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Topic: Conrad Allen?

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Subject: Conrad Allen?
Date Posted: 2/12/2009 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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Has anyone read the husband and wife sleuthing team set aboard ocean liners around 1907 by Conrad Allen? I found this description from amazon.com for the first book:

Publisher's weekly:

Allen kicks off a projected series of mysteries set on famous ocean liners with this well-crafted high society whodunit. Suave, smart and handsome, George Porter Dillman seems to be the perfect man for his job as the Cunard Line's private detective. Posing as a first-class passenger on the Lusitania's 1907 maiden voyage, he ingratiates himself with ship's surgeon Lionel Osborne, flirts mildly with young Violet Rymer, assists the troubled American Ellen Tolley, befriends the adventurous Genevieve Masefield and keeps an eye on potential card sharks and con men. Meanwhile, pushy journalist Henry Bancroft tries hard to scoop his rivals, and the aristocrats who populate the book's margins pursue their various schemes. It's not long before Dillman discovers difficult puzzles to solve. Someone has snatched the secret diagrams that explain the Lusitania's wiring, and someone--the same culprit?--has stolen a Stradivarius from world-famous violinist Itzak Weiss. When Dillman discovers Bancroft murdered by a grisly blow to the head, only he can find the real killer. Allen won't win awards for his prose ("Having been given so little in the way of evidence, he now felt that he had far too much and it was causing confusion"). He will, however, please some fans of historical drawing-room murder, especially the Anglophiles. With little violence, much description of jewelry, some intrigue and plenty of stiff upper lips, Allen's confection may overcome its predictable elements to find warm admirers.


The year is 1907, and Cunard Line's gleaming luxury liner Lusitania is about to set forth on her maiden voyage, which the British hope will shatter the North Atlantic speed record and provide bragging rights over the Germans. To make certain everything remains swell for the swells in first class, Cunard has yacht-builder-turned-actor-turned-detective George Porter Dillman, a Yank, planted among them. The passenger list is a who's who of the usual suspects, including sporty spinster sisters, some rich folks whose daughter loves a glib Irishman who loves her money, a father-daughter team who are not what they appear to be, a pushy journalist, and a beautiful woman on the make for a nobleman with a beautiful bankroll. Besides the murder in the title, there is enough grand larceny to keep Dillman busy and enough of everything else to keep readers entertained. Allen's writing style harks back to the classic English mysteries of the first half of this century--and that's pretty good harking.


Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 2/14/2009 5:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I have.  I've also read Murder on the Mauretania.  Hmmm, I see there are five more after that.  They're either Trade Paperbacks or Hard Covers.  I have a difficult time holding them so I don't order them. 

I did like them and would have ordered more if they were mmpb's.


Gotta check sp before submitting!

Last Edited on: 2/14/09 5:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/4/2009 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 4,813
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I have read all the books in this series and have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one.  Quick and easy reads.

Date Posted: 3/4/2009 6:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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Thanks for commenting here! I wishlisted them when I posted. :-) I can't wait to give them a try.

Subject: Conrad Allen
Date Posted: 3/17/2009 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 1/22/2007
Posts: 7
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I read one of his books and liked it.  The setting on a ship in the 20s - 30s was particularly interesting.    I think I read Murder on the Mauritian.  I have another of his books on my TBR shelf but haven't gotten to it yet.