Professional Book Reviews

Danita Dyess
Readers Favorite

Stephen Murray created believable dialogue that enthralled me from the first page. The characters were so colorful, multidimensional and flawed. I loved Sylvia and her refined etiquette, and indulged in Denise Parker’s bravado and manipulations. The pace was fast and the tension was perfect. The backdrop of a cruise ship was ideal. Although the plot is classic, it has a modern twist. The detailed imagery of this affluent family’s lifestyle swept me away and into their elite world. Murder Aboard the Queen Elizabeth II is highly recommended

Linda Thompson

The Sinclair’s are a couple you love to hate. Brian is a pompous womanizer and wife Sylvia is so caught up in being “proper” she forgets how to feel. When they decide to take a cruise aboard the QEII to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, all hell breaks loose and all not only do their true colors come out, but so do those of their guests. Dirty little secrets are revealed and that’s what makes it so much fun. Murray’s depiction of these people speaks of a knowledge of the proper English socialite and of highbrow society. His descriptive writing wraps you into the lifestyle of these characters and leaves you wondering how you got there. I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to hearing more from this gifted author.

Luanna Helena
Voiceover Siren

While a mystery like Murder Aboard the Queen Elizabeth II may be described as an emotional rollercoaster, I found it to be, both literally and figuratively, more like a cruise with countless emotional ports of call. From the beginning, two primary questions are obvious: 1 Who is murdered? 2 Who commits the murder? On the contrary, the answers to these questions are so skillfully woven into the text by the author that the reader is never quite certain of which direction the turn of events may take. This however, is exactly what keeps you turning page after page, gleefully outwitted by the author’s intricate plot until you arrive at the surprisingly unexpected outcome. This same element of unpredictability is also why I recommend Stephen Murray’s Murder Aboard the Queen Elizabeth II to anyone ready to embark on a truly mysterious and thrilling adventure.

Roger Deblanck
Librarian, Clark County Library, Nevada

Stephen Murray, award-winning author of The Chapel of Eternal Love, shifts his focus from crafting memorable Vegas romance stories to exploring the mystery genre in Murder Aboard the Queen Elizabeth II. This is a light and satisfying mystery that can aptly draw comparisons to the iconic Murder, She Wrote television series and the books coinciding with the show. In skillful fashion, Murray develops a well-rounded cast of characters around Brian Sinclair, music mogul of Sinclair Records, and his loyal wife of twenty-five years, Sylvia. They plan their wedding anniversary on the QEII, and to celebrate they invite their children and closest friends. When a member of the party dies on the cruise, it is clear that past conflicts and differences of opinion may lend evidence of possible motives for anyone as the suspect. The shrewd insight and experience of private investigator Richard Manning is required in order to assemble the subtle clues and expose the assailant. Murray does a nice job of maintaining the suspense as the plot builds. The story accelerates to a new gear when Manning begins filtering through the many scenarios to arrive at the truth. With plenty of witty dialogue, heated trysts, and the right amount of sympathy, Murray delivers a page-turning murder investigation that will keep you guessing until the final twist reveals the culprit.

Judge, 25th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.

The author has taken a tried-and-true classic from the murder mystery genre – potential victims, suspects and sleuths all thrown together in an inescapable environment. In this case, though, the author takes the murder mystery aboard the luxurious Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner on a transatlantic voyage. Thus, there is no getting away from the potential murderer and the clock is ticking; the murder must be solved before the ship arrives in New York. The author creates a nice set of characters, mostly socialites celebrating a couple’s 25th wedding anniversary. There are also assorted additional characters, including a detective and the ship’s captain. These devices are handled generally well; the sordid pasts and sexual liaisons of the characters are brought forth through interrogation. The narrative also teases the reader with potential suspects, inviting reader sleuthing as clues are discovered. While the author cleverly places his socialites in QE II suites, the full luxury of the ocean liner isn’t fully exploited. The 30 chapters move along quickly because of the extensive use of dialogue. Overall, the writing is clean. The cover suggests the milieu of the murder mystery if not the nature of the plot.

Andres Fragoso, Jr.

Beverly Hills socialites and their motley crew of friends and family are well described. I felt some connection with each one. Murray explains their lifestyles as if he knew them personally, which is a plus for me. He doesn’t tell us that they’re wealthy and snobby, he shows us. I like a book that can make me hate people, love people and sometimes switch from hate to love.

The story line was great. Murray grabbed my attention later in the book, and I stuck with the story. I couldn’t stop reading and wanted to see it to the end. How he does a mystery novel is a mystery to me. That’s the magic of storytelling. I can honestly say Murray did a great job keeping me in the story. I followed each character’s story line and their status in life.

The twist at the end was good. I was genuinely surprised at it. I enjoy a book when the writer doesn’t give me a clue of who it is and can keep me guessing throughout. I could not for the life of me tell you at the beginning who it would be. The mystery was afoot.