Hal is struggling to get by in the years after her mother’s death, reading tarot cards for tourists and dodging loan sharks who want their money repaid. When the notice of her supposed grandmother’s death arrives, with promises of potential windfall, Hal decides to step into the roll. The only plan is to walk away with enough money to get her out of the hole, but she has a lot more coming to her, in more ways than one.
A couple years ago, and read Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10, and didn’t enjoy it. When I saw this one at the airport bookstore on our way out to vacation last month, I thought it looked exactly like my kind of book. I really like books with elements of the occult. But I really like books that are set on cruises, too, and since Cabin 10 (set on a cruise) failed me, I decided to go a safer route that day in the bookstore. I ordered this one from the library instead.
Turns out, it was good. Really good. Read-it-in-a-day, drop-all-else good. The pacing was excellent, the characters were fun, the mystery was well woven. I did guess the answer long before Hal did, but it never felt like it was obvious from page 1 or anything. And I enjoyed Hal’s journey along the way. The book wasn’t perfect – some continuity errors bothered me (like a character using Hal’s nickname long before Hal ever told her) – but it made for an enjoyable afternoon, and I’m glad I gave Ware’s books a second chance.