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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.
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.See all Product Description
This is a light and entertaining read perfect for a day at the beach. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Read morePublished on Aug. 13 2002
It's 1907 and the 1st sailing of the Lucy. It is nice to read a new book that is not filled with vulgarities. Read morePublished on Nov. 29 2001 by Jim T
The character of George Porter Dillman was quite well-drawn, and I liked the way the plot wasn't telegraphed in the first chapter, which I find to be the case in too many current... Read morePublished on July 25 2000