Trouble seems to find Jack Elton even when he’s in motion. During what he had hoped would be a relaxing honeymoon train excursion with his new bride, he is plunged, once again, into a murder investigation. One of his fellow travelers has been found dead in a coach washroom on The Last Spike Special, en route from Vancouver to Calgary.
At first it looks like Oscar Dempster took his own life. Even the police officer assigned to the case says he believes that is what happened. But, with the help of another passenger, a medical student, Jack sets out to prove otherwise.
The clock is ticking and the miles speed by beneath him as Jack works to find the killer and uncover the motive for murder. The perpetrator must be identified before the train arrives at its final destination. In his quest, Jack will get to know some of his coach mates more intimately than he intended, for at least one of them is a deadly assassin.
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The gentle rocking of the railway coach had a soothing effect on the passengers as the tourist train rumbled along. Outside the window, the view of the mountains was breathtaking. This was the second, and last, day of the journey that had begun only twenty-four hours earlier.
Not all the passengers were fully awake. Some swayed in their seats as they looked out at the passing scenery. Others stood in the aisles, speaking to coach mates and new acquaintances.
Oscar Dempster also swayed back and forth with the rocking of the train. His eyes bulged from their sockets. His tongue protruded from his mouth. Oscar was going to miss a fine breakfast. In fact, he was going to miss the rest of the trip. To tell the truth he was going to miss the rest of what might have been left of his life.
A length of nylon rope was looped around the fleshy neck of the man from California. He was sitting, awkwardly splayed, on the floor of the spacious washroom that had been provided for the comfort of passengers on the Last Spike Special.
Few people were going to be comfortable on this day’s journey into Calgary.