LOCO MOTIVE by Mary Daheim


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Wisecracking cousins board a cross-country train and watch the corpses whiz by.

Renie, who hates to fly, convinces her cousin, B&B owner Judith, to take a restful Amtrak sleeper, West Coast to East, to meet their husbands, who have business engagements in Boston. What a coincidence! Half the passengers occupying neighboring compartments had been recent guests at Judith’s Hillside Manor, including way-past-prime daredevil actor Wee Willie Weevil, who, on a dare, tried flying out of a second-story inn window and landed himself in a thorn bush and Judith in a $30 million lawsuit. Wee Willie is soon dead, the Amtrak attendant Roy gone missing and several other mishaps await: a collision with a pickup truck carrying beets; four passengers stranded in the middle of nowhere; spotty cell-phone reception; a camera lost from luggage; a man who gets off the train with sideburns and back on without them; and as many folks using aliases and slipping in and out of bedrooms as in a French farce. On top of it all, the snow is really coming down. Undaunted, Judith makes friends and breaks alibis, but it’s up to Renie to save her from being pitched off the train by a good thwack from a sock loaded with horse chestnuts.

Fast-paced, droll and lively fun for old friends of the two-dozen other Bed-and-Breakfast mysteries (Vi Agra Falls, 2008, etc.). It may even tempt you to head for the depot instead of the airport.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-135156-3
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2010


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