Ethelred Tressider's career is not, let's face it, what one might call glittering. In fact, it's barely what one might call capable of paying the gas bill. To be honest, this is not really surprising: Ethelred lost any real interest in writing mystery novels many years ago, and his audience has never been truly excited about reading them. In a desperate effort to revive his imagination, Ethelred books a cruise down the Nilecradle of civilization and so on. Well, it worked for Agatha Christie. It is not, however, working very well for Ethelred. No sooner has he settled into his state roomfollowed by his literary agent, the splendid Elsiethan dead bodies start littering the premises. There are any number of suspects, but for many of the boat's amateur sleuths it becomes increasingly apparent that the dastardly murderer is none other than the sweating Ethelred.