St. Martin’s Griffin, Jan 4 2011, $14.99
BFFs Didi Randall, Roxanne Miller and Jolene Martin go on a Caribbean cruise during winter break stunned by what has happened on their Lancaster University in Pennsylvania campus. Apparently students Rachel Jepson committed suicide and Natalie Laymon was raped. The Lan-U's Gossip Hour blog claims Didi’s boyfriend Drake Shaw is the rapist.
Drake and Natalie are on the ship too with the latter having an incredible makeover from geek to glamour queen. With their four year relationship in jeopardy, Didi’s hopes to save what they had but he vanishes before she wakes up on deck totally confused. When she learns Drake is missing Didi investigates his disappearance; finding shocking clues that imply he was dumped overboard by someone with ties to her high school past.
Although this exciting thriller lacks the cautionary elements of being smart and safe while on a college break and the sense of dread and doom that made Spring Break ominous, this is an exciting well written amateur sleuth as the heroine’s inquiries lead her to wonder if she is the next victim. Still armchair readers, especially high school and college aged, will want to accompany Didi on her deadly Winter Break Caribbean cruise.