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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dead on the Water: Shipboard Mysteries



I've read a number of books lately that happened to be set on ocean liners, cruise ships and whatnot, including titles by Carter Dickson, Marion Mainwaring and Boris Akunin. Then I finally had a chance to see the 1978 adaptation of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile. Which led me to start wondering what other such works were out there and that led to an article that recently appeared at Criminal Element, titled Dead on the Water: Shipboard Murder Mysteries.

It’s probably not surprising that so much mystery fiction is set on cruise ships and similar vessels. This form of travel used to be the only game in town for going great distances across large bodies of water. Nowadays, people are less likely to travel this way out of necessity, but there’s a thriving cruise industry that depends on pleasure seekers taking to the water. For mystery authors, fiction set on the water has the bonus of allowing them to isolate a group of victims/suspects from the rest of the world. Given how much of this fiction exists, it would be foolish to try to look at it all in one short article, so I will stick with some highlights.

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