Funnel Novels For Summer Reading

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Aug 29, 2000
Looking for some fluffy funnel fodder for the beach? Got any good titles to suggest? Here's a few- some out of print but still available at libraries and on Bookfinder:
The Heiress-Dorothy Eden- Lusitania disaster, switcheroo between lady's maid and lady-who survives?
Amanda/Miranda, Richard Peck- Same story only set on Titanic
The Normandie Affair, Elizabeth Villars- title says it all,
Last Dance on a Sinking Ship (sorry, forgot the author)- hilarious antics of historical people and fictional aboard the superliner Columbia, set in the late 30's
The Magic Ship, Parotti, WONDERFUL fictional tale about the Kronzprincessin Cecilie's days in Bar Harbor at the outbreak of WWI- beautifully written
The Memory of Eva Ryker (Stanhope?) Big thrills, revealed in flashbacks aboard Titanic,
The False Inspector Dew- the Montrose/Crippen story- great fun (author Peter Lovesey)
Got a few to add?

Tracy Smith

Nov 5, 2000
South Carolina USA
Here's one I found at the library today:

Murder on the Lusitania by Conrad Allen. Published in 1999.

Haven't read the story yet, but the cover is awful. It shows a modern cruise ship with three red, white, and blue funnels! I have no idea why they didn't put a picture or a drawing of the Lusy on the cover.
Apr 18, 2001
I dont recall that one but I do recall a novel called 'Lusitania' a few years back, if I remember correctly, It dealt more with the 'u' boat and her crew but the sinking was dealt with most sympatheticaly. I'll have a rumage and come up with the auther and i.s.b.n. if anyone is interested

Mike Herbold

Dec 13, 1999
"Sherlock Holmes and the Titanic Tragedy," by William Seil. First published by Breese Books of London in 1996, with many reprints since then.

This ties in with a thread that Dave Gittins had about Jacques Futrelle in the Passenger area.

The cast of characters includes Sherlock Holmes, usually disguised, Dr. Watson, and the usual cast of good guys (and gals) and bad guys. Various Titanic staff, including Smith, Ismay, Murdock, and Lightoller, have minor roles. And a fictional Futrelle and his wife May are prominent characters in this book.

Set almost entirely on the Titanic, this novel does a good job of using the ship accurately without getting bogged down in too many details. Often Titanic novels try to be too historical. This one just tells a good story, and happens to use the Titanic for the setting.

Highly recommended. Took me just two days of sitting around to finish this one off. I won't spoil it by telling you who lives and who dies.

One thing that I did not understand, which was not explained in a foreward or in the acknowledgements, is how Seil was allowed to use the character of Sherlock Holmes. Is that public domain now? I would have thought that it violated copyright laws.

Jason D. Tiller

Aug 20, 2000
Niagara Falls, Ontario
"Murder on the Titanic" by Max Allan Collins. It was published in 1999 and I'm reading it right now, but so far it's an excellent book.

It's about two murders that may have occured before the ship sank and which Futrelle may have been investigating. As I have just started it, the characters that are mentioned right now are Jacques Futrelle and his wife May, Ismay, Smith, Major Butt, Frank Millet, the Strauses, the Astor's, Guggenheim and his mistress Pauline Aubert, the Allison's and the Harrises.

Best regards,


Dave Gittins

Mar 16, 2000
I lifted this explanation on copyright from
Take it for what it's worth.

Copyright in the Sherlock Holmes stories expired in Canada in 1980.
The last copyright on ACD's work in the United Kingdom expired at the end of the year 2000.

In the United States, the only Sherlock Holmes remaining in copyright is The Case Book, which will enter the public domain between 2016 and 2023. These copyrights are owned by the Estate of Dame Jean Conan Doyle, who bequeathed them to the Royal National Institute for the Blind. The American agent for administering them, and related rights in the Sherlock Holmes character, is Jon Lellenberg, [email protected].

A recently created web site for "the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate" represents Andrea Plunket, who has filed a claim to the name "Sherlock Holmes" as a United States trademark. Plunket is the former wife of Sheldon Reynolds, producer of the 1954 television series starring Ronald Howard as Holmes. Reynolds controlled the copyrights in the 1950s. Plunket is proprietor of a guest house in Livingston Manor, New York.
Jun 4, 2000
Thanks, Dave. Very interesting. I have several Holmes pastiches of various degrees of entertainment and have just been ratting through the title and acknowledgment pages for this information. Remarkably few carry any mention of it. Hrm.

One book proudly proclaims that it is 'authorised by Dame Jean Conan Doyle': 'Sherlock Holmes in Orbit', edited by Mike Resnick and Martin H Greenberg. I mention this one in particular as it happens to contain another Holmes/Titanic story 'Two Roads, No Choices' by Dean Wesley Smith. (Titanic fiction aficionados will recognise him as also being the author of 'Laying the Music to Rest'.
Aug 29, 2000
Started reading Peter Lovesy's "The False Inspector Dew" last night and nothing else got done. It opens in the first chapter with the sinking of Lusitania, introduces a series of characters like unto Agatha Christie meets Alfred Hitchcock and rapidly escalates to murders aboard the Mauretania with our own Rostron as Master- and a shipful of unforgettable characters. The details are not bad- Lovesy does have Charlie Frohman listed as Carl and with a WIFE! But otherwise the shipboard descriptions are not bad. There are plot turns and twists at the end of every chapter and the title of course is based on that famous wifekiller Dr. Crippen and the Montrose incident. Most libraries should have it-used bookstores certainly do- you will not put it down.
Aug 29, 2000
"Oh Miss LeNeve-
Is it true that you are sittin'
On the lap of Dr. Crippen
In your boys clothes
On the S.S Mont-rose
Miss LeNeve?"
This was the popular music hall ditty sung after the arrest. For a delicious recounting of the whole exciting affair- the Edwardian Mystery to end all- and many photographs of the players, Captain Kendall and the REAL Inspector Dew, get a tall glass of iced tea and settle down for a half-hour's perusal- this is a tale of wireless at its finest hour!:
Lovely bedtime reading....
May 1, 2004
I've finally read "Amanda/Miranda" by Richard Peck, after having it on my shelf oh so long. It is the novel of spoiled brat, sexed spider, English tea-heiress Amanda and her look-alike, downtrodden maid Miranda. Miranda is mistaken for Amanda when she's pulled out of the water.

I was fascinated by Miranda's description of the sinking and her sensations of pain, cold and terror in the water. I suspect Mr. Cameron or a writer of another Titanic movie had read the description of Amanda's body and bedclothes turning in the water of the submerged stateroom. I saw such a scene in one of the films.

Has anyone else read the book? Does her description [Mr. Peck's actually] compare to the accounts of actual survivors.
May 27, 2007
Hello Marilyn

I read Amanda/Miranda. Miranda real name was Mary but Amanda didn't want a maid named Mary because Mary was too plain.


I suspect Mr. Cameron or a writer of another Titanic movie had read the description of Amanda's body and bedclothes turning in the water of the submerged stateroom. I saw such a scene in one of the films.

You could be right. Now that I think on it the description does match up of Amanda underwater. But that's not all. The plot line of Rose, a rich girl pretending to be somebody else who is poor is Miranda's story in reverse. Miranda's pretending to be Amanda a rich girl after the ship sinks while Rose Dewitt Bukater is pretending after the ship sinks to be Poor Rose Dawson. There is a lot of Amanda/Miranda in Titanic at that. I thought the book was all right but the story would of worked just as well if it had been a strait forward account of a Lady's Maid surviving the disaster and finding love with her dead employer's fiancee without all the complications.​
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