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Five Great Books set on a cruise

2nd August 2021

Five Great Books set on a cruise.

Five Great Books set on a cruiseIt’s still pretty hard to travel. So if you are a cruise enthusiast, why not pick up one these rated titles and transport yourself off seawards?  Whether it’s the Atlantic, the Pacific or somewhere really hot and sultry, the choice is yours!

“The journey, not the arrival matters.” T S Elliot

Passenger 23 by Sebastian Fitzek

On average 23 people a year disappear from the world’s cruise ships. They are written off as accidents or suicides. But what if they’re not?

Five years ago Martin Schwarz, a police psychologist, lost his wife and son. They were holidaying on a cruise ship when they simply vanished. A lacklustre investigation was unable to shed any light on what happened – murder-suicide being the coroner’s verdict. It is a verdict that has haunted Martin ever since, blighting his life. But then he is contacted by an elderly woman, a writer, who claims to have information regarding their fate and wants him to come on board The Sultan of the Seas immediately.

She explains that his wife and son are not the only mother and child pair to have disappeared. Only a few months ago another mother and daughter also vanished. She believes there may be a serial killer on board.

But when the missing daughter reappears – carrying the teddy bear of Martin’s missing son – it becomes apparent that the truth could be much, much worse…

Five Great Books set on a cruiseThe Ocean Liner by Marius Gabriel

Cousins Masha and Rachel Morgenstern board the luxury liner the SS Manhattan bound for New York, desperate to escape the concentration camps that claimed the rest of their family. America offers a safe haven, but to reach it they must survive a hazardous Atlantic crossing.

Among their fellow passengers fleeing the war, each with their own conflicts, secrets and surprises, are the composer Igor Stravinsky, making a new start after a decade of tragedy, and Rose Kennedy, determined to keep her four children from harm. Particularly worrying to Rose is her daughter Rosemary, a vivacious but troubled woman whose love for a Californian musician may derail her family’s political ambitions. And then there’s young Thomas, a Nazi with a secret…

But, under the waves, the Manhattan is being stalked by a German U-boat. Will any of those aboard the ocean liner ever achieve their dream of a new life in America?

The Floating Feldmans by Alyssa Friedland

Sink or swim. Or at least that’s what Annette Feldman tells herself when she books a cruise for her entire family. It’s been over a decade since the Feldman clan has spent more than twenty-four hours under the same roof, but Annette is determined to celebrate her seventieth birthday the right way. Just this once, they are going to behave like an actual family. Too bad her kids didnt get the memo. Between the troublesome family secrets, old sibling rivalries, and her two teenage grandkids, Annette’s birthday vacation is looking more and more like the perfect storm. Adrift together on the open seas, the Feldmans will each face the truths they’ve been ignoring – and learn that the people they once thought most likely to sink them are actually the ones who help them stay afloat.

Five Great Books set on a cruiseDancing Backwards by Salley Vickers

Violet Hetherington has taken the rash step of joining a transatlantic cruise ship to New York to visit Edwin, an old friend. As she makes the six day crossing, she relives the traumatic events that led to her losing Edwin’s friendship, and abandoning her career as a poet, for the safety of marriage and domesticity.

Despite her natural reserve, she meets a rich variety of passengers travelling with her, who affect her understanding of her own past. Most significantly, she meets Dino, the dance host, whose motives in befriending Vi are shady, but who teaches her to ballroom dance – and inadvertently helps her to recover from her past.

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile is shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway has been shot through the head. She was young, stylish and beautiful, a girl who had everything — until she lost her life. Hercule Poirot recalls an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: ‘I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.’ Yet in this exotic setting’ nothing is ever quite what it seems! (The Independent)

 

BONUS BOOKS

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

This was meant to be the perfect trip.

The Northern Lights. A luxury press launch on a boutique cruise ship.

A chance for travel journalist Lo Blackwood to recover from a traumatic break-in that has left her on the verge of collapse, and to work out what she wants from her relationship.

Except things don’t go as planned.

Woken in the night by screams, Lo rushes to her window to see a body thrown overboard from the next door cabin. But the records show that no-one ever checked into that cabin, and no passengers are missing from the boat.

Exhausted, emotional and increasingly desperate, Lo has to face the fact that she may have made a terrible mistake. Or she is trapped on a boat with a murderer – and she is the sole witness…

The Last Cruise by Kate Christensen

The 1950s ocean liner Queen Isabella is making her final voyage–a retro cruise from Long Beach to Hawaii and back–before heading to the scrapyard. For the guests on board, it’s a chance to experience a bygone era of decadent luxury, complete with fine dining, classic highballs, string quartets, and sophisticated jazz. Smoking is allowed but not cell phones–or children, for that matter. But this is the second decade of an uncertain new millennium, not the sunny, heedless mid-twentieth century, and certain disquieting signs of strife and malfunction above and below deck intrude on the festivities, throwing a trio of strangers together in an unexpected and startling test of character.

The Widow’s Cruise by Nicholas Blake

A VINTAGE MURDER MYSTERY

When private detective Nigel Strangeways books tickets for a holiday in the Greek islands with renowned sculptor Claire Massinger, he has no idea that the trip will end in tragedy.

From the moment the boat sets sail it becomes clear that many of his fellow passengers – from a neurotic widow to the ship’s lecturer – have guilty secrets to hide, but do any of them also have a motive for murder? It will take all of Nigel’s insight and flair if he is to uncover the truth.

A Nigel Strangeways murder mystery – the perfect introduction to the most charming and erudite detective in Golden Age crime fiction.

The Ex-Husband by Karen Hamilton

He’s missing, presumed dead. But she still can’t escape.

Charlotte and Sam were partners. In life, and in crime. They never stole from anyone who couldn’t afford it. Wealthy clients, luxury cruise ships. It was easy money, and harmless. At least, that’s what Charlotte told herself, until the world caved in on her.

But now, years after she tried to put that past life behind her, it comes rushing back when her estranged ex-husband Sam suddenly goes missing – and someone threatens to expose what they did.

Desperate to escape whoever is tormenting her, Charlotte takes a job as events planner for an engagement party onboard a superyacht in the Caribbean. For a while, her plan seems to have worked, nothing but open ocean and clear skies ahead. Until it becomes clear that she’s no longer a thousand miles away from harm.

Because whoever is behind it all is onboard too. And now there’s nowhere left to run.

Death under the Perseids by Teresa Dovalpage

There’s no such thing as a free cruise in Cuban American author Teresa Dovalpage’s addictively clever new Havana mystery.

Cuban-born Mercedes Spivey and her American husband, Nolan, win a five-day cruise to Cuba. Although the circumstances surrounding the prize seem a little suspicious to Mercedes, Nolan’s current unemployment and their need to revamp their marriage make the decision a no-brainer. Once aboard, Mercedes is surprised to see two people she met through her ex-boyfriend Lorenzo: former University of Havana professor Selfa Sagarra and down-on-his-luck Spanish writer Javier Jurado. Even stranger: they also received a free cruise.

When Selfa disappears on their first day at sea, Mercedes and Javier begin to wonder if their presence on the cruise is more than a mere coincidence. Worried, Mercedes confides her suspicions to her husband, who—desperate to accept the last-minute invitation he received to
give a lecture at Havana University—convinces her it’s all in her head.

However, when Javier dies under mysterious circumstances after the cruise disembarks in Havana, and Nolan is nowhere to be found, Mercedes wanders through the city, fearing she had been right all along. Will she be next?

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Tina for the TripFiction Team

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021