A Cruise To Die For
Review: Alix London, the daughter of a master art restorer … and professional forger, has learned much from her father, enough that she is an expert in identifying forgeries. Her talent has attracted the attention of the FBI and as a member of their Art Crime Team, she's on assignment as an undercover agent aboard the mega-yacht of Greek tycoon — and art collector — Panos Papadakis in A Cruise To Die For, the second mystery in this series by Charlotte and Aaron Elkins.
Alix is hardly the only guest aboard the Artemis, a 239' boat cruising the Aegean Sea. Indeed, her cover is to chat with Papadakis's fellow art patrons, who are there to bid on a number of paintings that are to be auctioned off. The FBI believes that Papadakis is running a Ponzi scheme, artificially inflating the value of high-end art to entice new customers to buy in early for future returns. But Alix is shocked to discover that some of Papadakis's master works are forgeries, including a Manet that is a highlight of the auction. But before it could be sold, someone slashed the painting and back in New York City a known art forger is murdered. Has Alix's cover been blown?
While Alix London and her FBI partner Ted Ellsworth are endearing as the lead characters, the rest of the cast is but a caricature of the "rich and famous": silly, selfish and absurd. The story would have been better balanced had the suspects — and nearly everyone is a suspect here — been a little more three-dimensional. Still, the setting is magnificently drawn and the murder mystery plot interesting (though takes its time getting going). And as a bonus for readers who enjoy "clean" narratives, there is no sex, coarse language, or horrific acts of violence to detract one's reading pleasure.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of A Cruise To Die For.
Acknowledgment: Thomas & Mercer provided a copy of A Cruise To Die For for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Art Whisperer
Thomas & Mercer (Trade Paperback), August 2014
ISBN-13: 9781477824559; ISBN-10: 1477824553
Location(s) referenced in A Cruise To Die For: New York City; Greece
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A Cruise To Die For by Charlotte and Aaron Elkins — An Alix London Mystery
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: September 2013
List Price: $14.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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