A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle – Book review

Read my review of my  #ballstothebacklog buy, a murder mystery on a ship bound to an art fair in 1924.

Genre: historical crime

Source: My own, bought on impulse as I loved the cover blurb

November 1924. The Endeavour sets sail from Southampton carrying 2,000 passengers and crew on a week-long voyage to New York.
When an elderly gentleman is found dead at the foot of a staircase, James Temple, a strong-minded Scotland Yard inspector, is certain there is more to this misfortune than meets the eye.
Birch, the ship’s officer, agrees to investigate, and the trail quickly leads to the theft of a priceless painting. Its very existence is known only to its owner . . . and the dead man.
With just days remaining until they reach New York, and even Temple’s purpose on board the Endeavour proving increasingly suspicious, Birch’s search for the culprit is fraught with danger.
And all the while, the passengers continue to roam the ship with a killer in their midst .


I enjoy a good murder mystery- the kind of murder mystery where you have a room (or ship ) full of suspects with murky motives, a grumpy detective and a reluctant sidekick and this book has it all.

But this is more than your usual cosy murder and is a little darker than Agatha Christie’s books which enhances the story. But I enjoyed the fact there was hardly any gore or violence.

The book is told from Birch’s point of view, his voice as the reluctant sidekick who develops an interest in solving the crime is interesting because ( or despite) his own personal tragedy. 

Temple is the grumpy, tenacious Detective with his own murky background. The interactions between Birch and Temple are tense and realistic. 

The underlying murder mystery is suitably complex- I didn’t guess who the murderer was by the end.

The descriptions of different classes, levels and life on the Endeavour did bring this vividly to my mind and has again reinforced my reluctance to go on a cruise.

I’m not sure if I liked how the book ended, but I think many readers will enjoy the ending.

Perfect for Fans of

Murder mysteries with a little hint of darkness but no gore

Content warning

Sexual assault ( off-page), the disappearance of a child.

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