A crime writer confronts the real deal on a cruise ship headed up the coast of West Africa.
Passengers have so many reasons to love the Goldencruise line. The ships are small, allowing guests to form friendships quickly. The destinations are exotic: not the boring paddles around the Mediterranean beloved of cruise novices but excursions to hidden gems like Uluru and the Falkland Islands. And the staff members, from the expedition guides to the butlers, are uniformly accommodating and efficient. First-timer Francis Meadowes counts himself lucky. In return for a single lecture on the history of British crime fiction, he's earned a free junket from Cape Town to Dakar aboard the Golden Adventurer, with day trips to Lomé, Takoradi, and the Bijagos Archipelago. Of course, when the inevitable corpses start turning up, Francis’ trip seems less of a bargain, especially since the captain, reluctant to have the local police clomping through the Panorama Lounge, decides that a quiet, circumspect crime writer would be the ideal person to investigate. But since he did have some luck solving the murders at the Mold-on-Wold literary festival (The Festival Murders, 2018), Francis agrees to give it a go, especially given an added incentive: The captain has assigned comely expedition guide Carmen to assist him. But can the amateur sleuth wrap up the case of the corpse-laden cruise before his is the next body in the Adventurer’s increasingly packed morgue?
A mundane mystery, typical shipboard hijinks, and a splash of local color vie for the reader’s attention in the second outing for McCrum’s crime-solving crime writer.