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Dead Man Docking by Mary Daheim

Dead Man Docking (2005)

by Mary Daheim

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I enjoy spending time with Judith and even Renie but I get a bit tired of the bickering. In this book Renie is invited on a cruise for a client and husband Bill can't join her, so she brings along Judith.

As usual, the first thing that happens is a dead body turning up. This time it is Renie's client and he is found stuffed inside a grand piano.

The search is on for a killer, only this time they are out of their home stomping grounds so they have to rely on another amateur sleuth by the name of Ricky. I really enjoyed their interactions.

I'll keep reading this series because there is a lot I like about the characters and I can ignore the parts I don't like as well. ( )
  bookswoman | Mar 5, 2015 |
AUTHOR: Daheim, Mary
TITLE: Dead Man Docking
DATE READ: 05/08/2014
RATING: 4.5/B+
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Mystery/2005/Avon Books/292 pgs
SERIES/STAND-ALONE: #21 in B&B series
TIME/PLACE: 2004/WA and San Francisco
CHARACTERS: Judith McMonigle FLynn -- B&B owner; Serena "Renie" Jones/Graphic Artist & cousin to Judith

FIRST LINES: "Judith McMonigle Flynn winced, flinched, & grimaced as she held the phone as far as possible from her ear. Cousin Renie was screaming obscenities at the other end & throwing in an occasional death threat. Unable to listen any longer, Judith severed the connection.
COMMENTS: This is a fun series I have been reading for years & have not tired of. It is a cozy mystery but beware the humor can be caustic. Judith & especially Renie don't pull any punches in telling it like it is! This entry is away from their home in the Northwest Pacific and set in San Francisco. Renie's account, Cruz Cruise lines has relocated to San Francisco and she has been invited on a 1930-s themed cruise to the South Pacific. Her husband Bill is detained w/ an emergency case and Judith takes his place. At the pre-launch party the 1st body shows up canceling the cruise. Judith & Renie become friends w/ a couple Rhoda & Rick (ala Nick & Nora) that are also amateur sleuths. Their combined efforts solve the mystery of the 3 murders. The plot/puzzle did keep me guessing until the end.This was a very fun romp and reminds me why I enjoy the series. Hopefully it won't be too long until I visit w/ the cousins again. ( )
  pammykn | May 9, 2014 |
While a lot of authors who use the same central character to solve crimes, they generally give a brief over view of that character's world for those picking up a book in the middle of the series. Diane Mott Davidson, Janet Evanovich, Annelise Ryan, and Joanne Dobson to name a few. This author assumes that everyone reading this book is already familiar with the cast of characters, their backgrounds, and quirks. Additionally, the writing was awkward and unfocused, the story lagged, and it wasn't until page 55 that someone died. The author spent way too much time on things that had very little to do with the crux of the story. ( )
  ChirpyVelcro | Jul 12, 2012 |
Bed and Breakfast owner Judith McMonigle Flynn badly needs a vacation and when her cousin Serena (Renie) is invited to go on a free 1930's themed cruise, Judith agrees to go along. But murder has a habit of finding Judith and before the cruise can even get underway, the body of their host, Magglio Cruz, is found stuffed in a piano. With nothing else to do until their ship sails, Judith and Renie, along with the help of fellow passengers Rick and Rhoda St. George, decide to investigate the murder. They better find the killer soon - dead bodies are starting to pile up and none of them wants to be the next victim.

"Dead Man Docking" is a good, if over the top cozy mystery. Author Mary Daheim takes the 1930's cruise theme to the extreme creating characters straight out of a 1930's movie. Rick and Rhoda St. George (and their dog Asthma) are the best examples of this as they are thinly disguised takeoffs on Nick and Nora Charles. All of this is very amusing but not very believable. Daheim seems to have had a lot of fun writing the book which makes it fun to read, although the humor can be a bit much (Daheim relies a bit too much on puns at times and some of the characters, like the maid are stereotypical to the point of being offensive). The murder mystery elements are fine, although it's hard to believe people would open up as easily as they do to Judith and Renie. Also Judith and Renie tell people that are practically strangers far too much information when for all they know they could be talking to a murderer. There are plenty of suspects (and dead bodies!) and readers will have fun trying to figure out who the killer is. Unfortunately the scene where the killer is revealed is, like most of the book, way over the top and totally unbelievable. I was hoping that Daheim would put in a twist regarding the killer, but she didn't take any chances in this book which is too bad.

"Dead Man Docking" is a good but over the top cozy mystery. ( )
  drebbles | May 8, 2012 |
I don't like books that need to have a cast of characters at the beginning. It makes the book too complicated. After reading the book, I realized that my first thoughts about the book were correct and it was too complicated to be interesting and enjoyable. ( )
1 vote eheinlen | Dec 26, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060566507, Mass Market Paperback)

B&B hostess Judith McMonigle Flynn and her closer-than-a-sibling cousin Renie would be crazy to turn down a free, 1930s-themed South Pacific islands cruise aboard the magnificent San Rafael, the pride of the Cruz Cruises fleet. Unfortunately, the fabulous pre-launch party is as far out to sea as the passengers are likely to get, after the body of their VIP host, Magglio Cruz, is discovered stuffed in the piano and the cruise is cancelled.

Suddenly free to gad about San Francisco with their marooned shipmates -- at least one of whom is possibly homicidal -- the cousins decide to join glamorous, martini-quaffing Rick and Rhoda St. George and their wheezy white pooch, Asthma, for a bit of amateur sleuthing. But the route to Magglio's murderer may not be such smooth sailing. And if Judith, Renie, and the St. Georges aren't careful, they may all end up leaving their hearts in San Francisco . . . and the rest of their mortal remains as well!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:02 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Who in her right mind would turn down a free cruise to the idyllic isles of the South Pacific aboard an ultra-luxurious luxury liner? Certainly not Judith McMonigle Flynn - which is why she and her closer-than-a-sibling cousin Renie Jones are leaving behind the stress of Hillside Manor B&B and hightailing it down to the San Francisco Bay to board the magnificent San Rafael, the pride of the Cruz Cruises fleet. The cousins sail into the pre-launch party on a wave of happy enthusiasm ... which, unfortunately, is about as far out to sea as they will get." "The problem is the piano - or rather, the corpse stuffed in the piano: the body of their AWOL host, Cruz Cruises CEO Magglio Cruz. So the boat trip is postponed, leaving Judith and Renie footloose in Frisco - except for the fact that they're both murder suspects - and free to gad about with the other marooned, disappointed landlubbers, including one who is a homicidal loose cannon." "Among the almost-shipmates, the cousins are inevitably drawn to Rick and Rhoda St. George - a picture-perfect team of glamorous, martini-quaffing, would-be crime-solvers. And since no one has anything better to do, they all decide to work together to solve the crime." "When other stranded San Rafael-ites inexplicably begin turning up dead all over the City by the Bay, Judith, Renie, and the St. Georges realize that if they're not careful, they, too, may end up leaving not only their hearts in San Francisco but the rest of their mortal remains as well."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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