Bev's Reviews > Death Over Deep Water

Death Over Deep Water by Simon Nash
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Feb 24, 2015

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bookshelves: british-mystery, academic-mystery, mystery, vintage-mystery, mount-tbr-2015, murder-at-sea
Read from February 05 to 08, 2015 — I own a copy

Adam Ludlow, English don and sometime amateur detective, is all set to enjoy a Mediterranean cruise with stops at various European ports. He happily enjoys seeing the Temple of Apollo in Greece and then seeing the Temple of Apollo in Corinth (as he pedantically explains to a suspicious American--the ancient world was simply littered with Temples of Apollo). But despite the calm seas and brilliant blue sky overhead, Ludlow has a feeling of an impending storm.

And the clouds seem to be gathering around Diana Acton, a wealthy beauty whose inner beauty doesn't seem to match the outer. She manages to have unpleasant encounters with just about everyone--from her own family to various crew members, whom she claims to be slacking in their duties. But were any of her disputes serious enough to end in murder? It would seem so.

Her cabin mate (and one of the few on board to have escaped Diana's scathing remarks) Julie returns from dinner one evening find Diana sprawled across the bed, dead from poisoned juice. Ludlow has often been the recipient of Julie's confidences and he happens along as she is rushing for help. He quickly takes in the situation and makes sure that the body his handled appropriately (or as appropriately as possible by the slightly drunken doctor), the cabin is sealed, and the proper authorities are notified.

When the ship docks at Malta, Ludlow's old friends Inspector Montero and Detective Springer come aboard having been sent by Scotland Yard to take the matter in hand. Between the three of them, they soon find motives more solid than ill-tempered disputes--pending investment deals, a need for cash by the dead the woman's brother, rebuffed suitors, jealous wives, and a confidence trickster or two all serve to muddy the waters. But Ludlow has noticed a few clues in the dead woman's cabin as well as in the questioning of passengers and Montero allows him to round up the suspects for a grand finale reminiscent of the golden age. He examines each one in turn before finally revealing the culprit.

Adam Ludlow seems a bit more pedantic and antisocial in this particular outing than the other two which I have read. It made this shipboard cozy a little less appealing, but Nash (Chapman) still put together a tidy little mystery with plenty of red herrings and suspects with motive and opportunity. I did identify the killer before the final wrap-up, but didn't quite have all the details worked out. A satisfying ★★★ mystery.

First posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting. Thanks.
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02/05/2015 marked as: currently-reading
02/08/2015 marked as: read
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