Book Extract: Death on the High Seas by Anna Legat

I’m pleased to be welcoming Anna Legat to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, Death on the High Seas.

Maggie and Sam take a break from the murder and mayhem of Bishops Well and embark on a relaxing mid-winter cruise across the northern seas. The brochure promises smooth sailing, good food and dazzling entertainment. Sam is hoping to sprinkle the mix with romance.

But nothing goes to plan.

Maggie runs into an old lover, the mesmerising Benedict Rawbotham, who goes out of his way to sweep her off her feet. Sam is left seething with jealousy.

A mayday signal sent by a fishing boat forces the cruise liner off course. But there is something fishy about the rescued crew and Maggie insists that two young women have died on that boat. Alas, no one believes her.

Soon one of the alleged fishermen is also dead and so is one of the cruise passengers. Cordelia Conti Lang, nicknamed the Bitcoin Queen, with links to London’s criminal underworld, is found in her cabin, stabbed to death.

In pursuit of the killer, Maggie hurtles from one disaster to another and Sam begins to fear for her life. Has he taken her on a cruise to hell? 


Anna has shared an extract with us today. We hope you enjoy. 


*****beginning of extract*****


A quick introduction to Sam’s rival vying for Maggie’s affections: Benedict Rowbotham

The show was about to start. The lights were dimmed and the stage was hit with bright spotlights. The compere announced the grand entrance of Maestro de Norte – or Morte, Sam couldn’t quite make that out.

The Maestro burst onto the stage in a puff of white smoke. He was wearing a top hat and a cape, and altogether resembled Count Dracula. He was tall and lean, with sharp but handsome features. His hair was uncannily black – probably dyed. The hair and the heavy eye makeup rendered the man creepy, in Sam’s opinion. Even more so after he noticed that Maggie was utterly hypnotised by him. She stiffened in her seat, pushed her chin forward, squinted and gaped like a possessed groupie.

‘Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to a night of magic and mayhem!’ De Norte spoke in a deep baritone. ‘Let me introduce my glamorous assistant, Mademoiselle Coco.’

The pretty young lady with the tail of ostrich feathers glided onto the stage and took a wide and low bow. The audience applauded. The spectacle commenced in earnest.

Everyone’s eyes, particularly Maggie’s, were on de Norte who was performing a card trick; Sam’s eyes were on Maggie’s legs. They stayed there throughout the spectacle of rabbits pulled out of hats and knives flung at a rotating target board with Mademoiselle Coco spread-eagled across it. Sam’s eyes didn’t leave Maggie’s lap even when Mademoiselle Coco was being sawn in half in a sarcophagus which she had entered dressed in feathers and re-emerged mummified in bandages. Maestro de Norte’s vanishing act in a Tardis-like box and his puzzling re-appearance in a small explosion hardly registered on the periphery of Sam’s vision. Only when the magician conjured a bouquet of blood-red roses and strolled off the stage to approach Maggie, plunge on one knee and present her with the flowers did Sam shift his gaze away from Maggie’s legs.

He stared gobsmacked as Maggie timidly accepted the flowers. Her cheeks blushed as red as those rose petals. De Norte rose from his knee, kissed Maggie’s hand with the panache of a real count and bent over her to whisper into her ear (and within the earshot of the still gobsmacked Sam), ‘You’re beautiful as ever, Maggie Kaye…’

A few ohs and ahs rippled through the captive audience. The Maestro leapt back onto the stage, light-footed as a frisky springbok. He summoned Mademoiselle Coco to his side and they jointly executed the final bow – he with a swish of his cape and she with a twerk of ostrich feathers. Enthusiastic applause rewarded their efforts. De Norte blew one last kiss from the stage – directed at Maggie! – before diving behind the curtain.

Sam looked to Maggie for an explanation, but she wasn’t offering one. She was still spellbound, staring at the empty stage, red roses in hand.


***** end of extract*****



About Anna Legat –

Although she writes in a wide range of genres, Anna Legat is best known for her DI Gillian Marsh detective series and The Shires, her cosy murder mysteries.

Anna is also the author of the historical thriller, Buried in the Past. She lives near Bath.

Say hello via her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Death on the High Seas is part of the Shires Mysteries series and was released in February 2024. Click here to buy on Amazon UK, Waterstones and Amazon US


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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