MURDER ON THE MINNESOTA by Conrad Allen
A MYSTERY FEATURING GEORGE PORTER DILLMAN AND GENEVIEVE MASEFIELD
St. Martin's Minotaur, January 2002
Taking a break from the Atlantic cruises, ship detectives George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Masefield take a job on a Pacific route. The shipping company suspects smuggling--and even has identified the likely smuggler, but without evidence, they can do nothing. It is up to Dillman and Masefield to find the evidence. Before they make much progress, though, a Priest is murdered. With both known and unknown violent men aboard, the pair are in soon in danger.
Set in 1908, shipping is still elegant and class-conscious. Masefield blends in effortlessly with the rich and powerful, yet feels guilty for using her friendships to betray her friends. Dillman is more practical but no less anxious to protect Masefield's feelings--and her life.
Author Conrad Allen (see reviews of other books by this author) does a fine job describing early 20th century shipping, the politics of a failing China and a rising Japan, and the class-conscious and elite world of first class cruises. Although MURDER ON THE MINNESOTA is marred by occasionally stuffy dialogue, it is still an enjoyable and highly readable mystery. Fans of the series will definitely want to grab this one. Readers new to Dillman and Masefield can pick up MURDER ON THE MINNESOTA without needing to read the earlier novels.
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