Jessica is asked to be a guest lecturer on the QE2, with all her expenses paid. She should have known it would not be that easy. She is asked to write a play, there is a murder (surprise, surprise). Lots of interesting characters on this boat to death.
I considered the book a somewhat slow starter. There were MANY characters involved in the plot -- so many so that the author had Jessica to write notes to herself and/or restate everyone's part in the one-act drama play. I myself found so many characters to be somewhat a barrier in the reading entertainment of the book. I did enjoy the description of the ocean liner, Queen Elizabeth II (QE2), throughout the novel. For a person to see her now, he/she would have to visit the country of Dubai where grand ocean queen was retired in Nov. 2008 as a floating hotel.