For those who enjoy great forensic whodunits, Jane Bennett Munro's THE BODY ON THE LIDO DECK is definitely for you!
Pathologist Dr. Toni Day is on a Caribbean Cruise vacation with her husband, Hal, her stepfather, Nigel, and her mother, Fiona. What begins as a lovely getaway soon takes a grisly turn. On their first night at sea, Toni's awakened by what she believes was a scream. When nothing untoward happens, she decides to go up on the Lido deck with a book and wait to watch the sunrise. Instead of seeing a rising sun, she sees a falling body plummeting toward her from the automated sunroof!! With the body on deck and a head bouncing into the pool, Toni does what she does best...begin the search for clues for identity and cause of death.
Being aboard a ship owned and operated out of Britain, it helps immensely that Nigel is a former Scotland Yard detective. Using Nigel's experience and connections as the means to getting the captain's and crew's cooperation, Toni is soon immersed in investigating not one, but multiple bodies and many possible suspects with plenty of reasons for committing murder. As she gets closer to the answers however, she's getting into more dangerous territory and soon the ONLY people she can truly trust are Hal, Nigel and Fiona!!
The action begins with the first page and doesn't slow down until the last page! For a reader who feels they're good at figuring out "whodunit" long before the story ends, I challenge you to figure out the culprit(s)? responsible in this page-turning read!!
From the US Review of Books
The Body on the Lido Deck by Jane Bennett Munro iUniverse
reviewed by Yuliya Geikhman
"[I] saw something fall. With a squishy thud, it hit the edge of the swimming pool and bounced into the water. Red-tinged ripples spread out from where it went in. ... A trick of the light? Or was it blood?"
Pathologist Toni Day is supposed to be relaxing on a cruise to the Caribbean, but when a decapitated head nearly lands in her lap, she just has to get involved. Someone has killed a woman then stuffed her body into the roof the Lido deck. The captain is acting suspiciously, the crew's doctor is nowhere to be found in crucial moments, and, as far as Toni is concerned, no one can be trusted. How did the woman wind up in the closed roof? How does this case connect to an unsolved murder from twenty-five years ago? And why can't any of the evidence ever seem to stay in one place? Joined by her quiet husband, her overly-sensitive mother, and her retired Scotland Yard Chief Superintendent, Toni tracks the scent of a killer on board the cruise ship, even if it means placing herself in danger.
Generally, two things make or break a good mystery book: The mystery and the protagonist. Toni Day is a mixed bag for a protagonist. She's resourceful and clever, and she has a wealth of medical knowledge to draw from. However, she is also abrasive and meddling, poking her nose everywhere and making few friends in the process. She is determined to solve this mystery, even if she has no authority in the matter, which is a fact she glosses over by throwing her father's credentials around whenever necessary. Despite her flaws, Toni guides the readers through the investigation smoothly, taking plenty of twists and turns along the way. The mystery's nomadic setting—on a cruise ship still on course for its vacation destinations—and the protagonist's go-getter attitude make for an enthralling beach read.
CLARION REVIEW * * * * * MYSTERY
The Body on the Lido Deck
Jane Bennett Munro
iUniverse (Aug 19, 2016)
Softcover $20.99 (290pp)
The Body on the Lido Deck will delight any lover of quirky mysteries and fascinating forensic crime novels.
The Body on the Lido Deck by Jane Bennett Munro is a brisk thriller with scientific smarts and solid detective 'work from a likable leading lady. 1
Pathologist Toni Day is sailing blissfully aboard the North Star on a Caribbean cruise with her family. One Sunday, just as dawn is breaking over'the coast of Barbados, Toni is awakened by odd noises out on the Lido deck and leaves her cabin to invetigate. When the mangled body of a woman falls into the pool before her eyes, Toni uses her keen curiosity, forensic expertise, and Scotland Yard connections to hunt a killer.
With only days left on the journey, more bodies surface, and Toni calls on the aid of her stepfather, a retired homicide detective. The two work quickly to solve the case and save the ship's passengers-and themselves-from an invisible threat. From Barbados to Puerto Rico to the Fort Lauderdale port, The Body on the Lido Deck starts with a scream and ends with a satisfying snap.
Toni is feisty and fearless; diving into a swimming pool to examine a decapitated head is all in a day's work for
her, as is challenging the authority of both the ship's crew and foreign police. She is a natural detective with scientific
training, and she moves swiftly on her mission, asking limitless questions, performing an autopsy in the ship doctor's small office, and using the resources at her disposal to collect and preserve valuable evidence. The technical lingo on the details of pathology appears to be spot-on but readable, and even a novice to the inner workings of the post- mortem process can follow Toni's explanations.
Despite her initial busybody demeanor, as a narrator, Toni brings a heaping dose of heart to the story. As caring as she is tenacious, her actions are driven by justice and truth. Her affection for her family is evident as she works to balance her fast-paced work. life with her longtime marriage to Hal, a professor, and her close relationship with her prim and proper mother, Fiona. Toni entertains and exasperates everyone on board in her pursuit for clues. She is perceptive and cautious, bubbly and authentic, and the story is effectively told in first person, keeping Toni
relatable and self-aware.
At times, the book unfolds so rapidly that it's tempting to get lost in the waves of information. Each port of call adds more supporting characters, as well as potential killers and victims, but Munro's plot-driven writing keeps the story on course.
This book offers believable dialogue, a breakneck pace, and a unique story that breathes new life into the literary murder-comedy genre. It's Jessica Fletcher meets CS/, with the usual crime-scene gore and droning medical jargon now wrapped up in a charming, entertaining package.
The Body on the Lido Deck will delight any lover of quirky mysteries, easy-to-read medical dramas, and fascinating forensic crime novels.