Murder on the High Seas - Sara M. Barton

Murder on the High Seas is too short to be called a novel, the term “novella” suits it much better. It is a very quick read, under an hour for me. It isn’t a ‘whodunit’ kind of mystery, there’s no murder to solve. The title really isn’t representative of the story.

There were things that I liked. I did enjoy the main character being a caregiver because that is something I can relate to. My mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s lives with us so I could really sympathize with needing time to be free of responsibility and I think that was represented well. The character was likeable and sensible most of the time. The atmosphere aboard the ship felt real and that’s important to me.

There were things I didn’t like. The story was so short that the relationships didn’t have time to develop naturally. They felt rushed. The main character seems to like or dislike people almost instantly which left very shallow at times. She becomes rude with one character after a very brief acquaintance and one that I did not feel justified that rudeness. Several of the characters were so stereotypical as to almost be caricatures.

It felt like the first draft of a story that should have been expanded and filled out. Given time for proper depth and proper character development, it could be quite interesting but in it’s current form, it’s just too short for the story it wants to tell.