Livia J. Washburn
Kensington, Nov 2009, $22.00
Delilah Dickinson owns a travel agency in Atlanta that specializes in literary themes. She hopes the Samuel Clemens tour on a riverboat down the Mississippi will prove more relaxing than the Scarlett O’Hara plantation trip, which included a real murder (see FRANKLY NY DEAR, I’M DEAD).
The cruise does not get off to a good start when one of the customers Ben Webster throws a punch at a roulette dealer whom he claims was cheating. The captain holds Delilah culpable while the security chief orders Ben from the boat, but he disappears and his cabin is empty. He is found dead. The police refuse to allow anyone to leave the vessel until they find the killer. Delilah teams up on her investigation with an actor on board portraying Samuel Clemens, Mark Lansing. However he is really a private eye undercover trying to learn who killed pregnant Hannah Kramer a year ago on the same boat. The travel agent believes the current homicide and that of Hannah are related, but her inquiry almost makes her victim number three.
The second literary tour mystery is a special amateur sleuth tale as the spunky heroine makes for a fun “locked room” cozy. Hannah behaves in a believable manner while obtaining tidbits of information by asking questions of those trapped on board. HUCKLEBERRY FINISHED is a humorous, fresh (baked) dramatic whodunit that fans will enjoy and Mark Twain would have appreciated.