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Murder on the Marmora: A Mystery [Hardcover]

Conrad Allen
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 10 2004 Shipboard Mystery Featuring George Porter Dillman & Geneviev (Book 5)
George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Masefield, used to the grand opulence of the Cunard cruise line, are at first disappointed with the Marmora, a small, unimpressive ship that's part of the P&O shipping line, the company that now employs them as ship's detectives. They know that they're certain to encounter the same petty thefts and confidence tricksters they're used to dealing with, though they hope identifying the culprits among the 500 or so passengers will prove a little easier than it does aboard the great 2,000 passenger Cunard ships.

Their hope is misplaced, however, and they soon settle in to the routine of taking reports from agitated passengers and doing their best to recover whatever stolen jewelry or purloined cash the unfortunate travelers are missing. The cruise is certain to be unique in at least one respect, however: the Duke and Duchess of Fife, along with their two small children, are aboard, and the detectives' secondary task is to keep an eye on the royals and do their best to ensure their security.

When a dead body turns up, however, George and Genevieve know they've got their work cut out for them. Suspects abound, and on such a small ship keeping the demise of the poor victim a secret is proving tougher than they'd like. Through the eyes of Conrad Allen, a luxury cruise to Egypt in 1908 becomes a majestic voyage, albeit with murder in the mix, upon which readers will be eager to embark.

