Murder on the Minnesota (Ocean Liner Mysteries,3)

Written by Edward Marston
Review by Douglas Kemp

George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Masefield embark upon their third Ocean Liner murder mystery in May 1908.  They are still strongly romantically entangled while acting as business partners, and for this trip instead of crossing the Atlantic, they have taken the train to Seattle to join the Orient-bound U.S. liner Minnesota. Their responsibility is once more to keep a general eye on security aboard while acting as passengers, but there is also a major smuggling operation underway, run by ruthless and dangerous operators, and they have been tasked to investigate this as well. Not surprisingly, this comes with some considerable danger to them. George and Genevieve both get to know some of their wealthier fellow passengers on the long journey.

Unlike the first two books in the series, the murder takes place relatively early in the story, and hence once again, the two detectives are faced with solving a murder while also confronting a variety of other security challenges onboard. The attractive and poised Genevieve is bothered by a number of male admirers who see her ostensible single status on the vessel as a green light for unwanted advances.

The relationship between Dillman and Masefield is developing nicely, their personal dynamic somewhat like the Fox Mulder-Dana Scully partnership. As ever with Edward Marston, the historical context is sound, immersed in the Edwardian days of luxury ocean liners without being too much of the history lecture. The narrative pace is excellent and the plotting capable, this series is definitely worth investigating for readers who like well-written and excellently researched historical crime fiction.