The Iris Cooper mysteries (Beck)

  • By K.K. Beck
  • Death in a Deck Chair (1984); Murder in a Mummy Case (1986); Peril Under the Palms (1989)

Bright Young Thing Iris Cooper solves murders on a Transatlantic liner, in San Francisco, and on Hawaii. Light, frothy, fun. Deck Chair is the best of the two, although as Tomcat points out, it’s really The Secret of Chimneys at sea: deposed kings, pretenders to Ruritanian thrones, royal mistresses, blackmailers, and murderous Comrades of the New Dawn. Unfortunately that includes the choice of killer too.

Palms isn’t quite as fun as the first one; it’s a spot-on pastiche of Earl Derr Biggers (Charlie Chan is mentioned in passing): family scandal, rather weakly clued murderer, and a dash of romance. Neither will win any prizes for originality, but they’re agreeable, likeable – and rather forgettable.