Meg Langslow’s maiden sea voyage, a trip to Bermuda, rapidly turns into the cruise from hell.
Of all the offers he’s had to lecture aboard cruise ships, naturalist J. Montgomery Blake has selected Pastime Lines because they’ll give him a steeply discounted rate for all the companions traveling with him. For Monty, that means his daughter and son-in-law; their children, Meg and Rob; Meg’s husband; Rob’s fiancee; Meg’s aunt and two cousins, herbalist Rose Noire and Caerphilly County Deputy Horace Hollingsworth; and zoologist Caroline Willner. Within 24 hours, they’re all sorry they ever booked passage on the Pastime Wanderer. Trevor Ponsonby-West, Monty’s indispensable assistant, takes to his cabin, then vanishes as completely as if he’d never boarded. Desiree St. Christophe, the aging doyenne of ravished-virgin romances, leaps into the Atlantic the first night at sea, provoking not a single tear from Angie Weyburn, Kate Trevanian, Tish Gregory, and Janet Costello, four other writers convinced that Desiree’s plagiarism suit drove their friend Nancy Goreham to suicide five months ago. The Wanderer’s navigation system goes on the fritz, and repairs require cutting all electrical power to the rest of the ship. Most of the thinly stretched crew, and many of the passengers, are stricken with food poisoning. And although there’s no way anybody’s going to find Desiree’s body, Meg and her father’s search of her cabin discloses a quite different corpse. As the Wanderer sits becalmed at the edge of the Bermuda Triangle, giving Rose Noire the willies, Meg’s mother rouses the passengers with a stirring speech: “Many of us are dissatisfied with the current state of affairs on board the ship.”
The Poseidon Adventure with a laugh track that drowns out most of the individual characters’ voices.