Murder on the Marmora

Written by Conrad Allen
Review by Nicole Leclerc

The classy pleasures of first-class cruises on the luxurious liners of the pre-WWI era are at the heart of this delightful series. Each entry explores a new ship and Allen (pseudonym of Keith Miles, who also writes as Edward Marston) knows those vessels well and transports the reader aboard convincingly.

We follow the attempts of the two ship detectives, George P. Dillman and Genevieve Masefield, as they try to solve a series of thefts and the murder of a passenger on his way to Egypt, allowing us to see some of the sites en route. Allen spices up the story by adding some real-life people to the list of passengers, this time the Duke and Duchess of Fife and their daughters. The other characters are described much in the manner of Agatha Christie, making them easy to depict and enhancing the puzzle. In short, this is a very pleasant book, with a decent straightforward plot, a little romance, loveable protagonists and nostalgia for good manners and gentility—which should assure every reader of a pleasant reading and sailing experience.