a mystery novel

forthcoming 2019


After seventeen years of practicing law, Simone Ryan is ready for a change.  She wants to quit her job, but the managing partner offers her a project that should be a junket: conducting a comprehensive assessment of onboard entertainment for a cruise line.  As he puts it, she’ll take a lot of cruises and then hang out in Miami and write a long report cataloging all the stupid things she’s seen other people do.  It’ll be like a vacation where she gets paid to criticize people.  

Simone embarks on a transatlantic crossing looking forward to a little work and a lot of relaxation.  When the ship’s celebrity psychic, Celeste Dupree, is murdered, it isn’t Simone’s job to find the killer.  But she knows, if she doesn’t, no one will.  She soon discovers that the middle of the ocean is the perfect place to kill someone.  There's no law enforcement.  No government wants jurisdiction.  Incriminating evidence can be dumped overboard.  Crime scenes become hopelessly contaminated.  

Simone soon finds there's no shortage of suspects.  Moreover, Celeste’s murder isn’t the only challenge Simone faces.  An investigative reporter was shadowing Celeste, and he surfaces to catalogue all of the crew’s missteps.  The ship’s chief security officer is sidelined, and a succession crisis breaks out among the security staff.  Most disconcerting of all, the ship’s senior physician takes a suspiciously tender interest in Simone’s welfare.  Simone doesn’t know how to solve a murder, but she knows she better figure it out before someone else dies.