Mystery Books that Take Place on Cruise Ships – Mystery Books at Sea

Who doesn’t like a restful, yet fun, traveling experience at sea?

Thank you to both Judith and BB for providing us with this great list of Mystery Books that Take Place on Cruise Ships.

This Cozy Mystery Cruise Ship Theme includes mystery books that take place at sea:

Cathy Ace
Cait Morgan Mystery Series
The Corpse with the Diamond Hand

Arleen Alleman
Darcy Farthing Mystery Series
Currents Deep and Deadly
Currents of Vengeance

Conrad Allen (aka Edward Marston & Keith Miles)
Dillman Mystery Series
Murder on the Lusitania
Murder on the Mauretania
Murder on the Minnesota
Murder on the Caronia
Murder on the Marmora
Murder on the Salsette
Murder on the Oceanic
Murder on the Celtic

Steve Allen
Steve Allen Mystery Series
Murder on the Atlantic

Marian Babson
Death Sails at Midnight
Cruise of a Death Time

Donald Bain & “Jessica Fletcher”
Murder, She Wrote Mystery Series
Murder on the QE2
Panning for Murder
The Queen’s Jewels

K. K. Beck
Iris Cooper & Jack Clancy Mystery Series
Death in a Deck Chair

Mike Befeler
Paul Jacobson Geezer-Lit Mystery Series
Cruising in Your Eighties Is Murder

J.S. Borthwick
Deane & McKenzie Mystery Series
Bodies of Water
My Body Lies over the Ocean

Candy Calvert
Darcy Cavanaugh Cruise Mystery Series
Dressed to Keel
Aye Do or Die
Mai Tai to Murder

Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot Mystery Series
Death on the Nile

Carol Higgins Clark
Regan Reilly Mystery Series

Mary Higgins ClarkCarol Higgins Clark
Santa Cruise

Susan Rogers Cooper
Milt Kovak Mystery Series
Dark Waters

Susan Rogers Cooper
E. J. Pugh Mystery Series
Don’t Drink the Water

Mary Daheim
Hillside Manor Bed & Breakfast Mystery Series
Dead Man Docking

William Doonan
Henry Grave Msytery Series
Grave Passage
Mediterranean Grave
Grave Indulgence

Carola Dunn
Daisy Dalrymple Mystery Series
To Davy Jones Below

Aaron Elkins
Alix London Mystery Series
A Cruise to Die For

Jessica Fletcher” & Donald Bain
Murder, She Wrote Mystery Series
Murder on the QE2
Panning for Murder
The Queen’s Jewels

Shelley Freydont
Lindy Haggerty Mystery Series
High Seas Murder

Kerry Greenwood
Phrynne Fisher Mystery Series
Death by Water

Carolyn Hart
Death on Demand Mystery Series
Murder Walks the Plank

Carolyn Hart
Henrie O Mystery Series
Set Sail for Murder

Sue Henry
Alaska Mystery Series
Death Takes a Passage

Maria Hudgins
Dotsy Lamb Travel Mystery Series
Death on the Aegean Queen

Maddy Hunter
Passport to Peril Mystery Series
Hula Done It?

J. A. Jance
J. P. Beaumont Mystery Series
Birds of Prey

R.T. Jordan
Polly Pepper Mystery Series
Set Sail for Murder

Sharon Kahn
Ruby, the Rabbi’s Wife Mystery Series
Don’t Cry for Me, Hot Pastrami

Joshua Kinser
Art Heist on the High Seas
The Cruise Ship Capers and the Missing Klimt

Mary Kruger
Gilded Age Mystery Series
No Honeymoon for Death

Rita Lakin
Gladdy Gold Mystery Series
Getting Old is the Best Revenge

Laura Levine
Jaine Austen Mystery Series
Killer Cruise

Liz Lipperman
Clueless Cook Mystery Series
Murder for the Halibut

Marie Moore
Sydney March Mystery Series
Shore Excursion

Joanne Pence
Angie Amalfi Mystery Series
Cooks Overboard

June Shaw
Cealie Gunther Mystery Series
Deadly Reunion

Elizabeth Daniels Squire
Peaches Dann Mystery Series
Where’s There’s a Will

Susan Sussman & Sarajane Avidon
Morgan Taylor Mystery Series
Cruising for Murder

Denise Swanson
Scumble River Mystery Series
Murder of a Needled Knitter

Marcia Talley
Hannah Ives Mystery Series
Dark Passage

Stella Whitelaw
Casey Jones Mystery Series
Second Sitting
Dead Slow Ahead
A Wide Berth

♦To access more Cozy Mysteries by Theme click on this link.♦


  1. MJ says

    I’m currently reading ‘Murder for the Halibut’ by Liz Lipperman. The setting is on a Caribbean cruise ship, Carnation Queen.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Thank you, MJ. I will be adding her as soon as I can get into the editing page. Who knew there are so many Cruise Ship theme mystery books?!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Janean, I bet you didn’t know you would have this many Cruise Ship mystery books in your near future! (I certainly didn’t.) Aren’t these Cozy Mystery readers great?!?

