SAIL AWAY by Celia Imrie


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Acting roles are pretty sparse for women over 60, so British actress Suzy Marshall seizes the opportunity to play Lady Bracknell in a Swiss production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Things go terribly awry, though, and she unexpectedly finds herself playing detective on a cruise ship.

Suzy might have seen the writing on the wall earlier: Reg, the director, had some very strange ideas, including desecrating the famous handbag scene with a barbershop quartet, and the actors’ flights to Zurich were all cobbled together with last-minute tickets. Luckily, her fellow actors were marvelous—except for whiny Stan Arbuthnot—especially Jason Scott, a young man eager to plot with Suzy behind Reg’s back. Yet the morning after Jason escapes a sketchy party hosted by the play’s financial backer, the play is suddenly cancelled, return plane tickets voided, and all the actors' bank accounts drained. Suzy and Jason land entertainment jobs aboard the Blue Mermaid, a ship bound for New York. Together they begin some online sleuthing, trying to piece together what happened in Zurich. Meanwhile, Amanda Herbert has found herself homeless for a few weeks, pending the closing of her purchase of a London flat from a jittery seller. Treating herself to a cruise sounds wonderful, and soon, via internet, Amanda takes possession of the flat, letting her son housesit for her. All is well until Amanda’s son is mysteriously arrested. With sly, charming villains committing dastardly deeds, Olivier award-winning actor Imrie (Nice Work (If You Can Get It), 2016, etc.) brings her own theatrical experience to bear on this refreshing whodunit, carefully tightening the strings bringing Amanda, Suzy, Jason, the villain, and a constellation of quirky characters (including Myriam La-Grande-Motte with her hilarious malapropisms) together.

This charming collision of Agatha Christie and The Love Boat will delight fans of classic mysteries.

Pub Date: June 19th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-63557-183-7
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2018


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