Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Cruise to Die For (Alix London #2), by Charlotte Elkins (author), Aaron Elkins (author), Kate Rudd (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, September 2013

Alix London, after not hearing from Ted Ellesworth for much longer than she expected, gets a call from him at last.

He wants her to do another job for the FBI, and this one is undercover. Well, not really, he says. She'll be going on a luxury cruise with a Greek financier and art investor. The Greek tycoon, Panos Papadakis, is auctioning off twenty-three highly valued art works, and he wants someone to talk to his guests/customers about art in general and these works and artists in particular. The FBI wants her to just listen for any tidbits about his fractional investment scheme, which they suspect of being in reality a Ponzi scheme. What could be easier?

But Alix hasn't been aboard much more than an hour when she recognizes--though for reasons she can't immediately pinpoint--that the Manet in the auction is probably a fake, and is almost immediately hit on the head. With Panos and his American wife Gabby, as well as some of the boat's security, standing over her as she regains consciousness, she incautiously blurts out her suspicions.

Oh, and the Manet has been slashed, too. It won't be in the auction after all.

The cruise gets stranger and stranger, with some very interesting people included among the tiny number of people invited to join the cruise and be physically present for the auction. It gets even stranger when Ted arrives, posing as the nephew of a countess who was invited but hurt her knee and couldn't make the trip. If Ted is going to be there, why was Alix needed?

Alix is enjoying the luxury, and even making friends with Gabby and a few others on the cruise, but the real questions are, a)what's wrong with the Manet (other than the slash), b)what's with Ted's onIagain/off again behavior, and c)just what is her (supposedly) ex-art forger father's "new undertaking"?

It's an engaging story, an interestingly convoluted plot, and not too heavy. I like Alix, and increasingly her dad. Overall, it's a fun read or listen.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.