I am delighted today to be re-sharing with you all, my review for The Case Of The Missing Bride by Carmen Radtke as part of the Bloodhound Books Christmas Crackers Blog Tour. Enjoy!
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.
I have to admit this isn’t the usual sort of book that I would pick up. I tend not to be a big fan of books set in a different century, much preferring them to be set in the modern day instead. I have to say though the book description sounded to good for me to pass up on the chance of reading it, so I did, read it that is.
The whole story takes part on the ship on it’s voyage to Canada where most of the girls hope to be married off and make a new life for themselves. I did feel a bit sorry for them all. To spend time cooped up together for quite a considerable amount of time would have sent me stir crazy. Obviously this is also at a time when women were not seen to travel on their own and in this case they are all accompanied by a matron to watch over them and make sure there are no unsavoury advances from any men on board.
I liked how the girls or should I say young women, all have quite a personality. Alyssa certainly is quite outspoken which is something that would have been frowned upon then. The on board doctor though seems to take quite a shine to her often playfully winding her up much to Alyssa’s annoyance. I also enjoyed the matrons character, who I envisioned to be quite different to the stereo typical ones you would normally see on the telly.
I wouldn’t class this as a crime thriller as the story is told at a much slower pace of which I feel is needed for the setting and type of story it is. It is very much one of murder mystery and reminded me slightly of Agatha Christie’s, Death On The Nile with it being set on a ship which means the murderer is still on board and it’s down to the people on board to work out who the villain is.
The Case of the Missing Bride is a charming and intriguing read. For a slower paced read it still had me engrossed, so much so that I read it in two sittings. Definitely one of those sort of books that you will be glad you take a chance on if it’s not your usual kind of read.
My thanks to Bloodhound books for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
The Case Of The Missing Bride is available to purchase from Amazon.
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.