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Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise (Sammy Keyes #17)

4.37  ·  Rating Details ·  488 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
"The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)" —Midwest Children's Book Review

Sammy knew that getting to know her new rockstar dad on a cruise would be a little uncomfortable. . . . But when the heiress to a perfume empire disappears from the ship, it turns out everyone's in for a rocky ride.

In this penultimate book in the Sammy Keyes myster
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

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There are no words that can express how much I loved reading this book. I knew when I started reading that it was going to be a good one, but I had absolutely no idea how much fun I was going to have.

I was a little disappointed to learn that this book was set on a cruise and not in Santa Martina (possibly my favorite fictional place in the entire world) and that the only returning character we'd have would be Marissa (which, WHY? Why does she have to go to Ohio?! My heart is breaking for Sammy!)
Caradith Craven
Mar 23, 2013 Caradith Craven rated it it was amazing
I recently read the ARC for Killer Cruise. Avid mystery readers and Sammy Keyes fans won't want to miss this who-done-it cruise ship mystery as Sammy, her newly- discovered dad, and their best friends, Marissa and Marko, set sail on the high seas.

This is a classic Sammy Keyes mystery...with the dysfunctional Kensington family, heirs to a perfume dynasty, as the main cast of suspicious characters in this wild adventure story. The suspense builds as Sammy and friends kick into crime-solving mode
Melissa McShane
It's always such a joy to read a new Sammy Keyes novel. In this one, Sammy's finally met her father and they're going on a cruise together (without her mother, whom I still don't care for). Naturally, Sammy stumbles into a mystery, in this case one surrounding a very wealthy family who are all after their dead father's money. The mystery is strong, and Sammy's growing relationship with her father is so satisfying I wanted to see more of it. I still say Sammy and Marissa don't stand much chance ...more
Jul 31, 2014 Jo rated it it was amazing
Sammy has been a part of my life since I was in the fourth grade, when I picked up a paperback copy of SAMMY KEYES AND THE HOTEL THIEF to write a book report on. Since then, I've gone through elementary, middle, and high school, and graduated from college, but Sammy remains one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. Even now, I will stop everything I'm doing and race through the newest SAMMY KEYES mystery the moment I get my hands on it.

Every time I read the newest installment in this
Apr 14, 2015 E.F.B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes YA mystery
Yet another wonderful Sammy Keyes mystery from author Wendelin Van Draanen! In this installment, Sammy is going on a cruise to get to know her long-lost father, but things, as usual, don't go exactly as planned and Sammy is thrown head-first into another mystery.

One of the best things about this book, and most of the Sammy Keyes mysteries for that matter, is that there is a good balance of humor and heart. Sammy's view of the world is colorful and quirky as usual, yet at the same time, the reade
Jul 01, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
Ah! The Second to last Sammy Keyes novel. I don't know what I will do! I'm going to miss her, but I'm happy with how her character has developed and grown over the series. This was a great novel because of the addition of her father. It was very sweet and nice to see how she some of his traits. The plot was fun and over the top. Sammy Keyes is one fo the most orignal voices and the stories are a great mix of fun, adventure, friendship, life lessons, and mystery.
Feb 05, 2014 Jason rated it liked it
Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise was a pretty good book because the books interprets great suspense and actions taking place in the events, from an enjoyable cruise to a series of crimes. However, some of the details demonstrated in this book are too complicated and hard to understand. Because of this, I’m probably going to have to reread some of the chapters in the future. The author did a great job at letting the problem emerge into the events in the story. For instance, “‘They haven’t found ...more
Kaelyn Grant
Sep 14, 2016 Kaelyn Grant rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youth
What fun adventure! And now I totally want to go on a cruise! I loved how chemistry help was slipped in ;)
Jun 26, 2014 Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t even begin to describe how sad I am that the Sammy Keyes series will soon be coming to an end. Sadly there is only one more book after this one. After 18 books, author Wendelin Van Draanen has decided it is time to say goodbye to Sammy and her friends. I feel like I’m losing a real friend, because that’s how Sammy has always felt to me. I have followed and loved this character since the beginning, devouring each book as soon as it was out, while anxiously awaiting the next. How could I ...more
Nov 02, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, mystery
I tried to stretch out reading Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise because I read on Wendelin Van Draanen's blog that this is the last (LAST!) Sammy Keyes book in Sammy's voice. (So the next, and truly final, Sammy Keyes book will be narrated by someone else? I think? I can't find where I read that, but I swear I read that a while ago.) Anyway, I basically failed to make Killer Cruise last and plowed through the book in two days. Another fun Sammy Keyes adventure.

