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Murder on the Lusitania [Mass Market Paperback]

Conrad Allen
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 15 2000 Shipboard Mystery Featuring George Porter Dillman & Geneviev (Book 1)
September 1907. George Porter Dillman sets sail from Liverpool on the Lusitania's maiden voyage. Hired by the ship's captain to pose as a passenger, George is in fact a private detective for the Cunard Line. In the first days of his voyage, George only has to deal with a few petty crimes. But then an expensive piece of jewelry is reported stolen and a body is found. Working quickly to solve both crimes, George makes an unusual friend, Genevieve Masefield, and the two uncover secrets aboard the ship that prove explosive.

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From Publishers Weekly

Allen kicks off a projected series of mysteries set on famous ocean liners with this well-crafted high society whodunit. Suave, smart and handsome, George Porter Dillman seems to be the perfect man for his job as the Cunard Line's private detective. Posing as a first-class passenger on the Lusitania's 1907 maiden voyage, he ingratiates himself with ship's surgeon Lionel Osborne, flirts mildly with young Violet Rymer, assists the troubled American Ellen Tolley, befriends the adventurous Genevieve Masefield and keeps an eye on potential card sharks and con men. Meanwhile, pushy journalist Henry Bancroft tries hard to scoop his rivals, and the aristocrats who populate the book's margins pursue their various schemes. It's not long before Dillman discovers difficult puzzles to solve. Someone has snatched the secret diagrams that explain the Lusitania's wiring, and someone--the same culprit?--has stolen a Stradivarius from world-famous violinist Itzak Weiss. When Dillman discovers Bancroft murdered by a grisly blow to the head, only he can find the real killer. Allen won't win awards for his prose ("Having been given so little in the way of evidence, he now felt that he had far too much and it was causing confusion"). He will, however, please some fans of historical drawing-room murder, especially the Anglophiles. With little violence, much description of jewelry, some intrigue and plenty of stiff upper lips, Allen's confection may overcome its predictable elements to find warm admirers. (Dec.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The year is 1907, and Cunard Line's gleaming luxury liner Lusitania is about to set forth on her maiden voyage, which the British hope will shatter the North Atlantic speed record and provide bragging rights over the Germans. To make certain everything remains swell for the swells in first class, Cunard has yacht-builder-turned-actor-turned-detective George Porter Dillman, a Yank, planted among them. The passenger list is a who's who of the usual suspects, including sporty spinster sisters, some rich folks whose daughter loves a glib Irishman who loves her money, a father-daughter team who are not what they appear to be, a pushy journalist, and a beautiful woman on the make for a nobleman with a beautiful bankroll. Besides the murder in the title, there is enough grand larceny to keep Dillman busy and enough of everything else to keep readers entertained. Allen's writing style harks back to the classic English mysteries of the first half of this century--and that's pretty good harking. Budd Arthur --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining, splendid little mystery... Jan. 8 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Attracted by the cover and the setting of one of the great passenger ships of yesteryear, this was my first Conrad Allen mystery. It's a pleasure to report that the book fulfilled my hopes for a diversionary, well-written and entertaining mystery. The protagonist, American George Dillman, operating as an undercover detective on the Lusitania for the Cunard Line, is a sophisticated, cool and interesting customer. Faced with a murder and the disappearance of ship's blueprints, Dillan does as good a job keeping everyone in the dark as to whom he really is as the villain does in hiding his identity. The individual portraits he paints of the cast of characters make up a varied group of distinct types of human beings, one of whom is an extremely obnoxious journalist. (As a lawyer, I enjoyed that.) The ship-board atmosphere, with its references to the turn-of-the-century British/German rivalry for supremacy on the high seas, is well-drawn--one certainly feels at times that that the good old days of travel are really gone. (After all, there's little opportunity on a jet plane for the leisure, luxury and romance of the sort possible on the great old ocean liners.) And, I particularly enjoyed his portrayals of the available young women on board and the cat & mouse games played between the sexes--Allen creates images in your mind of some very attractive and appealing young ladies, so much so that I found myself wishing I were a bachelor again and could be there to join in the pursuit.
Best of all, the ending wasn't a disappointment.
A most pleasant read--next I'll try "Murder on the Mauritania".
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3.0 out of 5 stars No frills cruise aboard this Lusitania Feb. 14 2000
Mr. Allen has presented us with a straightfor ward little mystery aboard one of the most famous liners in history. Readers may be tricked into thinking that this little tale occurs on the fateful voyage on which it was torpedoed, rather than on its first voyage, but its inaugural voyage was just as ballyhooed as a certain other ship we all know. The protagonist, George Dillman is a rather interesting character,whose actual identity and background are slowly introduced throughout the story. Allen has obviously done his homework regarding the famous liner, and he creates characters with just enough foibles to make them interesting, but the mystery appears to plod on somewhat. One may wish at times to get off, rather than to continue on this voyage. The climax is not the most exciting, but enjoy able nonetheless. One could wish for something memorable, whether in the language or the action, that one could take take away as a souvenir of this trip. Alas, all is but sea foam.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Murder on the Lusitania Feb. 4 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Murder on the Lusitania is set in 1907 during the maiden voyage of the luxury liner. Undercover detective, George Porter Dillman, easily socializes with the elite first class passengers; while at the same time, keeping a lookout for professional gamblers and thieves who prey on the wealthy.
A violent murder and several thefts send the ship's officers reeling, but the ever calm Mr. Dillman assures them he will have the criminal in hand, discreetly, before the ship reaches New York.
The characters are colorful and the dialogue, reminiscent of the times, sparkles. The red herrings are obvious but doesn't detract from this fast pleasant read. We will definitely recommend Murder on the Lusitania to our customers and are looking forward to the next book in this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic murder mystery Dec 10 1999
If you are a murder-mystery fan, it does not get any better than "Murder on the Lusitania." The atmosphere, characters, plot, denouement are all just perfect. Supposedly the author has written other mysteries under a pseudonym. Does anyone know the name of his other mysteries? I would read them all. Usually I have figured out the plot about half way through a mystery. I'm not unique. Most readers of mysteries can do the same. But this time I was wonderully misdirected. As the pace picked up about half way through, I found myself enjoying the tale immensely and hoping beyond hope that the writer wasn't going to screw up the ending. He didn't. Thank you, Mr. Allen. And Bravo!
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