Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A Cruise to Die for by Charlotte and Aaron Elkins

Title: A Cruise to Die For (Alix London #2)
Author: Charlotte Elkins, Aaron Elkins
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Source: Purchased
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

This should be the cushiest job Alix London’s ever had.

The second Alix London mystery finds the art restorer in a world brimming with idle luxury, spectacular locations, and deadly intrigue.

Surrounded by art and wealth and the sun-drenched Greek isles, she’s aboard a sumptuous mega-yacht with no responsibilities save the occasional lecture to the guests of her temporary employer, Panos Papadakis, one of the world's richest men. But there’s a catch: Papadakis has long been suspected of being at the center of a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme and Alix is actually there as an undercover operative of FBI special agent Ted Ellesworth, a member of the Bureau’s Art Crime Team. They hope Alix can gather the inside information they need to finally put the cagey Papadakis away.

Alix’s exposure to the enormous wealth of high-end collectors and the shadier aspects of the art trade—the avarice, naked greed, and ingenious scams—somehow brings her closer to her charming, "reformed" rogue of a father, and helps crystalize in her own mind just where she fits into the mix.


When FBI agent Ted Ellesworth asks Alix to help be his eyes and ears during an art auction on a luxury yacht, it seems more like a vacation than a job. Elkins did a great job showing the luxury and decadence of the Greek tycoon's yacht and captures some of the very unique personalities on board very well.

What she finds instead is a possible counterfeit, maybe a murder, and a stream of finances that just isn't adding up. Once again she's neck deep in a mystery involving the high-end art world. This one was a little more convoluted than the first with lots of hands in the pot and tangled webs wrapping around things.

One of the best things about the series so far - I don't figure it out halfway through. There are enough hints that point me in a general direction, but the big reveal only happens when Alix and her "crew" all get together and share their collective information. The fact that it takes the entire team to figure out all the details in the end only makes things better.

The ending of this was quite intense though. More so than I expected, but it kept me on the edge of my seat until the last page.

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