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From Publishers Weekly

The Marmora, a small luxury ocean liner en route from England to Australia via Cairo in 1908, serves as the venue for Allen's fifth lighthearted historical (after 2003's Murder on the Caronia) to feature private detectives George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Masefield. The sleuthing pair are acting as unofficial bodyguards to the Duke and Duchess of Fife and their children, but they also have reason to keep an eye on a slew of other first-class passengers, including a noted Egyptologist traveling with his musical daughter and a strongbox of artifacts, an urbane investor in a Cairo hotel project, an attractive American widow and her sulky daughter and a boastful French chef with constant complaints about the food. A series of jewel and antiques thefts, as well as a ghastly murder that the ship's authorities take great care to cover up, propels the plot at a stately pace. To complicate matters, Genevieve to her horror sees her former lover on board with his new bride. The happily-ever-after ending and the picture of gracious living during an era when security was of relatively little concern should please mystery readers seeking purely escapist fare.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The handsome and elegant George Porter Dillman and his partner, the gorgeous and spirited Genevieve Masefield, ship's detectives, leave the Cunard line for the P&O Marmora, on its way to Australia via Egypt in 1908. The Marmora purser, Kilhendry, resents Dillman's American roots and the pair's experience with Cunard and does what he can to make their work difficult, even when jewelry starts disappearing from the cabins of women traveling alone. Then a murder must be investigated quietly, as the princess royal and her family are also traveling on the ship. Complexities abound: Genevieve finds her odious former fiance on board, on his honeymoon; an oily French chef and a secretive German photographer cause irritation; and various difficult or unpleasant people attempt to attach themselves like limpets to our heroes. There turns out to be more crime even than expected, but the real pull here is the charm of the detective couple and the rich period detail in travel and accoutrements. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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5.0 out of 5 stars Best yet in good series July 3 2004
Format:Hardcover
After several voyages with the famous Cunard line, cruise ship detectives George Dillman and Genevieve Masefield take a job with a competitor--P&O in a cruise from England to Australia by way of Egypt and the Suez Canal. Unlike their experience with Cunard, however, they find the Pursor unhelpful and even antagonistic. He assures them that his nose for trouble is all that is needed to keep his ship clean. Unfortunately, several robberies prove him wrong. When one of their suspects is murdered, Genevieve and George know that they need to move quickly in able to prove their worth, but the crimes are so skillful, without any evidence of tampering with the cabin locks, that they realize they are dealing with a professional.
George and Genevieve work together to determine who could have known about any valuables hidden in cabins, clear alibis, and deal with the personalities on board the ship--a difficulty compounded by Genevieve's ex-fiance now on board as a newlywed but still interested in Genevieve, and the young woman who quickly falls for George.
MURDER ON THE MARMORA is the fifth in author Conrad Allen's George Dillman/Genevieve Masefield historical mystery series and the strongest to date. Allen added more dimension to his characters while maintaining the entertaining mystery and strong period atmosphere of his earlier mysteries. Allen sets his stories in the glory days of the cruise industry before World War I--a period when manners mattered, dress was formal, and progress seemed certain.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not a winner. April 28 2004
Format:Hardcover
I'm afraid the Dillman/Masefield series is getting very repetitious, and this novel is a good example. The protagonists investigate thefts and a murder on a voyage from England to Egypt and wrap things up before the vessel reaches Port Said. However, it's the same cast of shipboard characters with diferent names, and not much new happens, although the author tries to introduce variation by adding a purser who is hostile to the detectives and the appearance of Genevieve's former fiance, a creep if ever there was one. There are lots of red herrings, and, as it turns out, two sets of villains, but one has the nagging sense of having read it all before. Maybe there's just nothing left to do to liven things up on board. Pirates??
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5.0 out of 5 stars picturesque sea voyage mystery Feb. 1 2004
By Harriet Klausner TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
After sailing on the maiden voyages of the Lusitania and Mauretania for the Cunard Shipping Company as in-house detectives, George Dillman and Genevieve now work for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. They are sailing on the Marmora from England to Australia with a stop in Egypt. The purser on the ship Brian Kilhendry makes it clear to the duo that he has no use for them and thinks they are not needed as there is never crime on his ship.
Shortly after he makes that proclamation, a woman sailing alone is robbed of her jewelry and money while she is out of the cabin. Other robberies follow and the victims are all women traveling without a man to protect them. While the two detectives are trying to help the victims, a man is murdered but nothing is missing from the room. The man was very well liked leaving Dillman and Genevieve desperate to find the criminals even if it puts them in danger.
Anyone who loves to sail the seven seas will want to read MURDER ON THE MARMORA, a picturesque who-done-it that will make readers want to go on a cruise. Although much of the book is concentrated on the mystery, Genevieve is kept busy trying to evade her ex-fiancé on board with his new bride and Dillman is trying to discourage a young woman from chasing after him. The surprise ending is just the icing on the cake for one of Conrad Allen's best voyage mysteries.
Harriet Klausner
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars picturesque sea voyage mystery Feb. 1 2004
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
After sailing on the maiden voyages of the Lusitania and Mauretania for the Cunard Shipping Company as in-house detectives, George Dillman and Genevieve now work for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. They are sailing on the Marmora from England to Australia with a stop in Egypt. The purser on the ship Brian Kilhendry makes it clear to the duo that he has no use for them and thinks they are not needed as there is never crime on his ship.
Shortly after he makes that proclamation, a woman sailing alone is robbed of her jewelry and money while she is out of the cabin. Other robberies follow and the victims are all women traveling without a man to protect them. While the two detectives are trying to help the victims, a man is murdered but nothing is missing from the room. The man was very well liked leaving Dillman and Genevieve desperate to find the criminals even if it puts them in danger.
Anyone who loves to sail the seven seas will want to read MURDER ON THE MARMORA, a picturesque who-done-it that will make readers want to go on a cruise. Although much of the book is concentrated on the mystery, Genevieve is kept busy trying to evade her ex-fiancé on board with his new bride and Dillman is trying to discourage a young woman from chasing after him. The surprise ending is just the icing on the cake for one of Conrad Allen's best voyage mysteries.
Harriet Klausner
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best yet in good series July 3 2004
By booksforabuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
After several voyages with the famous Cunard line, cruise ship detectives George Dillman and Genevieve Masefield take a job with a competitor--P&O in a cruise from England to Australia by way of Egypt and the Suez Canal. Unlike their experience with Cunard, however, they find the Pursor unhelpful and even antagonistic. He assures them that his nose for trouble is all that is needed to keep his ship clean. Unfortunately, several robberies prove him wrong. When one of their suspects is murdered, Genevieve and George know that they need to move quickly in able to prove their worth, but the crimes are so skillful, without any evidence of tampering with the cabin locks, that they realize they are dealing with a professional.
George and Genevieve work together to determine who could have known about any valuables hidden in cabins, clear alibis, and deal with the personalities on board the ship--a difficulty compounded by Genevieve's ex-fiance now on board as a newlywed but still interested in Genevieve, and the young woman who quickly falls for George.
MURDER ON THE MARMORA is the fifth in author Conrad Allen's George Dillman/Genevieve Masefield historical mystery series and the strongest to date. Allen added more dimension to his characters while maintaining the entertaining mystery and strong period atmosphere of his earlier mysteries. Allen sets his stories in the glory days of the cruise industry before World War I--a period when manners mattered, dress was formal, and progress seemed certain.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a winner. April 28 2004
By Celia A. Sgroi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm afraid the Dillman/Masefield series is getting very repetitious, and this novel is a good example. The protagonists investigate thefts and a murder on a voyage from England to Egypt and wrap things up before the vessel reaches Port Said. However, it's the same cast of shipboard characters with diferent names, and not much new happens, although the author tries to introduce variation by adding a purser who is hostile to the detectives and the appearance of Genevieve's former fiance, a creep if ever there was one. There are lots of red herrings, and, as it turns out, two sets of villains, but one has the nagging sense of having read it all before. Maybe there's just nothing left to do to liven things up on board. Pirates??
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Fun Read March 24 2013
By Bookworm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Simple book, but good fun to read. Love a gentle murder mystery. No gore, just good old fashioned story telling.
A few good twists and turns with a very pleasant romance too. Worth the the time.
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming, cozy mystery Feb. 10 2013
By Cornelia Amiri and Maeve Alpin - Published on Amazon.com
It's 1908 and ship detectives, George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Masefield solve thefts and a murder on board the luxury passenger ship, the Marmora as it sails from England to Egypt. Unlike many of the other ships it doesn't have third class or steerage decks - only first and second class - it only caters to those who can afford luxury, in fact the princess royal and her family are on the cruise.

Along with a robberies and a murder to solve, Genevieve is confronted by her ex-fiancé, who is traveling with his bride on their honeymoon.

As always interesting passengers and a glimpse of life in first class on a lush passenger ship of days gone by. A charming, cozy mystery.
I love this series.
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