Murder on the Caronia

Written by Conrad Allen
Review by Juliet Waldron

A Cunard line setting is the hook for this pleasant mystery series by Conrad Allen. Murder on the Caronia is the fourth in a series, each book named for a storied ocean liner. The elegant and privileged environment of a first class voyage in the year 1908 makes a perfectly contained setting for a cozy mystery, comparable to the more routine small English village or house party scenario. Once again George Porter Dillman and his attractive associate, Genevieve Masefield, are working under cover for Cunard, keeping an eye out for thieves, stateroom burglars and cardsharps. Two separate murders involve them in stalking larger prey. One murder has taken place in England, and the fugitive suspects are being returned to England for trial under police escort. The shipboard murder takes place after the other travelers have been introduced. Among them are an American bicycling champion and his irascible coach, an heiress and her social climbing parents, and a retiring funeral director who may or may not have drugs stashed in a coffin.