Murder on the Mauretania
by Edward Marsden
Too many books about murders on cruises, I enjoyed it but didn’t really do it justice, so I’ll pick it up for a reread later!
Previously published under pseudonym Conrad Allen.
November 1907. George Dillman and Genevieve Masefield sail from Liverpool on the maiden voyage of the Mauretania. While posing as a passenger George is in fact an undercover detective hired by the Cunard Line. Dillman and Genevieve endure a nightmare voyage during which severe weather batters the vessel relentlessly and keeps the passengers away from the decks. Dillman is instrumental in rescuing a crew member from being washed overboard but he is too late to save one of the First Class passengers from the same fate. At first, it looks like a case of death by misadventure. But Dillman and Genevieve come to realise that it was an act of calculated murder, connected with the presence on board of a record shipment of gold bullion – twelve tons in all – sent from the Bank of England.
At the time of her launch, the Mauretania was the largest moving structure ever built. She would later serve as a WWI hospital and troop ship. After returning to civilian service, Mauretania was retired and scrapped in the mid-1930s.