The Lusitania Murders

Written by Max Allan Collins
Review by Wendy Zollo

The author William Huntington Wright, travelling under his alias of S.S. Van Dine, is undercover as a journalist on the last voyage of the Lusitania to discover if it is carrying munitions for the British. Along the way, he interviews the likes of Alfred Vanderbilt, Charles Forham and Elbert Hubbard. As expected, murders and espionage soon become all-too-common occurrences, and Van Dine, with the help of a female Pinkerton agent, is rapidly engaged in the investigation. The Lusitania Murders, judging by its author’s notes, is well-researched but lacking in a tightness and suspense that would keep the reader flipping pages. I expected far more from Collins than this quite standard, run-of- the-mill mystery.