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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars

on 22 March 2015
it was ok
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 27 January 2013
The author has written another in the hybrid history and fiction genre. This involves the last and fatal flight of the zeppelin Hindenburg. Leaving Frankfurt, Germany, voyaging to New Jersey, America, this 1937 event is entwined with a murder mystery involving one of the 36 passengers, dapper Leslie Charteris. The celebrated author of the 'Saint' series featuring Simon Templar, actually travelled on the airship's maiden voyage, not this one, fortunately. This stiffens the historical bent of the book as does the author's depiction of the Nazi pre-WW2 scenario. The SS are well-represented on board and one officer thought to be an informer mysteriously disappears. Charteris is asked by the Germans to help find the culprit. The added conviction that a bomb is planted on the ship adds to the tension and with time ticking away, it must be found. Questioning those on board reveals information that contains surprising facts to Charteris, not all genial.

There are some twists and turns in the plot of this fun and easy read. I couldn't help reading the Leslie Charteris narrative as if George Sanders (the best Saint,in my opinion) was speaking it. Light and well-written.
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on 27 January 2013
This was good fun, with Leslie Charteris (who did indeed once sail on the Hindenberg) as the sleuth. Not memorable, but a pleasant diversion, with plenty of nods to fans of Simon Templar.
My husband suggested that the story wasn't so much written as assembled from eyewitness accounts of the last flight and from Charteris's regular columns for the Saint magazine. I thought it read smoothly, and I didn't hit any jarring anachronisms in speech or behaviour.
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on 21 April 2013
I had planned to read the series of these "disaster" thrillers/mysteries, but I'm not going to bother. From this one I learned a lot about zeppelins and travel therein, but I never really engaged with the characters or the storyline and it really felt that at times I was receiving a lecture or the benefit of someone's exhaustive research, like it or not.
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VINE VOICEon 11 June 2014
This is the fourth of the books by this author I have read, setting a murder mystery in a real life disaster scenario and including as sleuth a real life crime writer. In this case, it's Leslie Charteris, creator of The Saint, who tries to find a murderer aboard the doomed German airship on its final flight to New York in May 1937 (in reality, Charteris was on its maiden flight the year before, but not on its final one). The plot involves undercover anti-Nazi Germans plotting to blow up the airship after it docks in New York to strike a blow to undermine the prestige of the Nazi regime, and the moral ambiguity is interesting, though the anti-Nazi saboteurs are unattractive characters. Frankly, I didn't warm to Charteris at all, and the only characters I found sympathetic really were the Adelts and Captain Lehmann. The plot is reasonable, with a twist at the end after the fiery crash of the airship, but the real highlight of this for me was the setting itself - there is a certain majesty about the notion of travelling in an airship that must have been the ultimate transport wonder of its day. A plan of the airship would have been good.
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on 22 September 2001
The Hindenburg Murders is a fast-paced murder mystery that takes place around a real historical catastrophe and features Leslie Charteris, the renowned author of the Saint novels, as the hero.
The story begins with Charteris and other passengers boarding the Hindenburg, under the watchful eye of the Nazis. Charteris suspects that they may have been a bomb threat. A German, who Charteris along with most of the other passengers took an instant dislike to, mysteriously disappears. This man turns out to be a SS agent. The ship's officials fear the bad publicity as much the reaction from their own government but don't want to upset the passengers. So they ask Charteris to discretely investigate on their behalf.
Like any good Agatha Christie novel you are quickly introduced to all the suspects and the mystery is fairly obvious. However, you learn a fair bit about the Hindenburg, people's reactions to the world events at that time and Charteris makes an engaging protagonist.
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on 12 June 2013
I came to this book having read another in the same series. Max Allan Collins takes real events, and real crime writers (in this case Leslie Charteris) and puts them together in a fictional situation. Very entertaining.
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on 21 August 2013
I had not read any Saint stories or pastiches, and found this to move along nicely. The plot was a good twist on the actual event, and I liked it that some of the real passengers' names were used. The explanation at the end, telling what was fact and what fiction, was useful and interesting.
What I did not like, and found annoying, was the plethora of irrelevant information padded into the story; I lost count of how many times Charteris flicked ash from his cigarette, and did not need to have details of every change of clothes worn by Charteris and his lady friend. But for that, I would have given it another star.
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on 19 January 2015
An interesting tale based on the circumstances which led to the disastrous end of the Hindenberg zeppelin at New York prior to the Second World war. Although the characters portrayed are real, the story is fiction. The leading role is played by Leslie Charteris, author of the Saint novels, who leads a cast of louche well off high-livers, who in the airship's final trip across the Atlantic, are caught up in a political intrigue involving Nazis and Jews.
Well written, piece of fiction; not to be taken too seriously.
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on 11 February 2014
The idea of a historical mystery is a good one, and you learn quite a lot about the historical event, as well as enjoying the mystery itself. Perhaps the four stars are a little mean, but it shares with a lot of detective fiction that the characters (other than the main character) are rather thinly drawn - maybe this is an almost inevitable feature of the genre.
I have read other books by the same author in the same series, and would make exactly the same comment about those books as well.
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