Thursday, September 19, 2013

Death Rides The Zephyr-Janet Dawson

Death Rides The Zephyr

Janet Dawson

Perseverance Press, Sep 10 2013, $15.95

ISBN: 9781564745309

On December 22, 1952, the California Zephyr begins its scenic journey from Oakland to Chicago. The crew is top rate as the company knows how important this trip is due to a train filled with people heading east to be with family for the holidays. The trip starts off as uneventful mostly because of the dedicated crew like Zephyrette hostess Jill McLeod who diligently works on insuring the passengers are comfortable, but she begins hearing complaints about missing items and thefts.

In Colorado, a rock slide injures some on board and blocks the tracks of the eastbound transcontinental. When a murder occurs, Jill, forced out of her comfort zone, investigates only to learn of a second killing.

Death Rides the Zephyr is a wonderful historical that turns into a “locked room” amateur sleuth tale late in the entertaining storyline. Readers will feel they are on board the Zephyr as they meet the crew and passengers with their tales told like Jill became a Zephyr to keep busy after her fiancĂ© died in Korea. Although the whodunit is well written, the detour from riding the rails to murder mystery seems unnecessary as fans will relish more the vivid descriptions of the countryside enhancing the sense of a bygone era of traveling through the west.

Harriet Klausner

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