- Series: Linda Haggerty Mysteries
- Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Kensington (July 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1575666766
- ISBN-13: 978-1575666761
- Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,986,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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High Seas Murder: A Lindy Haggerty Mystery (Linda Haggerty Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2001
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Lindy is a staff member at a privately-funded dance troupe which has been offered the job of dancing on a small cruise ship over the Christmas holidays. Lindy declines because spending the holidays with her family is important to her. Alas, she comes to the sad conclusion that her family could care less about it because although her son is home from college he spends no time with her, her daughter chooses to stay in Europe at school rather than coming home, and her husband chooses to work in Paris over the holidays.
She decides to go on the cruise and mayhem ensues. A music critic with plenty of enemies falls to his death at her feet. A bellicose and drunken cruise singer with a history of wandering eye, but whose act relies on the far-superior talents of his wife, drowns in a pool on deck. Meanwhile, a dance troupe member appears to be having problems of her own with her daughter (that subplot was so obvious they might have highlighted it in neon), shipboard staff are accused of thievery, her friend appears to be embarking on an affair with a newly-outed-as-heterosexual colleague, and a rock star on vacation is romantically interested in Lindy while exhibiting signs of what Lindy feels are drug use. Oh, yeah, and then there's a former flame of hers back home whom she calls upon for help in solving the mystery of what happened to the first dead body. By the time this overly-lengthy book was done, I felt like I'd spent a week becalmed on the high seas with this crew.
There were so many problems with this thin story stretched out over far too many pages that I actually made a list:
1. The murderer was obvious almost immediately
2. The 'main' characters were thinly drawn or laughable caricatures of types
3. There were far too many secondary/tertiary players
4. Lindy's apparent hotness in attracting multiple love interests is never really made obvious to the reader and so seems almost laughable, especially in regards to a rock star on board.
5. Her immediate assumption that one of those love interests was a drug user rather than suffering from an illness requiring medication was ridiculous and offputting. It also made her appear stupid enough that I wondered about her abilities to solve the murder. And in reality, she didn't solve the murder -- the murderer happened to confess in her presence.
6. The lectures about opera and dancing felt like...lectures.
7. Finally, the subplot involving her family's apathy about her existence was just completely unnecessary. And her drama over not receiving a New Year's gift was perplexing -- who exchanges gifts on New Year's?
Lindy Graham-Haggerty is the rehearsal director for the Jeremy Ash Dance Company. The company is hired to perform on a small cruise over New Year's being offered by Cameron Tyler. At first Lindy declines attending because she doesn't want to be away from her husband Glen over New Year's. Plus their son Cliff would be home from the holidays and even though he would spend most of the time with his friends, she wanted to be home to see him as much as possible.
Then Glen gets sent to Paris to work over the holidays and Cliff heads on a ski trip with friends. So, Lindy agrees to go.
She shares a cabin with Biddy McFee, the company's business manager. David Beck, rock star, is their neighbor across the hall.
Suzette Howard is in charge of the Stars of the Metropolitan Opera who will also be performing. Her daughter Dede is traveling with her.
Things start happening when they arrive. When Suzette sees Danny Ross and Adelaide Kyle, the married cabaret act, arrive with their son Richard, she freezes in place. Lindy can't figure out what that was about. Then the first night out, Suzette says Danny Ross was murdered and pushed down the stairs. Nobody is at the bottom of the stairs, and Danny Ross is asleep in bed. Lindy isn't sure what to think..
David Beck is another strange person. He appears to have multiple personalities -- man, child, and rock star.
Then there is a dead body at the bottom of the stairs. But, Cameron Tyler insists on telling everyone (even Lindy) that he just had a concusion and was flown to a nearby hospital. Lindy knows this can't be true; she saw him -- his neck was obviously broken.
More things continue to happen. There's another murder. Lindy befriends David and they begin to try to sort out what is happening.
I highly recommend this book. The dance company characters are just that, characters and Ms. Freydont has done a great job in building each one. They work well together, too.
The cruise as the setting is terrific as well. All the players are confined to a ship. Makes it a little easier to investigate.
As an avid mystery reader, I found this novel entertaining but a little disconcerting. Much of the book seemed to deal with Lindy's strange attraction for the rock star, David Beck; and whether he had a drug habit or not. The strange behaviour of those around her were sidelined until the last quarter of the book when the investigation into the murders took flight.
Also her obsession with her weight (size eight and not a six) was a little tiring. I know that this is important to dancers but when it was mentioned over and over again... I felt like screaming. But I still enjoyed the mystery.