I was a bigger fan of Mr. Collins when he wrote crime thrillers set in contemporary times (do yourself a favor and check your used book store for excellent titles like "No Cure For Death", "A Shroud For Aquarius", "Spree", and "Quarry"). For my money, no one portrayed normal people tentatively reaching out and forming connections- whether they were romantic, sexual, or just to ease oppressive loneliness- than Mr. Collins. And all this sensitively drawn character interaction took place amidst bang-up, engrossing thriller plots set in middle American locales we hadn't seen a million times before. But enough about the past; Mr. Collins now primarily devotes his time to historical mysteries, mainly his Nate Heller series that mixes real-life famous figures with his fictional characters. This clever novel, "The Titanic Murders", goes a step further: pretty much everyone in the novel is real, though of course the mystery story is fictional. Yes, we don't get the gritty realism of Collins' contemporary thrillers, but I have to say I enjoyed this speculative story about real-life mystery writer Jacques Futrelle and his final days on the Titanic. And although (like most of Collins' current historical fiction) the story is fanciful and larger than life, readers still get to enjoy glimpses of the old Collins in the form of understated, pleasing character interaction between Futrelle, his wife, and their traveling companions. I still rather see Collins write about his Nolan, Mallory, and Quarry characters, but I honestly did enjoy this well-researched, involving, and fast-paced thriller, which is a genuine cut above most of the "quickie" Titanic products that flooded the market after the success of the James Cameron film.