As long as he's between assignments and relationships, retired Seattle homicide detective J.P. Beaumont elects to go on a honeymoon cruise to Alaska with Grandma Beaumont, 86, and her 87-year-old bridegroom. Why does Beau think it's a good idea to chaperon these Golden Agers? Presumably because he knows the passenger list will be conveniently full of juicy suspects when, somewhere this side of Juneau, the rich, eminently dislikable Margaret Featherman disappears over the side, presumably assisted by someone even more hands-on than Beau. Now the vacationing shamus finds himself roped into sleuthing by a pair of feckless FBI agents who'd probably benefit even from the Marx Brothers' help. Operating undercover, the feeble feebies are on board the Starfire Breeze because of an activist organization called Leave it to God (LITG), whose members have sworn to eradicate all "doctors who save lives"—on the grounds that if the Almighty hadn't wanted sickness and disease to exist, He wouldn't have created them. And one or more of these nutcases is a seagoing stalker in disguise. Moreover, it turns out that the vanished victim is Doctor Featherman, whose Ph.D. in genetics should have kept her safe from physician-hunters. A case of mistaken doctor-identity, opines Beaumont, and between baby-sitting for the codgers and dallying with a winsome fellow traveler, proves himself right.
Standard fare from the prolific Jance (Devil's Claw, 2000, etc.), and certainly harmless enough for her forgiving audience. Still, something—maybe those beguiling arctic breezes—has produced her hardboiled homicide dick's most sentimental outing yet.