Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Characters we love, mostly fast paced story
Cons: Pacing at either end
The Bottom Line:
No relaxing cruise
Broken ship and suicide
Keep us entertained
This Cruise Will Not be Smooth Sailing
When you think of cruises, you think of relaxation and being pampered. Of course, if Meg Langslow is on the cruise, you know that it will be wild, wacky, and unpredictable. That’s exactly what we get in Terns of Endearment, the twenty-fifth book in the series.
Meg’s grandfather has taken a job on a cruise ship for one voyage presenting nightly lectures on animals and the environment. Primetime, the cruise line, has offered a discount, so Meg and several other family members have joined this cruise to Bermuda. They are sailing on a small ship, only about 200 passengers, but they are looking forward to having fun and relaxing for a few days.
However, things don’t go as planned. The first morning as sea, the passengers wake up to find that the ship is dead in the water. Then, as the captain is briefing the passengers on the situation, another crew member bursts into the meeting to say that one of the passengers has gone overboard. It appears to be suicide, and the captain is willing to write it off as such, but Meg’s dad isn’t so sure. While the passengers wait for the ship to be fixed, he goads Meg into doing a little investigating. What will she uncover?
Those familiar with the series will be thrilled to know that among the family members on board the ship are the usual suspects, so to speak. While I must admit that I find the characters more amusing than funny these days, they never fail to entertain me, and this book is no exception. I grinned multiple times at the antics of the characters. And yes, I did laugh a few times as well, although that was mostly at the new characters. We have a ship full of new characters to get to know, and author Donna Andrews does a great job of adding them to the cast and making them memorable. I also appreciated the way she developed some of them as the action unfolded.
And unfold the action does. After an admittedly slow start, the action really kicks off when the ship stops. Yes, the ship becoming stranded seems to be the event that sets things in motion. Between that and the suicide (sorry, apparent suicide) there is plenty to keep our attention, and I was completely hooked. The twists surprised me and the book sucked me in so much that I read the final 200 pages in 24 hours, while sleeping and working during that time. The ending was a bit rushed, but everything was wrapped up nicely.
I have to take a moment to again mention that this is the twenty-fifth book in the series. It’s rare a series lasts this long, but not only is Meg still around, but she is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, we will get another Christmas book in this series next month. While the characters have grown and changed over the years, we get a fun reference to an important part of some of the early books in the series here, and it made me smile.
Terns of Endearment proves why this series has lasted so long – delightful characters and page turning stories. This is a relaxing book you’ll enjoy, although you might not want to take it on your next cruise.
Be sure to check out the rest of the Meg Langslow mysteries.