Before taking up his duties for the state of Washington, former detective J.P. Beaumont agrees to accompany his grandmother and her new husband on their honeymoon cruise to Alaska.

At first the cruise promises to be pleasant but uneventfuluntil one of Beaus tablemates disappears. Through a bit of luck, its discovered that the woman was tossed overboard and the only witness was an Alzheimers patient who watched the whole thing on the ships closed-circuit TV.

Beau is mistaken for an FBI agent and soon finds himself taking an active role in the case. He learns about a plot to do away with prominent physicians and their patients, and that the missing woman was married to a doctor. The ship has a limited population but there are suspects aplenty.

The inimitable J.A. Jance puts her own spin on the popular theme of murder on board in BIRDS OF PREY. The suspense is brilliantly done, and readers will be hooked from page one. (Mar., 400 pp., $24.00)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg