The Widow’s Cruise

The Widows Cruise
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Nicholas Blake
8 February 2018
Agora Books

The Widows Cruise is part of Nicholas Blake’s Nigel Strangeways mystery series.

“The only thing I have against cruise life,” said Clare, yawning again, “is that it’s turning us all into busybodies and gossips.”

Renowned sculptor, Clare Massinger, is in a bit of a creative slump. To provide a little inspiration, Nigel Strangeways books them a relaxing cruise on the Aegean Sea. Filled with Greek temples, swimming pools, and sandy beaches, this scenic vacation should be the perfect getaway. But when they meet the other passengers, Nigel and Clare realize the cruise may not be as peaceful as planned.

It seems everyone knows everyone else’s business: a schoolteacher recovering from a nervous breakdown is confronted by a former student; a scholar is embarrassed by a scornful reviewer; a seductive temptress is known to a Bishop, and, to top it off, two busybodies are keeping tabs on everyone.

As the passengers’ lives become increasingly intertwined, it seems a plot for revenge may be afloat. Amidst steamy assignations, false accusations, and suicide threats, Nigel’s holiday doesn’t last long, and he must take charge to uncover the truth before the passengers have something more disturbing to gossip about…

The Widow’s Cruise was first published in 1959.


‘A detective story of the kind on which he built his reputation. The writing is as smooth and literate as ever… civilized, agreeably relaxed and yet intellectually flattering.’ — Times Literary Supplement

A masterly example of the classic whodunit. The build-up before the murders, the clever enquiries by Nigel Strangeways, the surprising revelations and the stunning climax are all at the highest level of detective fiction. Good writing and apt literary allusions complete one’s enjoyment of an extremely cunning piece of work.’ — Scotsman

This is vintage Blake, back to his best.’ — Reader Review

‘His plots are ingenious.’ — Times Literary Supplement

‘A master of detective fiction.’ — Daily Telegraph

‘The Nicholas Blake books are something quite by themselves in English detective fiction.’ — Elizabeth Bowen

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