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Terns of Endearment  By  cover art

Terns of Endearment

By: Donna Andrews
Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
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Publisher's summary

Meg's grandfather has been booked to give lectures on a cruise as part of the education/entertainment itinerary, and he's arranged for a passel of family members to join him. The passengers’ vacation quickly becomes a nightmare when they wake up to find themselves broken down and in need of repairs. Things get even worse when a crew member announces to all that a woman has jumped overboard, leaving behind her shoes, shawl, and a note. The note reveals she's a disliked member of a writers' group onboard for a retreat, and the group is split on whether this is in-character for her.

The captain decides not to investigate, saying he'll notify American authorities when they reach their destination. But Meg's father decides they need to look into whether there was possible foul play while the prime suspects are all stuck on board. It'll be a race against the clock to solve this mystery before they make the necessary repairs and return to shore.

©2019 Dreamscape Media, LLC (P)2019 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Critic reviews

"Narrator Bernadette Dunne expertly establishes a personal connection between listeners and the passengers on a cruise ship that breaks down in the Caribbean.... Through Dunne's seamless performance, listeners feel the passengers' dread, disgust, and, finally, outrage over the incompetence of the cruise line. Dunne will have listeners cheering as they mutiny to fix solve the possible murder, along with the problems with the ship." (AudioFile Magazine)

What listeners say about Terns of Endearment

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Wonderful

Almost perfect. Does not take a tern for the worst. How can you not laugh when Meg's mother takes charge to fix everything; by tasking Meg who is up to the challenge.

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And now I have the pre order!

verbal-humor, situational-humor, family-dynamics, murder-investigation, cruise-ship, amateur-sleuth

***** A noted wildlife lecturer with entourage, an MD/ME, a holistic practitioner, a tech geek, a CSI tech, Meg Langslow with husband and twins, three popular fiction writers and one marketable but despicable one, a tippling captain, a full complement of passengers, and an overworked crew. What could possibly go wrong between Baltimore and Bermuda? Well, a suspected suicide, the cruise ship becoming disabled with no electricity or WiFi or water service while in the Bermuda Triangle, and that's just for starters. Great sleuthing with twists and red herrings abound in a real groan of a good book!
I requested and received a free ebook copy from St Martin's Press/Minotaur Books via NetGalley. Thank You!

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The Cruise from Hell!

Meg Langslow gets on board a cruise ship bound for Bermuda with her grandfather, the famous biologist Dr. Blake, and 14 other members of her family and friends in Terns of Endearment by Donna Andrews. The cruise line Pastime shows a degree of poor customer service from the start, but the cruise still gets off to a smooth start. As Michael and the twins play miniature golf outside, Meg goes to the lounge, where she meets four delightful women on a writer’s retreat that also is serving as a memorial cruise to honor Nancy, the fifth member of their group, who committed suicide five months earlier. The writers are horrified to discover that they have been joined on the cruise by Desiree St. Christophe, a has-been romance writer whom the writers blame for having triggered Nancy’s suicide.

Then, at 4:30 in the morning, Meg awakens to find the ship still, with the power out, and goes on board the deck to see what has happened. Finding nothing but a still sea in every direction she looks, Meg goes back to her room. But in the later morning, with the ship’s still remaining without power, no one can use any lights, run any water, or even flush the toilets. The captain remains hidden from the passengers, but the first officer gives useless platitudes to everyone before a crew member comes running into the room with the news that someone has gone overboard. Meg follows in their wake to see the expensive shoes and scarf of Desiree, along with a suicide note, next to the side of the fourth deck. She manages to snap some pictures before the captain picks up the items and cleans up the scene. Mystery writer Angie joins Meg’s father, the medical examiner, and cousin Horace, the crime scene technician, in determining to investigate in the chance that Desiree did not go overboard willingly.

As the ship remains still, things deteriorate on board, with the crew members disappearing at every opportunity, leaving the passengers to fend for themselves. As Meg begins to investigate suspicious happenings, this cruise turns into the cruise from hell, requiring the passengers to take back their power and the ship.

I had high hopes for Terns of Endearment, and I was not disappointed in the least by this delightfully fun book. The cruise created a fun setting for a locked- room mystery, though it did cause some of my favorite characters from Caerphilly to be left out of the book. However, the sea setting allows for crazy antics that we wouldn’t see on land. One of the strengths of Andrews’s books is the depth of her characters, which then sets up opportunities for incredibly humorous situations. I especially liked the four authors, each of whom has a fully fleshed out personality and unique style of books. For example, Angie allows Meg’s father and cousin Horace to show their crime-solving passion, while Janet allows Michael and the twin boys to show off their sword-fighting skills.

Another of Andrew’s strengths is the way the characters work together to solve their community problems. We see this trend build up in such books as Some Like It Hawk, Duck the Halls, and especially Lark, the Herald Angels Sing, but Terns of Endearment demonstrates this in a special way. The lesson of the value of teamwork inspires and adds exciting plot devices to the book.

The audio edition of Terns of Endearment is performed by Bernadette Dunne. I first experienced this book by reading an ARC (Advanced Review Copy) of the book and highly enjoyed it. But when I got an ARC of the audiobook to review for AudioFile Magazine, the book came alive so much more effectively than in the visual version. Dunne does a fantastic job of giving extra personality to each character and makes us experience the drama on the ocean in a unique way.

I greatly enjoy all of Donna Andrews’s books and have listened to each numerous times. Terns of Endearment will soon catch up with all the other books as one in which I will soon be quoting and citing. It is a delightful book that I highly recommend to all. I give the book five stars!

Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Review Copy of this book in both print and audio, but that had no impact on the content of my review.

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Murder and Suicide on the Ocean

Meg's grandfather, Dr, Blake, has decided to start touring and giving lectures on cruise ships. When they get to the pier things start to go wrong right away. Meg is standing guard over the luggage and is getting frustrated that it still has not been loaded. Then when she finally gets on board, she goes to a restaurant/bar on the ship to get a drink and try to relax before they take off. She is invited to join the authors at their table as three men who are acting boorishly try to convince her to join them. As they start their second day, the ship stops. It is not moving, there is no electricity and no water and the food is becoming dangerous. As they start the second day, they find that the one author who came on the ship has disappeared and may have committed suicide, they find the body of the engineer and soon Meg and her mother get passengers organized to run the whole thing until they can get the coast guard to believe them and send help.

This story was just as fun in some ways, but makes me think I definitely do not want to ever go on a cruise!

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Another great installment

Donna Andrews has written another great installment in her Meg Langston series. All the usual characters were present as well as a few new enjoyable characters. I always look forward to enjoying Meg’s latest adventures. If you are new to this series I highly recommend starting with book 1, Murder with Peacocks.

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  • MT
  • 08-27-20

fun change of setting

Very good mystery and I loved the change of scenery and lots of new characters. Please keep them coming!

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meg langslow series

loved it. Donna Andrew's knocked it out of the park on this one. kept me guessing right till the end

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