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MURDER ON THE MINNESOTA
by Conrad Allen
St. Martin's Minotaur, January 2002
295 pages
$24.95
ISBN: 0312280920


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Masefield return to the high seas in setrConrad Allenšs third nautical mystery, MURDER ON THE MINNESOTA. Dillman and Genevieve take time out as the ace investigators for the Cunard Line to help a friend of Dillmanšs who works for the Great Northern Steamship Company. The company believes that someone is concealing smuggled goods inside legitimate freight aboard the Minnesota and it will be up to Dillman and Genevieve to find the culprit. Genevieve has never been to the far east before and the voyage to China and Japan has a romantic ring to it. Perhaps she and Dillman will find some personal time to deepen the affection that is developing between the two of them.

Before they can think about themselves, Dillman and Genevieve must get to work on the smuggling case. Once aboard they set up their separate routines, meeting as many different passengers and crew members as possible. A quiet, pleasant voyage changes when a Catholic priest is found murdered in his stateroom. Now they have two cases to deal with: murder and a smuggling.

Crisply written with a pace that never lags, Allen offers a little bit of everything to his readers. Readers of historical mysteries will enjoy Allenšs offerings of descriptions of the vessel -- a combination freighter and passenger ship and a tale about the Minnesotašs sister ship, the Dakota. Descriptions of women loading ships in China, silk as smuggled goods, political comments ranging from the opium wars to Teddy Roosevelt along with the descriptions of the clothing worn by the passengers and crew add to the feel of the early 20th century setting. Romance lovers will enjoy the continuing electricity between Dillman and Genevieve.

While Išve enjoyed all three of Allenšs novels, I must admit I was happy for the change of pace from the Cunard Line to a freighter/passenger ship combination. The passengers and crew were more cosmopolitan. The crimes and nautical details changed with this story. It is a series that a reader could start in any order. Cozy readers will enjoy this one also.

Reviewed by Lane Wright, December 2002

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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