Paradise tossed ("Murder on the Leviathan")
The Leviathan is a super steamship bound for Calcutta in 1878. Its passengers include a doctor or two, a doctor's wife, and a highly nervous nobleman. A middle-aged English lady suddenly grown rich under suspicious circumstances is part of the group, scandalized by the behavior of a Russian diplomat with a slight stutter. A flighty young woman in a delicate condition has her own reason to be nonplussed by the Russian, and a specialist in Indian archaeology arouses suspicion when he chucks a napkin under a table. One of the group has slaughtered ten people in a Paris townhouse -- maybe.
The characters take turn narrating chapters, and each misinterprets the state of affairs in his or her own way. Each, without knowing it, stumbles upon certain truths well before the detective in charge, Erast Fandorin. And, in a strange way, each is part of his or own Tempest, only these characters lose their illusions and delusions at sea, instead of on a wild island, before heading home, free of "the feverish stupor that had shrouded our minds and souls."
© Peter Rozovsky 2006