From Publishers Weekly
A dangerous fugitive and a series of thefts mar a voyage the Celtic
makes in 1910 from New York to London in Allen's satisfying eighth shipboard mystery to feature the husband-wife detective team of Bostonian George Porter Dillman and Englishwoman Genevieve Masefield (after 2006's Murder on the Oceanic
). While the lovely Genevieve fends off suitors vying for her affections (the pair conceal their marriage supposedly for more efficient sleuthing), she and George are on the lookout for Edward Hammond, a thief wanted for murder who might have sneaked on board. Among the legitimate first-class passengers is novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose cherished first edition of his novel A Study in Scarlet
—which introduced the character of Sherlock Holmes—goes missing. The light, well-executed plot will live up to the expectations of Allen's fans. (Mar.)
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This is one of those series that one wouldn't have expected to go on as long as it has. George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Masefield are happily married, although when they're at work, as detectives aboard transatlantic cruise ships in the early years of the twentieth century, they pretend not to know each other. The series, of which this is the eighth installment, follows a fairly strict formula: Dillman and Masefield solve a murder onboard an ocean liner while juggling various complications and trying to find a spare moment to be alone together. But it's a formula that leaves plenty of room for variation, and here the variation is that our heroes must deal with the galumphing enthusiasm of Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, who absolutely insists on assisting them. The Dillman-Masefield series succeeds, despite the built-in repetitiveness, because its creator, the prolific mystery novelist Edward Marston, writing here under a pseudonym, is such a graceful stylist. In his hands, elegant shipboard mysteries with charming protagonists never grow old. David PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved