It’s 1899, and when his best friend is arrested for the murder of a notorious gangster, gentleman adventurer John Granville is determined to hunt down the real killer.
To save his friend, Granville must dive into the seedy side of the city—the burlesque halls, gambling joints, and opium dens that line reeking mudflats. He finds allies along the way, including Emily Turner, the emancipated daughter of a very Victorian father. But with a fortune in Klondike gold and Chinese silk at stake, no-one is safe.
Set on the Northwest Coast during the Klondike Era—when Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco were gateways for Klondike gold and Chinese silk, The Silk Train Murder features strong characters and a well-researched and lively story.
Finalist for the Arthur Ellis First Novel Award
“… a big, bubbling stewpot of a book!… delicious…” Betty Webb, Mystery Scene Magazine
“…an impressive debut…lots of colorful historical detail...” Booklist starred review
“…one of Canada’s newest mystery writers to watch.” Quill & Quire starred review
“… a solid series start…” Library Journal
“…draw(s) on a fascinating, little-known bit of Western history… a well-researched and lively story…” Seattle Times
“Sharon Rowse strikes gold with a cavalcade of colorful characters. Climb aboard. The Silk Train Murder will take you on quite a ride!” Chris Grabenstein, Anthony award-winning author of Tilt a Whirl
“This is one of those rare books…that does not hit you over the head with how much the author knows about the place and period. Not that Rowse hasn't done her homework. She has, but the details are introduced subtly without fanfare, or any attempt to show off. Characters are well drawn and sympathetic…I look forward to reading a sequel.”-- Roberta Rich, Best-selling author of The Midwife of Venice
Neither very mysterious nor set in the Klondike, Canadian author Rowse's debut drowns out its straightforward whodunit plot with somewhat awkward period detail. John Lansdowne Grenville, an English nobleman's fourth son, sought his fortune in the New World, but came up bust after a stint in the Yukon gold fields. Later, in Vancouver in 1899, Grenville runs into his former partner, Sam Scott, who convinces him to sign on as a guard for a silk train, a high-speed train that rushes raw silk shipped from the Orient to Vancouver onto the East Coast. When a body is found near the train, Scott is arrested for murder. Grenville declares himself a detective and sets about attempting to clear his friend's name, taking on young errand boy Trent Davis and bored society girl Emily Turner as sidekicks. Perhaps the proposed series will flesh out the characters and setting, but Rowse does little more than set the stage in this unprepossessing kickoff.