Despite the contemporary setting, it might as well be 1938— Agatha Christie time—aboard the Queen Guinivere, where p.i. Regan Reilly has been persuaded to travel to New York with dotty old Lady Veronica Exner. Both Regan and Lady Exner are recovering from a jolt: Just before they shipped out, the body of Regan's ten-years'-missing college roommate, Athena Popolous, was discovered during a reunion at St. Polycarp's, right around the corner from the Exner estate. Could the killer have been Lady Exner's nephew and heir-apparent, stammering Prof. Philip Whitcomb, or his improbably sharp-eyed fiancÇe, Val Twyler—or one of the stable of stock villains trying to rob or kill Lady Exner aboard the Queen Guinivere? Fortunately, a stable of equally familiar-looking shipmates (including Regan's universally adored suspense novelist mom, obviously modeled on first-novelist Clark's own famous mother) is on hand to help Regan to a revelation that's a lot less surprising than you might expect. Welcome flashes of mild humor don't lift this from the humdrum.