Death Train to Boston (Fremont Jones Series #5)

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Overview

Autumn 1908 finds Caroline Fremont Jones and her partner in love and work, Michael Kossoff, traveling incognito, riding the rails from San Francisco to Boston. The railroad hired the sleuthing couple to investigate a series of accidents. But before they can solve the mystery, they become victims of the worst mishap yet when their train blows up near Salt Lake City. Was it a callous act of vandalism-or something even more sinister? Michael isn't about to let his injuries slow down his search for answers...or for ...
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2000 Mass-market paperback New. Mass market (rack) paperback. Glued binding. 272 p. Fremont Jones Mysteries (Paperback). Audience: General/trade.

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Death Train to Boston (Fremont Jones Series #5)

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Overview

Autumn 1908 finds Caroline Fremont Jones and her partner in love and work, Michael Kossoff, traveling incognito, riding the rails from San Francisco to Boston. The railroad hired the sleuthing couple to investigate a series of accidents. But before they can solve the mystery, they become victims of the worst mishap yet when their train blows up near Salt Lake City. Was it a callous act of vandalism-or something even more sinister? Michael isn't about to let his injuries slow down his search for answers...or for Fremont, who has not been seen since the accident-dead or alive.

Fortunately, the badly injured Fremont was rescued from the train's wreckage. But her unlikely savior, the leader of a breakaway Mormon sect, has hidden her away in his remote wilderness community. It seems that Melancthon Pratt has big plans for Fremont...not the least of which is for her to become his sixth wife. Now Fremont's only hope is that her genius for artifice will help her devise an escape. That is, unless Michael, shadowed by an old nemesis and a mysterious stranger, can find her before a heartless killer claims both their lives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Award-winning author of Emperor Norton's Ghost

"With her  independent spirit  and youthful  determination,  Miss Jones is virtually   invincible."
--The New York Times Book Review

"It's Day's light and romantic touch with her spunky heroine and the men in her life that makes this series sparkle."
--Booklist

"Swift and upbeat...the ongoing adventures of the sharply defined and appealing cast of characters carry the lively story."
--Publishers Weekly

"Jones is instantly captivating, a spunky young woman who wants to make her own way and is more than capable of doing so....Engaging."
--Winston-Salem Journal

The Strange Files Of Fremont Jones

Macavity Award Winner for Best First Mystery Novel

"One of the most refreshing heroines to appear in years...Day rates top marks for her crisp, witty dialogue...cleverly conceived plot; and darkly menacing touches."
--Booklist

Fire And Fog
"This delightful mystery begins with a bang...and things get more and more complicated from there."
--San Francisco Chronicle

The Bohemian Murders
"A special treat. Highly recommended."
--Chicago Tribune

Emperor Norton's Ghost
"A lively and atmospheric mixture of sharply observed detail and high drama."
--Amazon.com

Death Train To Boston
"The opening scene is electrifying....An extremely appealing book...Great fun to read."
--The Book Report

Toby Bromberg
Told from the alternating views of Michael and Freemont, Death Train to Boston is an exciting tale of adventure and danger that further solidifies Day's reputation as one of today's top storytellers.
Romantic Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This swift and upbeat story features Fremont Jones, scion of a distinguished Boston family, and Michael Kossoff, a Russian nobleman and spy for the czar, who, in the fifth in this series (after Emperor Norton's Ghost), are continuing not only as passionate (but discreet) lovers but also as partners in their own San Francisco-based PI agency. Jones and Kossoff, traveling incognito on a case for the Southern and Union Pacific Railroad in the fall of 1908, are separated after a deliberately caused train wreck in Utah's Wasatch mountains. Michael, suffering a broken collarbone, searches for Fremont in vain: she has been abducted from the site by Melancthon Pratt, a fanatical Mormon who has five wives and is determined to make the lustrous Fremont his sixth. Secluded in a stark room, incapacitated by two broken legs, the shrewd and imaginative young woman beguiles the other wives and keeps the single-minded Pratt at bay. While Michael uses his considerable skills--a background in espionage enhanced by a sixth sense--to search for Fremont, he runs into malevolent figures from his past who have murder on their minds. The basic mystery--who is sabotaging the railroad and why--doesn't seem to matter, as the ongoing adventures of the sharply defined and appealing cast of characters carry the lively story. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Forget about the title. The train carrying Fremont Jones and Michael Kossoff eastward from San Francisco is dynamited before page one, leaving the two partners in love and work (the Agency, Discreet Inquiries) wounded, separated, and ignorant of each other's fate. Michael, whose broken collarbone has hardly slowed him down, soon books passage again with Fremont's Palo Alto friend Meiling Li. He's bent on determining whether the explosion had anything to do with the harassing vandalism on the Southern Pacific line he and Fremont had originally been hired to investigate. And since Michael's enemies have a trick of popping up again like Wile E. Coyote, it's not long before he's encountered two adversaries he thought were dead, both of them evidently hired to spy on him or kill him. Meanwhile, Fremont's peril is greater: She's been rescued by Melancthon Pratt, a Mormon who's convinced that his five wives are all barren and that an angel has sent him to the spot where Fremont, flung clear of the train, lay with two broken legs. Can Fremont figure out which of the wives might help her escape while Michael struggles toward her, dogged by killers with every mile? Light on mystery, medium-light on romantic intrigue, heavy on cliffhanger endings, Fremont's fifth (Emperor Norton's Ghost, 1998, etc.) will best please audiences who really wonder about the answers to those questions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553580556
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/28/2000
  • Series: Fremont Jones Series , #5
  • Edition description: BANTAM MAS
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.84 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Dianne Day spent her early years in the Mississippi Delta before moving to San Francisco and the Bay Area. Fremont Jones has appeared in four previous mysteries: The Strange Files of Fremont Jones, which won the Macavity Award for Best First Novel, and three bestselling sequels. Day has now completed her sixth Fremont Jones mystery, Beacon Street Mourning, and is working on a novel of suspense based on the life of Clara Barton.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

THIS MUST BE how it feels to come back from the dead, I thought as I struggled to open my eyes. Every inch of my body, especially my uncooperative eyelids, felt heavy as lead. I heard a sound, a plaintive moan, and only when another voice spoke did I realize the moan had come from me.