I love how Van Draanen described t
Lisa L.
Mar 10, 2016 Lisa L. rated it it was amazing
Sammy Keyes and the killer cruise is the book that got me hooked on the series. Throughout this mystery, not only does Sammy discover so many things about her past that she's missed out on, but that real friends stick with you no matter what. Yes, I know that sounds cheesy. Something I really like about the series is that you don't have to start on book one to get it, I started on #17. This book is about when Sammy meets her Dad and they go on a cruise with Melissa, Sammy's best friend and some ...more
Apr 04, 2014 Paula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This installment of the series has Sammy and BFF Marissa on board a cruise ship. The cruise is a gift from her newly-discovered musician father, so that he can get to know his daughter. When they befriend fellow passenger, Kip Kensington, it isn’t long until Sammy and company are involved in the Kensington family mystery that includes a will to a family fortune, eager heirs, secret messages and a missing grandmother. This entertaining mystery if filled with action, suspense and family drama and ...more
Nov 10, 2013 Yapha rated it really liked it
Now that Sammy has finally discovered who her father is, she is off on a cruise to get to know him better. With her best friend Marissa along, Sammy can't help but get embroiled in another mystery. They first meet the dysfunctional Kensington family while waiting to board the ship, and cross paths many more times. When Kate Kensington, the matriarch of the family goes missing, no one but her grandson Kip seems to care. Sammy and Marissa jump right in and are soon searching for clues to a mystery ...more
These last few Sammy Keyes books have been an absolute blast to read. Watching Sammy finally develop a relationship with her dad was pretty touching, along with the camaraderie between the whole cruise group. The mystery was thrilling, even a little scary, because you could tell how deadly serious each suspect was about it. I'm sad about the imminent end of the series, as well as curious about how some questions will be wrapped up. Will Sammy and Marissa's friendship survive now that Marissa's ...more
Sheyi Osundeko
Oct 20, 2013 Sheyi Osundeko rated it really liked it
I loved this book, and I really hope this isn't the last one! The ending was surprising. I was shocked when the adults saw their presumed-dead father and were like "Oh no, not him..."
I also appreciated WVD's attempt at branching out. A boy from Kenya! Yay!
I wasn't completely satisfied though, if only because Africa was thrown around way too much. They went to KENYA. One country. Kip specified that it was the poorer part. Of KENYA. Yet they were always building the hospital in "Africa" and movin
Nov 11, 2013 Liz rated it it was amazing
I love how Sammy Keyes can find a mystery no matter where she goes. This time she is on a cruise to get to know the dad she never knew she had until she met him in Las Vegas. Sammy get to take Marissa with her and Marissa is the only one that knows the ropes on how a cruise ship works. She and Sammy meet a couple of cute boys and that begins the mystery. Like always there is a lot of fun, strange things happening and an interesting ending. One could always read a Sammy Keyes mystery as a stand ...more
Jun 14, 2015 Lo rated it liked it
Shelves: series, mystery, 2015
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 06, 2015 Mabel rated it really liked it
Once again, kudos to Sammy Keyes! Her character is immensely lovable and enjoyable to read.

Of course, great writing, great plot and somehow still surprising!

I love the relationship between Sammy and her dad. All the characters- Marko, Darren, Marissa- were incredibly vivid and not flat at all.

So glad I've gotten back into the series!

Although- really this is a teen read and is not very realistic with the portrayal of multiple relationships. Or maybe that's me being pessimistic. I still think th
Sep 15, 2013 Lourdes rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
While the science nerd in me loved the premise mystery behind this book, it wasn't may favorite Sammy Keyes of all times. There were parts of the book that made my heart melt, especially the growing relationship between Sammy and her father, but the mystery component wasn't as thrilling as the previous books. It may be because the last book (Sammy Keyes and the Showdown in Sin City) was just spectacular, that this book was a little overshadowed. Nevertheless, it is a Sammy Keyes book which makes ...more
Mary Jane
Sep 21, 2014 Mary Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favorite Sammy books. I loved the relationships and interactions between Sammy and the people she was traveling with. Made it even harder to read "Kiss Goodbye", the last one... Oh, Sammy, how we are going to miss you! Many thanks Wendelin, for creating her and sharing with us. It's been a great pleasure to know her and, of course, to have met you several times over the years - at Author-Go-Rounds in Santa Barbara and at the Dinner in the Library in Lompoc. I hope to see you ...more
Dec 22, 2013 Katherine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
After years of waiting, readers finally get to know Sammy's father and whether or not they would get along.