  2. Deahna says

    Sorry to be a dissenting voice, but Agatha Christie’s “Carribean Mystery” does NOT take place on a cruise ship. There’s not even a cruise ship mentioned.

    All the action happens at a hotel and on their beach. She came there by air (before the books starts) and leaves by air as well (the book ends with her saying goodbye at the airstrip).

  3. Deahna says

    Here’s another one:

    The Queen’s Jewels (Murder, She Wrote) by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain.

    And at least starting out on a cruise ship is Panning for Murder, same series, same author.

  4. Deahna says

    Have just checked my kindle and found two more:

    Chris Mcauley: Love and Murder on the Queen Anne (Rex Mathers Mysteries)

    Carola Dunn: To Davy Jones Below (Daisy Dalrymple Mystery)

  5. BB says

    Well, I was looking up something else and discovered Danna’s description for Marie Moore:
    Moore, an ex-science teacher as well as a writer and managing editor of a newspaper, also owned her own travel agency. She writes the Sydney March Mystery Series, which features a travel agent. Moore has a lot of first-hand experience in the travel agency field, including guiding tour excursions, and going on many, many cruises.

  6. linda c says

    Danna, I’ll wager a bet that quite a few people living on the East Coast would dearly love to be going on a cruise about now, what with the blizzard. Those people sure have had a rough time weather wise for the last several months. Mother Nature sure has a weird way of reminding all of us that we aren’t as in charge as we think we are. Maybe She wants to remind us that we are at her mercy at all times. Here’s hoping that any who frequent this forum of yours are safe and are riding the storm.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Linda, as nice as being on a cruise in lieu of hunkering down for a blizzard, I would probably find myself worrying about my house the entire time I was out at sea. She sure is in charge!

      • linda c says

        This sure was a very timely topic what with those people being stranded on that cruise ship last week. I can’t understand why it took so long for whoever was in charge of bringing that ship to port to do that!! Why couldn’t another ship or say maybe the Coast Guard been sent out to get those people off the ship?? Reminds me sort of when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and all those people were left stranded in the Super Dome for so long. Doesn’t make sense to me!!

        • Danna - cozy mystery list says

          Linda C, or how about how when Hurricane Katrina hit and all of those school buses were just parked in their lots?

  7. Merry says

    Another book that takes place on a cruise ship is J. A. Jance’s Birds of Prey. My husband and I enjoyed the audio version of this story where, J. P. Beaumont accompanies his grandmother and her new husband on their honeymoon cruise to Alaska.

  8. Florence says

    While on a cruise recently I checked a book out of the library about some people connected with an art gallery all being invited on a Caribbean cruise. People disappear. I didn’t get to finish the book before the cruise ended (actually the book disappeared from my stateroom?????…another mystery) and I never did recall the author, nor do I remember the exact title but I think it was “Murder By Knots”. Can anyone help me with this?

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Florence, take a look at Nancy Cohen’s Killer Knots. This might just be the mystery book you are looking for.

      As for your other mystery – can’t help you with that!

    • BB says

      Here’s the description for Murder on the Cruise Ship by V. Hurst (could this be it?):

      This book is a sequel to “Murder at the JC” by the same author. Our story begins with the theft of three famous paintings from the Louvre Museum in Paris. At about the same time the book’s main characters, the Bryans and the Flannerys, fly from Houston to Barcelona to board ‘The Northern Lights’ for their Mediterranean cruise. They befriend a young couple, the Adams, who soon disappear from the ship and are assumed dead. Our foursome spend the rest of their voyage attempting to solve the mystery of the Adams’ disappearance. Later developments back in Houston link this mystery with the theft of the three paintings. Working with the FBI, they eventually apprehend the killer and recover the paintings.

  9. Arleen Alleman says

    Also, my first two in the Darcy Farthing adventures. Mystery, murder, much more and exotic travel around Cape Horn on a cruise ship. Currents Deep and Deadly and Currents of Vengeance.

  10. joan j. says

    Death takes Passage by Sue Henry 1997. For the Centennial voyage of the Yukon Klondikers who went from Skagway Alaska to Seattle with their gold a modern day small ship reenacts the trip and murder occurs along the way. the author has written a number of Alaskan mysteries.

  11. Seth S says

    Might I recommend Red Sand by Ronan Cray. There are two cruise ships, though it discourages most from taking a cruise again.

  12. joan j. says

    I just saw Dark Passage, by Marcia Talley at the Baltimore county public library as just received. according to the synopsis, Hanna Ives who resides in the Annapolis area is taking a cruise with her sister and 14 year old niece who disappears on the ship. It turns out she is not the first one on this ship!!!

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Thank you, Joan J, I just added Marcia Talley’s Dark Passage to the Cruise Ship Mystery books list.

  13. says

    Another good mystery to add to this list is Getting Old Is The Best Revenge, by Rita Lakin. It’s the second volume in her Gladdy Gold series. In this book Gladdy and her friends win a free cruise and find themselves hunting for a murderer on the ship.

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