The Railway Detective

The Railway Detective

by Edward Marston

Hardcover(Large Print)

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London 1851. With the opening of the Great Exhibition at hand, interest is mounting in the engineering triumphs of the railways, but not everyone feels like celebrating…

In an audacious attack, the London to Birmingham mail train is robbed and derailed, causing many casualties. Planned with military precision, this crime proves a challenge to Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck who fights to untangle a web of murder, blackmail and destruction.

As Colbeck closes in on the criminal masterminds, events take an unexpected turn when the beautiful Madeleine, daughter of the injured train driver, becomes a pawn in the criminals’ game. With time running out, good and evil, new and old, battle against each other. But will the long arm of the law have speed on its side?

The Railway Detective is an action-packed dip into murky 1850s London. Full of historical detail, unexpected twists and memorable characters, this is a mystery that will surprise you at every turn.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780750522366
Publisher: Magna Large Print Books
Publication date: 01/11/2004
Series: Robert Colbeck Series , #1
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Edward Marston has written over a hundred books, including some non fiction. He is best known for his hugely successful Railway Detective series. His other current series are the Home Front Detective , set in the Great War, and the Bow Street Rivals, featuring identical twin detectives during the Regency.

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Railway Detective 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Landric on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good read for those who, like me, enjoy a good detective yarn, especially one with an historical setting. The detail is generally more accurate than that of many writers in this genre, and the railway setting is a refreshing change. I'll be reading the other novels in this series.
johnthefireman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first of a new series of railway detective books, set in Victorian England of the mid-19th century. The pace is sedate and the plot not unduly complex, but it makes for pleasant enough reading. There are hints of Holmes and Watson in the foppish inspector and his loyal sergeant. Both the period setting and the railway ambience add interest.
TedWitham on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A cleverly crafted detective story with a likeable detective at its heart. Occasionally heavy on detail about railways and locmotives, the plot moves forward briskly to a creditable resolution. I found the writing prissy, especially as the dialogue emulated Victorian speech in a very formal manner.
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Railway Detective is the first in a series of light mystery novels featuring Inspector Robert Colbeck of Scotland Yard of mid-19th century England. In this first installment, a train carrying gold from the mint and mail is highjacked and the fireman of the train is forced to derail the engine after the driver refuses and is forcibly kicked off the train. After looking around for clues, Colbeck realizes that the robbery is probably an inside job, but just as he and his partner, Sgt. Leeming, start getting a break, there are a series of murders that occur that starts them on their search yet again. Add to this Marston's stuffy boss, who thinks Marston's techniques are unsporting and ungentlemanly and a damsel in distress, and you've got the story. It's fun, a bit of a fluff piece but still very interesting due to the period details. I'd recommend it to people who like British series mysteries, anyone interested in that time period, and people maybe looking for something new in their mystery reading.
nordie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
On the plus side, it's a detective story, set in the early days of both the Railways and the Detective Section of the Met Police. The author seems to have done his research, such as having the detective arrive by train into Birmingham at (then correct) Curzon Street, rather than New Street or Moor Street (the current two most frequently used train stations between London and Birmingham).On the negative side: It read like the author's first novel, which apparently it isnt. The book is riddled with stereotypes: the Irish ex-policeman kicked out the force for drunken fighting who makes his living as a bouncer in a rough pub; the slightly dim-witted and subserviant sidekick; the head of the detective division being harassed by the press and causing friction with his detectives by stopping them doing what they want to do; the well dressed detective who likes bending the rules almost to breaking point.On the whole, a decent read, but I'm not sure that I'd continue with the series
huffward on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rather a mixture. Despite the impeccable detail, this story had the feeling of being set in a slightly later period, and I'm not entirely sure why. It might be the dialogue (which I sometimes found pedestrian), or perhaps the Holmesean resonances, especially the characters of the engine driver and his daughter who seemed to me straight out of Conan Doyle, or at least his era. I also found the plot a little thin, espcially the detective's ability to anticipate an outrage at a precise spot in the Crystal Palace, on the slenderest of evidence. Nevertheless, the story had considerable charm, especially the disarmingly innocent attraction between the detective and the engine driver's daughter. This was refreshing and sensitively done. Indeed the entire book had the feel of being written many decades ago. If the author intended this, then he triumphed. I shall certainly read more of these. The charm and unique atmosphere for me outweigh the shortcomings and perhaps, when this series gets into its stride (I intentionally read the first story first) it will strengthen further.
JulesJones on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First book of a series about a Victorian era detective inspector at Scotland Yard. A wealth of period detail, particularly about the railways, and a wealth of purple prose. This is very much a pastiche of Victorian melodrama, and with more than a touch of Holmes-Watson stirred into the mix. Fun enough for me to keep reading the series, but I thought noticeably flawed.
dsc73277 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable read with no pretentions to be anything greater than an entertaining detective mystery with an authentic historical setting. I read it for pleasure and got exactly what I wanted. It races along like a locomotive, admittedly one powered by a dialogue to a greater extent than most novels, but what's wrong with that?
smik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
1851 is the setting for this first title in the Railway Detective series: the year of the Great Exhibition, and the building of the Crystal Palace. The Detective Department of Scotland Yard is only 9 years old. A train on the Great Western Railway is held up at Leighton Buzzard, its driver seriously hurt, the train robbed of the consignment of gold coins that it is carrying, and finally derailed. The investigator is Inspector Robert Colbeck, a considerate, well-spoken, well educated and gifted lawyer turned policeman. He has spent minimal time in uniform and brings a different outlook to law enforcement, focusing on crime prevention rather than punishment. The story has an authentic depiction of mid 19th century English society on the brink of the second industrial revolution. Good reading. #1 in a series that currently has 4 titles.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is excellent. Well written, humorous, and detailed descriptions of everything in this era. The mystery will keep you guessing.