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Death Train to Boston: A Fremont Jones Mystery (Fremont Jones Mysteries) Hardcover – September 14, 1999

3.1 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
Book 5 of 6 in the Fremont Jones Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This swift and upbeat story features Fremont Jones, scion of a distinguished Boston family, and Michael Kossoff, a Russian nobleman and spy for the czar, who, in the fifth in this series (after Emperor Norton's Ghost), are continuing not only as passionate (but discreet) lovers but also as partners in their own San Francisco-based PI agency. Jones and Kossoff, traveling incognito on a case for the Southern and Union Pacific Railroad in the fall of 1908, are separated after a deliberately caused train wreck in Utah's Wasatch mountains. Michael, suffering a broken collarbone, searches for Fremont in vain: she has been abducted from the site by Melancthon Pratt, a fanatical Mormon who has five wives and is determined to make the lustrous Fremont his sixth. Secluded in a stark room, incapacitated by two broken legs, the shrewd and imaginative young woman beguiles the other wives and keeps the single-minded Pratt at bay. While Michael uses his considerable skillsAa background in espionage enhanced by a sixth senseAto search for Fremont, he runs into malevolent figures from his past who have murder on their minds. The basic mysteryAwho is sabotaging the railroad and whyAdoesn't seem to matter, as the ongoing adventures of the sharply defined and appealing cast of characters carry the lively story. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Searching for train vandals, historical series heroine Fremont Jones (Emperor Norton's Ghost) and her partner, Michael, separately survive a train wreck in Utah only to fall victim to worse dangers. A devout Mormon "rescues" the injured Fremont, while past enemies pursue Michael. Great storytelling and early-20th-century atmosphere.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Fremont Jones Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (September 14, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038548609X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385486095
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,863,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read all of the books in the Fremont Jones series. I was a little disappointed in "Death Train to Boston", mostly due to the change in writing style. Without giving too much away, Fremont is injured in a train wreck at the onset of the book ~ this results in her character being very passive throughout the story. I prefer the previous novels where Fremont has a more active role. Also, the book constantly flips back and forth from Fremont to Michael, which keeps you reading but can be frustrating. Just when something interesting is about to happen, the action flips to the other character. The good side of this, however, is that the reader gets to see more into Michael's feelings for Fremont.
Overall a very good book, and definitely worth reading. It's just not up to speed with the previous novels in the series.
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Format: Hardcover
One of the things that makes the Fremont Jones mysteries so interesting is that the characters are constantly evolving. Another is that the locations often change as well; thus, we're spared the routine similarities between novels in other series. In this, the fifth installment, Fremont and her partner/lover Michael are seperated by an explosion on board a train, while on a case. Fremont is kidnapped by a menacing Mormon intent on making her the sixth of his wives. With both legs broken by the explosion, she must resort to her wiles and powers of persuasion to escape from his clutches. We are back in Study In Scarlet country here. Meanwhile, Michael Kassoff searches desperately for Fremont, while simultaneously eluding an old enemy, and trying to determine who is so deter- mined to kill them that he'd blow up an entire train. Also, he must put up with the wiles of Fremont's friend, Meiling, who has her undergone a few changes of her own. Great fun, as are all the Fremont Jones myste- ries. This is a worthy continuation in an inter- esting series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have enjoyed Ms. Day's Fremont Jones mysteries. They are a bit anachronistic, a bit light on real mystery but still very enjoyable reads. However Death Train to Boston was certainly the worst of the series, so far (am reading Beacon Street Mourning now and even 30 pages in it is a better book).
There was no mystery to this mystery; it was simply a chronicle of Fremont and Michael trying to get back together after a horrific train accident. There was certainly no mystery where the religious fanatic was concerned. I rather hoped he would involved in the sabotage of the S&P that Fremont and Michael were investigating or attached to some other nefarious scheme but I was disappointed. There was no investigation of the sabotage whatsoever, just some half-baked thoughts Michael offered the readers. While finding the woman he loves was very important, if he thought there was some sort of connection shouldn't he have been doing some snooping to confirm or deny that connection rather than hand wringing and grumphing? Please do not get me started on throwing in the bad guy in the last 30 pages with no support as to WHY he was sabotaging the S&P since it was made clear to the reader J&K were called in secretly. Harrumph!
Ms. Day fell into a very nasty habit of repeating herself when it came to emphasizing a character's feelings or thoughts; sometimes four or five paragraph's worth of repetition. The action, such as it was, neither moved the plot along nor provided closure to any portion of that very thin plot. The plot thrashed about with internal discussions and chit chat. Mysteries are action based not character based, Elizabeth George aside, and Ms. Day seems to have forgotten that very important point - she had a good handle on it in her previous books.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a western, not a mystery. It tries to be a mystery, but it relies too heavily on events that happened earlier in the series. In other words, if you haven't read the rest of the series, you have no chance to solve this one and probably won't care enough to try.
Fremont's captivity is disturbing and dull, and I am not interested enough in the supporting characters to enjoy an entire book with them at center stage. Everyone seems to act out of character in this book, and it doesn't help that none of them are quite in step with the time period either. How could it have taken so long for women to get the vote with so many bold adventuresses on the loose?
I loved the first two books in this series, but was disappointed in the last one and EXTREMELY disappointed in this one. Dianne Day may have only one chance left with this reader.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I love all of the Dianne Day mysteries. Fremont Jones, the main character is quite a character. She's a modern woman of the early 1900s--the kind that refuses to wear a corset even though it is customary to wear one! The stories keep me on my toes, and I never can quite guess the ending until I reach it. A really good read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I LOVED the first two Fremont Jones mysteries, the third was okay, the forth was not so good, but this one... AWFUL. Unreadable. I'm so surprised that after such a strong start to the series, we get this bomb. Day writes from alternating points of view, which is not as charming as her usual first person Fremont perspective. Also, didn't like the way she portrayed the Mormon faith. It seemed like she had an ax to grind... I say, send Fremont back to San Fran and keep it simple and rich in detail about the history of the city. This is where both author and character thrive.
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