- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (January 10, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312280912
- ISBN-13: 978-0312280918
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,668,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Murder on the Caronia: A Mystery Featuring George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Masefield Hardcover – January 10, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
The Cunard Line's sleuthing team of George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Masefield, posing as first-class passengers on the Caronia, try to help a nave young Boston woman en route to England in search of a titled husband. This latest entry in the light Edwardian series from the pseudonymous Allen (Murder on the Lusitania, etc.) features a pair of lovers suspected of murdering the man's wife who are being escorted by Scotland Yard officers for trial in England. An overly swift climax, too much irrelevant (and at times anachronistic) dialogue and a minimal sense of the importance of social class in this period will jar some readers. Established fans, though, will relish the usual gaudy cast of characters and the intriguing ambiguity of the two detectives' relationship.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
“A clever and amusing tale of sea-bound adventure. Delightful escapism.”---Chicago Sun-Times on Murder on the Minnesota
“Allen does a nice job of fusing information about the fascinating size, complexity and extravagance of the Mauretania with stories of its diverse passengers. It makes his sophomore effort a success as both mystery and entertainment.”---Cincinnati Post on Murder on the Mauretania
“Sure to delight nautical-history enthusiasts as well as mystery fans...Combined with the puzzling mystery, the careful attention to historic details and well-developed characters make for first-class entertainment.”---Publishers Weekly on Murder on the Mauretania
“The shipboard atmosphere does sparkle, especially in the first-class staterooms and elegantly fitted public rooms where the better class of passengers congregate to flash their jewelry and cheat at cards.”---Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review, on Murder on the Lusitania
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Conrad Allen has discovered a neat solution to this dilemma: crime on the high seas. His detectives, George Dillman and Genevieve Masefield, are the "house dicks" on board ocean liners. They are the law within their domain and do not have to contend with police interference. On the other hand they are not policemen themselves and so we are spared another dazzling course in modern forensic science. Since the time frame for their activities is early twentieth century, when ocean liners were still in vogue, and since there are limited facilities aboard ship for such things as autopsies and inquests, they have a free hand to ply their Sherlockian skills. To sum up, these tales have a reasonable level of plausibility.
There is more. The author is clever at inventing situations and solutions and tosses a lot of maritime history into the bargain. He has a sure ear for dialogue and his characterizations are deft and amusing. His smart and well-mannered detectives are competent and professional, but not overbearing. They have served well in the three novels I've read in the series and the author's inventiveness should carry them through quite a few more. True, the shipboard environment is somewhat limiting--car chases do not figure much here--but it also provides an excellent way of accumulating a cast of characters of varying types, many of whom would be socially unacceptable in an English country house weekend. The several days of a voyage provide a serviceable time frame for solving the mystery.
In short, good stories which successfully avoid cliché's of detective fiction. Not destined to become classics perhaps, but diverting enough--for which we should be grateful.