Title: The Case of the Missing Bride by Carmen Radtke
Publisher: Bloodhound Books
When a girl goes missing on board of an ocean liner, only one person is convinced that the disappearance is no accident. Alyssa has found herself with a group of impoverished girls who are embarking from Australia to Canada in the hope of marriage. As the daughter of a senior official, Alyssa doesn’t share this goal. She hopes to return to England via Canada and sees the trip as her only way to secure any passage on a ship. But the girls all share one problem. Their presence on the ship is not known to many of its passengers but their worlds collide when one of the gentlemen discovers the girls. Then Emma, one of the intended brides, goes missing. Alyssa is convinced the disappearance is no accident, and she will risk her own life to search for the killer. What happened to Emma? Is there a murderer on board the ship? Alyssa is about to discover that there is more to her voyage into the unknown than she bargained for.
First off I would like to thank Bloodhound Books for my advanced copy of this book.
This book is set in the late nineteenth century when girls, especially orphaned, ones had little or no prospects in Australia. They’re only choice was to set sail to Canada in hopes of finding a husband.
Alyssa Chambers is not like the other girls. She was raised in relative luxury, until her father, a high ranking official, spoke out against the treatment of prisoners in Port Philips prison and then her mother died leaving her alone. Boarding the ship she hopes to get to Canada then back to England to find her long lost relatives.
She is put in charge of a small group of girls whom she grows fond of then one the girls, goes missing.
With the help of Dr Bryson and first mate Mr Kendrick she must find the killer before he strikes again.
I loved this Agatha Christie style mystery. There wasn’t a lot of action but it didn’t need it, the mystery kept me interested all the way through. The setting on the boat helped a lot, the author really got that feel of isolation across and terror of being trapped in the middle of nowhere with a murderer.
Alyssa was a fantastic character too, with a tendency to speak her mind and defend herself, which was not a good trait in a woman back in those days.
There was also a little bit of a love triangle going between Alyssa, Dr Bryson and Mr Kendrick which I enjoyed immensely.
My only complaint was it was quite a short book and I wanted to read more!
I will definitely be on the lookout for more books by this author.
Carmen has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously high pile of books and newspapers by her side.
She has worked as a newspaper reporter on two continents and always dreamt of becoming a novelist and screenwriter.
When she found herself crouched under her dining table, typing away on a novel between two earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, she realised she was hooked for life.
The shaken but stirring novel made it to the longlist of the Mslexia competition, and her next book and first mystery, The Case Of The Missing Bride, was a finalist in the Malice Domestic competition in a year without a winner.
Carmen was born in Hamburg, Germany, but had planned on emigrating since she was five years old. She first moved to New Zealand and now lives in York, UK, with her daughter, cat, and sometimes her seafaring husband comes home.