find himself involved with a group of people who seem to have a lot of secrets between them Some of them seem to know each other but don t want to admit it It is a classic scenario for murder to take place and it will keep the reader guessing.
I enjoyed the cruise background to this story and as ever Nicholas Blake makes the characters believable and interesting There are plenty of clues to keep the reader trying to fit everything together The murder doesn t happen until half way through the book so if you prefer books where the murder takes place near the beginning you won t like the scene setting.
The book is well written as are all Nicholas Blake s Nigel Strangeways series The series can be read in any order though if you want to read them in the order in which they were published then this is number thirteen.
Well done mystery Nigel Strangeways, with Scotland Yard, and Clare, a sculptures and Novel s girlfriend, go on a cruise of the Greek Islands out of Athens Early on they meet some of the passengers and worry what will happen There are some very interesting characters A schoolgirl, Faith, recognizes the Bross, Miss Ambrose, a former schoolmaster, who had caused Faith to be expelled Smith s twin brother is trying to make Iantha Ambross retract her accusations Anthea is accompanied by her sexy sister Mrs Melissa Blaydon The way too friendly Bentinck Jones is trying to learn too much about his shipmates The young daughter of two psychiatrists promised Chalmers, is snooping while carrying around a notebook to record private conversations, learning too much for her own good The supposed expert on Greece is very pompous and bristles at Ianthe s correction in his lectures as well as bad reviews of his translations Something is bound to happen, and does First Primrose is found strangled in the pool, and then Ianthe is missing, later found dead Nigel must solve everything before the ship returns to Athens and the Greek police The reader is in suspense to the very end when Nigel comes up with a clever trick.
A shipboard mystery in the vein of Death on the Nile, but with a lot focus on interpersonal behavior and not so much on timetables and drawing a map of the ship No one is pleasant, really, in this cast, which is okay by me but may annoy readers who need a little investment in the murderer victim suspects A definite recommend, especially because of the descriptions of summertime Greece during this rainy, grey spring 2018 has decided to hand us.
I received an ecopy from the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Charming in the classic British style even moving the action to Greece doesn t change the traditional structure Blake s novels are always about the people than any forensic investigation The solution is foreshadowed almost from the start, which doesn t take any joy away from seeing how they get there Tricky, intellectual great fun.
I d been wanting to read a Nicholas Blake mystery for a while and, since I have a soft spot for whodunits set onboard ships, I started with The Widow s Cruise.
The book is very well written, the prose is poetic in places but not purply, it s not as G rated as a lot of cozy mysteries which I appreciate, and Nigel is interesting and likeable Blake s writing is like a smarter version of Agatha Christie s in a lot of ways, and so is his plotting I flew through this book today but I have to give it a 3 because of the following hint of a spoiler I just can t really rate a mystery fairly if I have figured it out 1 4th into the book, especially if I figured it out simply for recognizing a popular writer s famous plot.
But the bottom line is I recommend the book and I can t wait to pick up the other 15 Nigel Strangeways books SPOILER Any Agatha fan will suss out whodunit by page 40 or so There s a lot of evil under the Greek sun, if you catch my drift I think Blake also riffs Strangers on a Train in another book so maybe he lifts plots a lot I will update this review after I ve read some Blake.
PS Why doesn t Daniel Day Lewis get cracking on some Nigel Strangeways films PPS Keep your dictionary handy Every few pages Blake breaks out a ten dollar word, which I find belletristic and not rebarbative.
The second of the two Nicholas Blake actually the poet C Day Lewis mysteries I ve read over the past week This one is apparently typical of the series in that it is a straight mystery, set around 1960 on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean I had hoped for a good deal classical allusion from the translator of Virgil, but at least there was some I had also hoped for description of the Greek islands, but I had to be satisfied with relatively little The plot involves a wildly implausible set of circumstances, and the solution is equally implausible but the author so completely accounts for and explains away all the unbelievable aspects, that you have to admire his ingenuity And meanwhile he writes with a poet s precision and respect for words I ll be reading of these.