In 1919, a Colorado police officer must solve a murder on one of his rare days off.
Officer Harry McBride of the Boulder Police Department has taken his wife, Susan, on a day trip to the mountains on the narrow gauge Switzerland Trail of America railway. They soon become acquainted with their fellow passengers: friendly Allison Jacoby; her mentally challenged brother, Michael; and her fiance, grouchy World War I veteran Frederick Hammond. The group also includes attorney Daniel Compton, Allison’s former boyfriend; Mrs. Lucille Vickering, a widow who runs a boardinghouse; and her companion, professor Benjamin Sager, who had invited Daniel and Frederick, both his former students. The professor, who loves the sound of his own voice, keeps up a running commentary on the history of the railway and the mines it was built to serve while Daniel and Frederick squabble and Michael, who has amazing talent as a carver, ignores everyone. Once at the end of the line, they go their separate ways. On their returning to the train, Frederick, the last to arrive, staggers aboard with a knife in his back. Harry has only the time of the train ride back to try to determine which of six people murdered their friend, fiance, and/or traveling companion.
In this second departure (Mystery of the Dinner Playhouse, 2015, etc.) from Befeler’s comic Geezer series, the characters lack depth, and the pedantic professor Sager manages to make the history of the area unforgivably boring.