The other voice said, "Awake, unfortunate woman!"

That voice and its biblical-sounding manner of command were unfamiliar, so alien to my ears in both language and tone that fear coursed coldly through me and broke my leaden bonds. I opened my eyes.

Immediately I wished I had not. I was lying stark naked in a strange bed, in a strange room, with a man I had never seen before in my life standing over me. I had not the slightest idea in the world how I'd come to be here.

Whatever this was, whatever I had done now, whatever horrible mistake I'd made, I couldn't face it. I closed my eyes and turned my head away. That is, I tried to turn my head, I meant to turn it--but the pain was so severe, and my head was so heavy, that I doubt I moved at all. Instead I was sinking. Everything went black, and I was glad of it.

Goddammit!" Michael Kossoff swore aloud, adding several more obscene words under his breath for good measure. As the sky stopped spinning overhead, he began to assess himself and the situation.

His collarbone was broken on the left side. He was certain of that much, due to the pain that ensued when he tried to move his left arm, and where the pain was located. He lifted his right hand and felt his face, which appeared to be intact, beard included, though he had the very devil of a headache. Without looking down he moved first one leg and then the other. Flexed his ankles; wiggled his toes inside his shoes. Everything seemed in working order except for the shoulder, and that damned throbbing in his head.

He supposed he could have been unconscious for a while; in fact, on further thought he believed he must have been, because of the initial dizziness combined with a certain sluggishness of mind. He wasn't yet entirely sure what had happened. He did know he was in no way ready to sit up, so he closed his eyes and put his ears to work.

Michael heard--and felt--a vast silence around him; the unnerving sort of silence that one notices when for days there has been steady sound in the background, then suddenly the reassurance of that steady sound is gone. Yes: The comforting, lulling hum and clack of the train moving swiftly over its tracks was now missing. He listened harder: Within the disturbing hush there were people crying, moaning, sobbing--and for one terrifying, irrational moment Michael wondered if he had finally died and gone to hell.

"Where I belong, several times over," he muttered, aware even as he did so that Fremont would not agree with this last point.

Fremont. . . .

Along with her name, her face filled Michael's mind: the murky depths of her green eyes that always made him wonder what she was thinking; the quirk of her mouth; that dark reddish hair as stubbornly straight as her narrow, uncorseted backbone.

Michael lay for a moment not caring where he was, just contemplating, with an aching pleasure that was quite different from the other aches in his body, how much he loved Fremont Jones. Even better--indeed the cause of a sudden, revivifying warmth that coursed through his whole body--was knowing that she also loved him.

But then, in the blink of an eye, all pleasure vanished as he cried aloud, "Oh, my God! Fremont!"

Someone kept poking and prodding at me, when all I wanted was to sleep. If I moved, it would hurt--that was my one thought. Yet this poking about on my person had to stop.

As forcefully as I could, I said, "Stop that!" And then, with the greatest reluctance, I opened my eyes.

"Just what do you think you're doing?" I asked the strange man who was examining my anatomy as minutely as if I had been a specimen for dissection in a laboratory. Perhaps I was. Perhaps I had died, or some ill-informed person had thought I was dead and shipped my body off. Dimly I recalled knowing a woman that same thing had happened to. . . .

But no, on second thought that was not likely, for most definitely I lay not on some cold, scientific-looking metal trolley but in a bed, on a mattress that might have been comfortable had I not, overall, hurt so much.

"I am examining you to determine the nature and extent of your injuries," the man said gruffly. He may have intended to smile, but obviously he did it so seldom that his face had forgotten the corners of the mouth were supposed to turn up.

"I will thank you to desist and give me back my clothes," I said, injecting a note of outrage into my voice as best I could. Then I crossed my arms over my breasts with great difficulty. I would have drawn up my legs, but I could not; they refused to cooperate with me. Nor could I raise my head. I said, "You are a doctor, I presume?"

"No," he replied, making no move whatever to cover my nakedness, "I am not a doctor. I am your savior."

More biblical language. "A likely story. Savior, my foot!" I scoffed, but without conviction. Perhaps I really was dead.

My mind refused to work with its usual efficiency. I wanted very much to escape back into unconsciousness, where my body might rest and my thoughts attain oblivion. Yet my brain, which is undoubtedly my most reliable organ, argued against that. For one thing, judging by his odd vocabulary this man could be a dangerous fanatic; certainly he was no savior. Second, around fanatics one had better stay awake--therefore I would.

I strained my peripheral vision in an attempt to ascertain if there might be someone else in the room who could assist me. Preferably another woman. But I couldn't see around my fanatical savior. He was a large man, standing so close that he completely filled my visual field.

"You should be grateful," he said. "I could have left you there to die."

"A likely story," I said again. But I wondered, Left me where?

"You have a serious head wound and were bleeding profusely."

"Do you always completely undress people who have wounds upon their heads?" I inquired, emphasizing the final word. Speaking at all required tremendous effort. I was trying hard to be my usual insouciant self, but I was a long way from hitting the mark.

He turned his back without response and moved away from the bed. I forced my head to roll to one side, intending to scan the room, and immediately became nauseous beyond my ability to control. I vomited all in one horrid projectile gush.

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