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Death Rides the Zephyr    by Janet Dawson order for
Death Rides the Zephyr
by Janet Dawson
Order:  USA  Can
Perseverance Press, 2013 (2013)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

If you are a railroad buff (I know a whole clutch of volunteers at a toy train museum in Strasburg, PA who are), you will truly enjoy Death Rides the Zephyr by Janet Dawson. This well-researched book takes its readers back to 1952 and the California Zephyr on a late December trip through the Sierra Nevada, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Rockies, carrying a train load of passengers, most on their way home for Christmas.

Our hostess for this trip is Zephyrette Jill McLeod who wears many different hats during this epic-making journey. Jill describes the train inside and out, as well as the duties of the employees of this famous train. Makes me want to make reservations for my own trip.

Jill certainly did not envision the problems that would plague the train - petty theft; grumpy passengers; children to keep occupied so they did not run rampant throughout the trip; a passenger who likes her pre-dinner cocktails a little too much; as well as a death that surely was not natural.

I enjoyed the book very much but ah, yes, the inevitable but it seemed to me that the train took over the aspect of mystery. Okay, by me; I still liked the book and shall pass it on to a friend who loves trains. Just don't look for deep mystery or gory bodies or exciting chapters in a story that I otherwise found absorbing.

Death Rides the Zephyr is Janet Dawson's second stand-alone mystery novel. Her PI Jeri Howard series is very popular and well-worth reading. As is this one.

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