George Porter Dillman and Genevieve Masefield, used to the
grand opulence of the Cunard cruise line, are at first
disappointed with the Marmora, a small, unimpressive ship
that's part of the P&O shipping line, the company that now
employs them as ship's detectives. They know that they're
certain to encounter the same petty thefts and confidence
tricksters they're used to dealing with, though they hope
identifying the culprits among the 500 or so passengers
will prove a little easier than it does aboard the great
2,000 passenger Cunard ships.
Their hope is misplaced, however, and they soon settle in
to the routine of taking reports from agitated passengers
and doing their best to recover whatever stolen jewelry or
purloined cash the unfortunate travelers are missing. The
cruise is certain to be unique in at least one respect,
however: the Duke and Duchess of Fife, along with their two
small children, are aboard, and the detectives' secondary
task is to keep an eye on the royals and do their best to
ensure their security.
When a dead body turns up, however, George and Genevieve
know they've got their work cut out for them. Suspects
abound, and on such a small ship keeping the demise of the
poor victim a secret is proving tougher than they'd like.
Through the eyes of Conrad Allen, a luxury cruise to Egypt
in 1908 becomes a majestic voyage, albeit with murder in
the mix, upon which readers will be eager to embark.