Sammy's father decides to bring Sammy onto a cruise so that they could bond. As usual, Sammy runs into a mystery on the cruise ship; the Kensington mystery. On this ship, members of the Kensington disappear without a trace. Sammy and crew get wrapped up in the fun by by trying to get to the bottom of the family's problems and secrets.

Apr 09, 2014 Katy rated it it was amazing
love Darren and how hard he tried. Love Sammy as always. I found Marissa pretty grating this time. Why did Sammy put up with her? Has she always been so annoying? I am sad for her that she is moving (and maybe that's why she is such a pill), but halfway through the book I just wished she'd get to Ohio already.

So sad this is the second to last Sammy. This is a series that has stayed strong all the way through.
Aug 13, 2015 pearl_seeker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sammy-keyes
What a great read! The penultimate book in the series...sad to see it coming to an end. Started reading these with my daughter when she was 10, she's a high school senior now. We've both enjoyed the characters, the plots, the fun.

If you know any girls 9-14 who LOVE to read, get them started on Sammy Keyes! She and her friends are fun and relevant in a way that Nancy Drew (begun in 1930) can never be!
Oct 13, 2013 Angela rated it really liked it
Sammy is ALWAYS great fun and a satisfying mystery! I really loved this one because we get to follow Sammy as she is getting to know her Dad--a rock star unknown to her (and she to him) until just a few months before. Suffice it to say we find out where Sammy got her curiosity, wit, and daredevil nature! Darren and Marko (her Dad and his best friend/fellow band member)are funny, very cool, laid back, and a great example of adults that "get" teens. One of my favorite entries in the series.
Oct 22, 2013 Kate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
Just finished the book. I don't know how Wendelin Van Draanen does it, but man, she is good. You would think after so many books that the series might get to be stale, but no, they are always page turners. Man, I loved watching Sammy getting to know her dad. Marko and Darren definitely add a fun and relaxed mood to the book and watching Sammy get all tangled up in yet another mystery is always fun. Great read!
Dec 21, 2013 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, middle-grade
An adorable ending to the Sammy Keyes series. I really loved how Sammy's relationship with her father grew. Some parts in the book I didn't like was when Sammy was doing chemistry. Like come on! I don't need a chemistry lesson when I'm reading a book! I also didn't like how Sammy would tell her father about her adventure right after she went on it. It started to become annoying after the 2nd time.

4/5 stars
Sep 26, 2013 Liana rated it really liked it
Very fun!! The mystery itself was a little silly, but I really liked the book as a whole. Sammy goes on a cruise with her dad, her dad's best friend, and Marissa, and lots of daddy-daughter bonding occurs. Sniff.

There was one character who I felt still had some explaining to do after the story wrapped up, but that's okay.

Also, I have to brag: I solved the secret code before Sammy did.

Is there really only one left?!
Nov 23, 2013 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loads of fun, intrigue, and wonder. Love the pairing of Darren-not-Dad and Marko with Sammy and Marissa. Chapter 6 is a great example of the humor. Nice cruising and chemistry details to boot.
Makes the read an educational experience. Fantastic all-around and so hard to put down. I am not looking forward to the end of this series.
Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise was a good read but not as exciting a mystery as I had anticipated. While on a cruise with her best friend, Marissa, her dad and his band mate, Sammy stumbles upon a whodunit involving a wealthy family aboard the cruise. The solution to the mystery fell a bit flat but there were some interesting moments along the way. 2.5 stars rounded up to 3.
Mar 19, 2016 Patrick rated it really liked it
The mystery is OK. The bonding with Sammy's dad is awesome. Another fun one. But with all that has happened, you can feel how the series needs to wind to a close as many of the interesting tensions in Sammy's life are being somewhat resolved. I wonder if the events of the last book will somehow prevent Melissa from moving.
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Wendelin Van Draanen has written more than thirty novels for young readers and teens. She is the author of the 18-book Edgar-winning Sammy Keyes series, and wrote Flipped which was named a Top 100 Children’s Novel for the 21st Century by SLJ, and became a Warner Brothers feature film with Rob Reiner directing. Her novel The Running Dream was awarded ALA’s Schneider Family Award for its portrayal ...more
More about Wendelin Van Draanen...

Other Books in the Series

Sammy Keyes (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief
  • Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man (Sammy Keyes, #2)
  • Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy (Sammy Keyes, #3)
  • Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf (Sammy Keyes, #4)
  • Sammy Keyes and the Curse of Moustache Mary (Sammy Keyes, #5)
  • Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy (Sammy Keyes, #6)
  • Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes (Sammy Keyes, #7)
  • Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception (Sammy Keyes, #8)
  • Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen (Sammy Keyes, #9)
  • Sammy Keyes And the Dead Giveaway (Sammy Keyes, #10)

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