Thanks to her children's ingenuity, food columnist Carolyn Blue is looking forward to a great Mother's Day present: a gourmet cruise on the Bountiful Feast to the Canary Islands. But it's not all smooth sailing when her husband Jason bows out to attend a conference and Carolyn is saddled with two reluctant cabinmates -- her mother-in-law and her ex-cop friend Luz Vallejo.

Then, an annoying female passenger disappears at a port of call; a stop in Casablanca is cancelled due to State Department warnings; the passengers are drugged; and the staff goes on strike. It's not exactly how she planned to spend her holiday, but Carolyn dives into the fray with her usual style.

Fairbanks' indomitably chatty sleuth sips, tastes and shops her way from port to port as she pokes and prods the cruise line staff for answers and fends off a flirtatious suitor. Readers familiar with Carolyn can look forward to a friendly visit with old friends and more delectable recipes to try. (Apr., 304 pp., $12.95)
Reviewed by: 
Pat Cooper