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    Review of MURDER ON THE OCEANIC by Conrad Allen


    St. Martin's Minotaur, February 2006

    Cruise ship detectives George Dillman and Genevieve Masefield are concerned when banker J. P. Morgan refuses to lock his valuables in the ship safe. But Morgan refuses to back down and he's brought his own security expert along to make sure his property stays safe. An outbreak of theft is only the beginning, however. And Dillman is summoned when the security expert is found murdered--and the most valuable of Morgan's treasures stolen.

    Genevieve is tasked with tracking down whomever is stealing woman's jewelry--including that stolen from one woman who insists that she'll complain all the way to the Oceanic's parent company, the White Star Line. With all of the fabulous jewelry being displayed in the pre-WW-I Atlantic crossings, the thief or thieves have plenty of opportunities. And Genevive, in her guise as a single woman (she's actually married to Dillman) is an attractive target to rakes--including handome English Aristocrat Jonathan Killick. Meanwhile, Dillman has his hands filled with a sexy artist who just happens to be part of a very open marriage.

    Author Conrad Allen (see more reviews of novels by Allen) continues his cruise ship mystery series with the story of the Oceanic--briefly the largest and fastest ship in the Atlantic fleet. The introduction of J. P. Morgan adds a bit of historical detail to an interesting look at how the rich lived in the late period of gilded age.

    MURDER ON THE OCEANIC starts out with an introductory chapter that regular readers of the series will want to skip--with Genevive and Dillman telling each other things they both already know for the enlightenment of readers who want to catch up (always a weak tactic in writing). Things pick up once the Oceanic gets under weigh, with Dillman and Genevive investigating multiple thefts--and fending off predatory potential lovers. The ultimate resolution seemed a bit of a letdown, however, with Genevieve essentially stumbling into the clue that solved the case.

    Fans of Conrad Allen's George Dillmand and Genevieve Masefield will certainly want to add this one to their to-be-read pile. Those new to the series might wish to start with one of the earlier stories, however.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 4/25/06

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