A Cruise to Die For

An Alix London Mystery, Book 2
Narrated by: Kate Rudd
Series: Alix London, Book 2
Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
4 out of 5 stars (416 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This should be the cushiest job Alix London's ever had.

The second Alix London Mystery finds the art restorer in a world brimming with idle luxury, spectacular locations, and deadly intrigue.

Surrounded by art and wealth and the sun-drenched Greek isles, she's aboard a sumptuous mega-yacht with no responsibilities save the occasional lecture to the guests of her temporary employer, Panos Papadakis, one of the world's richest men. But there's a catch: Papadakis has long been suspected of being at the center of a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme and Alix is actually there as an undercover operative of FBI special agent Ted Ellesworth, a member of the Bureau's Art Crime Team. They hope Alix can gather the inside information they need to finally put the cagey Papadakis away.

Alix's exposure to the enormous wealth of high-end collectors and the shadier aspects of the art trade - the avarice, naked greed, and ingenious scams - somehow brings her closer to her charming, "reformed" rogue of a father, and helps crystalize in her own mind just where she fits into the mix.

Moguls, murders, a forged Manet, and the Albanian mafia all play a role and send this pleasure cruise into brutally dangerous waters.

Set on the Aegean - Homer's fabled "wine-dark sea" - with stops at enchanted islands where ancient legends still live, A Cruise to Die For delivers a witty blend of suspense and mystery, as well as an insider's take on the contemporary art world and its eccentric characters. It's all served up with the style and sophistication with which Charlotte and Aaron Elkins have rewarded mystery listeners for the past 30 years.

©2013 Charlotte and Aaron Elkins (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent cozy mystery

A cruise to Die For is Book 2 in the art expert Alix London series by married writers Charlotte and Aaron Elkins. The publisher's summary is rather long but it sets up the novel well without spoilers. Alix's relationships with her convicted art forger dad and with her FBI contact add additional interest to the story. Kate Rudd narrates very well.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Albania, Aegean, Art and Alix

Alix London returns in Book 2, assigned as undercover op for the FBI to take an art cruise on the Aegean Sea with high roller, self-absorbed Panos Papadakis, long suspected of running a Ponzi scheme, selling off stakes on his expensive art works . . . but no sooner than Alix boards the ship, she notices that the prize of the upcoming art auction, a Manet, is a fake . . . the deeper she gets, the more dangerous . . . and soon FBI special agent Ted Ellesworth joins her on the cruise, unexpectedly . . . and the sparks fly in more ways than one . . . fun, interesting and different . . . looking forward to Book 3!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I loved A Dangerous Talent

Would you try another book from Charlotte Elkins and Aaron Elkins and/or Kate Rudd?

I'd try another book by the Elkins' but not with this narrator. I hate to dis' a narrator since I have been one, but this woman's voice drove me up a wall. The intro to the story was too technical and didn't give a background of Alix London. Since this is the second in a series readers might want to know. did like the information about art forgery and theft, since my artbook club is studying this.Sorry, I want my mony back.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I'm really into the Taos art scene right now. I'll probably read more about the original Taos Society of Artists.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator sounded as if she were reading and had an irritating little whistling noise on some word endings. Her attempt to change dialects just didn't happen or were poorly executed. Narration needs to be more of a performance

Any additional comments?

I'd like a refund. I couldn't get very far into the book

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

enjoyed

I really enjoyed this story.
I plan to listen the rest in the series it was just a cute mystery with normal people and a little fun. No psychological craziness, a good book

Will check out the next one

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A fun mystery on a Mediterranean cruise

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hard to start

The beginning was a bit painful, mostly due to the narrator. But after a while it settled down and became a standard mystery.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Cozy Mystery Series!

I like this series, maybe a little too much artsy-fartsy stuff in it, but not bad. And it's not a romance novel, masquerading as a mystery.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

not much surprise

The ending was disappointing. All the investigations led to little outcome. All of a sudden a new chapter announced the culprit. That, along with each supposed surprise for the main character being simple minded, dashed the suspenseful lead up into cold water.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Didn’t Enjoy

I had great difficulty with this narrator. She cannot do accents at all. It would have been fine if she had just read the words and not attempted an accent. Further, to show emotion or excitement the narrator shouted into my ears. At the very least, the narrative stream needs better equalization.

To be honest, I painfully listened to the 1st 4hrs, then skipped to the end. I might read the kindle edition one day since the story itself seemed fine.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

An okay short story padded with hours of verbiage

This is the second book in the Alix London series and a definite step down from the opening book. I like the writing style of these authors, but large swathes of this book seemed to be filler that didn’t hold my interest or contribute to the story. In the end, there was a mystery and even some action, but really this book could have been edited down by half without losing anything. Speaking of editing, other reviewers are correct that there is a glaring editing error near the end, but it didn’t affect my rating as it could have been fixed very quickly and easily. It is sloppy but you can easily make the corrections in your imagination and the story holds together. All in all, if this was my first read of the series, it would be one and done, but I did enjoy the first book so I’ll continue.