Murder on the Ship of Dreams
When Thomas Clayton boarded the Titanic he did not do so for pleasure. An assassin by trade, Mr. Clayton is on a mission to kill his best friend and mentor. Thomas has no clue what Quentin may have done to have caused his services to be required, but he is determined to help his friend reach New York safely. This simple deception becomes complicated though, when his path crosses with a mysterious first class socialite. Unknown to him, Rebecca and her Uncle have boarded Titanic for reasons similar to his. The closer the ship gets to its destination and the more Thomas learns about the mysterious Rebecca the more it becomes apparent that protecting his friend may not be as easy or as wise as he thinks.
Toll the Bell is the newest novel by C.P. Bialois and is a nice alternate journey on Titanic. Thomas, having boarded as a Second Class passenger gives the reader a view of Titanic that’s not the opulent luxury that was First Class. Thanks to his association with Rebecca and interactions with Quentin the reader does get a glimpse of the more familiar First Class venues as well. While this made the book less Titanic-centric than others I have read it was still very enjoyable. Also being a lifelong Titanic fan I appreciated the attention given to some lesser known areas of the ship. The attention to detail Bialois provided, specifically with his description of the Turkish Bath was spot on and shows that he has also done his homework historically. Another area we see this is in addition of actual crew-member Reginald L. Barker the Second Class purser, friend and helper to Thomas. If you’re looking for a good cat and mouse game in a familiar setting but told from an entirely new angle, I would recommend giving Toll the Bell a read.