Book Review: Murder on the Orient S.S. by C. A. Larmer

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Murder on the Orient (SS): (Agatha Christie Book Club, #2)Murder on the Orient (SS): by C.A. Larmer

3.5 stars to the second book, Murder on the Orient (SS), in the Agatha Christie Book Club mystery series, written by C.A. Larmer. I read the first book in this series last year and hadn’t realized several more were already written. This installment was on-sale via Amazon last week for only .99, so I purchased it and found time to catch up this week as I’m focusing on a goal to get current with all my book series. All-in-all, it was a clever mystery with lots of fun stuff.

Alicia and her sister take a cruise near Australia. It’s a modernization (of sorts) of a similar one that tread the ocean in the early 20th century when the Titanic went down. It’s meant to be similar to the fateful train ride in Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. With a cast of a dozen or so strange and hilarious travelers, Alicia’s book club friends try to settle into a good time… until the Captain’s wife is thrown overboard and another patron has a supposed heart attack. When a third victim turns up, something is definitely off! The book club tries to investigate, but one of them, Anders, asks them to stay out of it, as he’s the temporary doctor on the ship. Something’s not right, and Alicia won’t let it sit tight. Of course, she must investigate. When she solves the crime, there are remnants of the fateful train ride it’s meant to shadow, but I assure you, the killer is not the same sort of type. It’s quite a new version in this book.

I’ve got mixed feelings on this book. Parts were very strong. Parts were weak. I felt the book club characters were a little too vague and disconnected. Alicia wasn’t as invested as she was in the first book, but she did play a good detective again. It was missing something, yet I can’t quite put my finger on the root cause. That said, much of it was good. The mystery was strong and had lots of red herrings, angles and valid facts. There were a few plot lines weaving together, and ultimately, they had something to do with each of the deaths. But how they all interacted was quite a mystery until the very end.

I like Larmer’s writing style. There are a few quirks in the story and character dialog, which may or may not be American versus British English, then some Australian being thrown in on the cruise. I found myself thinking “that’s an odd response” hoping it would later be clarified, but it wasn’t. Maybe it was me! I still enjoyed the story and the overall setting. I will read the next one soon, too.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


13 thoughts on “Book Review: Murder on the Orient S.S. by C. A. Larmer

    Priyasha said:
    January 15, 2019 at 3:27 AM

    That’s awesome review 😘✋💗

    Liked by 1 person

    Bella G. Bear said:
    January 15, 2019 at 4:57 AM

    Sounds like a fun quirky quick read:-). It’s a shame it disappointed a bit

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 15, 2019 at 8:04 AM

      Yes! Parts were good. Something just felt slightly off, but still worth a read for the series. It’s fun.

      Liked by 1 person

    delphini510 said:
    January 15, 2019 at 7:47 AM

    I did enjoy ” Murder on the Orient Express” so I might take a chance on this one although I understand from your in-depth review that there are some weaknesses
    in characterisation.
    Good setting on a cruise ship.


    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 15, 2019 at 8:05 AM

      Hi Miriam. It’s a great setting, very different but similar to the train situation. Quirky is a good way to describe it, and the murders are in an odd way, so it’s interesting to compare.

      Liked by 1 person

    tylerus said:
    January 15, 2019 at 12:57 PM

    I like the play/twist on the title . . . enough that I’m intrigued to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    The Cozy Pages said:
    January 16, 2019 at 8:47 PM

    Hmm… I know what you mean about something just not quite working, even when other elements are present… hopefully your next read in this series will be better!

    Liked by 1 person

    lghiggins said:
    January 17, 2019 at 7:47 PM

    It is hard to put yourself as a writer into a position of being compared to Agatha Christie. I can see why a writer would take inspiration from her, but it is probably a mistake. Maybe the next one will be better.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 17, 2019 at 8:43 PM

      Yes! There were plenty of good things about this one. I think it may just be some of the characters I’m not clicking with, but the writing and the plots are very good.

      Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    January 17, 2019 at 8:34 PM

    Sounds like it has all the elements of a good cozy with a few areas of weakness, all in all, not a bad review. I am not starting any new series until I catch up on the multitude that I have started. Good luck catching up on all yours Jay.

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      January 17, 2019 at 8:43 PM

      We’re at least on the same bus then right now! 🙂 It will arrive in a destination we will both be happy with.

      Liked by 2 people

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