Musicians play on Msc Musica
Musicians play in the reception hall of the cruise ship Msc Musica in 2006 FRANK PERRY/AFP/Getty Images

In what could be out of a mystery novel, a murder investigation has been opened in Italy after a Brazilian cleaner was reported missing from a cruise ship that left Venice on 18 June.

Simone Scheuer Souza, 36, was reported missing by a colleague as the ship docked in Pescara, La Republica and reported.

Investigators are now looking into on-board surveillance and tracking systems for a lead while the coast guard scours the path of the huge ship.

Souza was working on board the MSC Musica, run by MSC Cruises and crewed by almost 1,000 people. According to MSC Cruises the ship can carry 3,223 passengers and boasts a "three tier waterfall" and "see through piano".

Staff on the ship reportedly did not see her depart the ship at any of the stops and a search of Souza's room was conducted on board the vessel.

Suggestions that the missing woman may have been having an affair with a colleague are also being investigated, La Republica said.

Online tracking on MSC Cruises showed that the cruis ship, built in 2006, had continued on - as of Tuesday 27 June being found around the southern coast of Greece.