Mysterious Reviews Home

Death Rides the Zephyr

by Janet Dawson

Death Rides the Zephyr by Janet Dawson

Review: On December 23rd, 1952 an ultra-luxurious train, the California Zephyr, left Oakland, California and headed east for Chicago. Its route would travel through the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, the Great Basin National Park and the Colorado Rockies. The cars were filled almost to capacity with individuals and families heading out to visit their loved ones for the Christmas holidays. Jill McCloud is a Zephyrette, a person who welcomes the passengers, guides them around the train and helps them get settled in their rooms or compartments, and is in general the person to turn to for any information or assistance. Most of the passengers are thrilled and happy to be on the train. There are a few, however, who seem to gripe about anything and everything, from the noise the train makes, to the commotion the children create while excitedly running up and down the aisles. To help keep everyone occupied, Jill planned a scavenger hunt on the last day of the trip plus a Christmas party. When a gold cigarette case in the shape of an envelope and a lady’s brooch go missing, the owners of the items blame the kids and the scavenger hunt even though the children were told not to enter any ones room. The mystery of the missing items leads to a murder and an attempted murder, in Death Rides the Zephyr, a stand-alone murder mystery by Janet Dawson.

With Jill McCloud leading the way, and the stewards and porters close at hand, there is an impressive cast of characters riding the rails. But there is much more here. This is the golden age of rail travel, and the California Zephyr is among the best trains in service. The author does a remarkable job of effortlessly incorporating the history of the Zephyr into the storyline, depicting each car in detail including one with Vista Domes that provide a 360-degree view of the magnificent scenery. The titular "death" occurs late in the book, but that aspect doesn't detract from the incredible journey the reader takes across country.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Death Rides the Zephyr.

Acknowledgment: Perseverance Press provided an ARC of Death Rides the Zephyr for this review.

Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: What You Wish For by Janet DawsonWhat You Wish For
Perseverance Press (Trade Paperback), September 2012
ISBN-13: 9781564745187; ISBN-10: 156474518X

Location(s) referenced in Death Rides the Zephyr: California, Colorado, Illinois

— ♦ —

Death Rides the Zephyr by Janet Dawson

Death Rides the Zephyr by

Publisher: Perseverance Press
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-56474-530-9
Publication Date:
List Price: $15.95

Buy the Book (purchase options)

— ♦ —

Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites