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The Railway Detective

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The Railway Detective Omnibus

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The Railway Detective Omnibus by Edward Marston Book Summary:

Collected together for the first time, take your seat for the Railway Detective's first three cases: The Railway Detective, The Excursion Train and The Railway Viaduct. London, 1851. With the opening of the Great Exhibition at hand, interest is mounting in the engineering triumphs of the railways. But the gleaming modernity the railways represent does have a darker side. One filled with murder, blackmail and destruction which will take Inspector Robert Colbeck on an action-packed journey through the murky and depraved corners of Victorian England.

The Railway Detective Collection

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The Railway Detective Collection by Edward Marston Book Summary:

Three thrilling cases for The Railway Detective With the Great Exhibition in the offing, interest is mounting in the icon of modern technological achievement: the railways. But this triumph of Victorian engineering has a darker side too, as these sinews of empire offer new opportunities for hidden crime and quick escape, vast destruction and dark double-dealings. Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck is the Railway Detective. When a train is robbed or a passenger killed, Colbeck and his trusty sergeant Victor Leeming must take to the rails and use their expert knowledge of crime and railways to untangle webs of murder, blackmail and destruction.

The Railway Detective

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The Railway Detective by Edward Marston Book Summary:

In 1851, after the London to Birmingham mail train is robbed and derailed, Inspector Robert Colbeck enlists the aid of former police officer Brendan Mulryne to help him investigate the crime.

Fear on the Phantom Special

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Fear on the Phantom Special by Edward Marston Book Summary:

Halloween, 1861. A special train with two carriages steams across the Lake District at night on its way to a place notorious for its record of supernatural incidents. Most of those on board have been fortified by alcohol so the mood is boisterous. Without warning the lamp goes out in the last compartment of the second carriage, plunging it into darkness. When the train reaches the end of the line, the passengers pour out on to the station platform. There are almost sixty of them in all, laughing and jostling, but the prevailing excitement is shattered by a cry for help – someone is missing. Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming are called in to investigate this peculiar occurrence. With some believing the missing man is the victim of a ghost said to haunt the site and no discernible trace of the man anywhere to be seen, this will prove to be a puzzling case indeed for the Railway Detective.

Inspector Colbeck's Casebook

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Inspector Colbeck's Casebook by Edward Marston Book Summary:

‘Thefts of this kind are highly unusual. I’m sure the clerk never believed he was in any danger.’ ‘Well, he was. You’re after a cunning devil, Inspector - smoke him out.’ An eagerly awaited collection of brand new, specially commissioned short stories from the master of historical crime fiction Edward Marston, featuring his quick-witted Railway Detective, Inspector Robert Colbeck. In this thrilling selection of stories, a young porter is found dead in a coal tub; Colbeck devises a trap to catch a thief; and a burnt train carriage holds a gruesome secret in a small coastal village. As Colbeck and his trusty aide Sergeant Victor Leeming begin to piece together clues and motives for each crime, it becomes clear the pair must stay a step ahead of the culprits to solve the cases. With a new suspect at every turn, can the duo unearth the real villains? Including ‘The End of the Line’ and ‘The Barber of Ravenglass’, jealousy, vengeance and duplicity all collide in this supercharged anthology, proving once again, that Inspector Colbeck is the master of mysteries.

The Railway Detective

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The Railway Detective by Edward Marston Book Summary:

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? Full of historical detail, The Railway Detective is an action-packed dip into murky 1850s London.

The Railway Viaduct

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The Railway Viaduct by Edward Marston Book Summary:

The Railway Detective faces his most dangerous adversary yet 1852. Inspector Robert Colbeck and his assistant Sergeant Victor Leeming are faced with their most complex and difficult case to date. As a train speeds over the Sankey Viaduct, a man is hurled from a carriage and plummets into the canal below. It later transpires that he has been stabbed to death. With no papers by which to identify the man, the detectives' investigation is hampered from the start. Suspecting that the victim may have come from continental Europe, Colbeck and Leeming take the case to France where a new railway is being built by a British contractor. But in a new country the detectives face new problems. Anti-British feeling is rife and Colbeck and Leeming must put their own lives in danger to pick up the murderer's trail. The third in the acclaimed Railway Detective series, The Railway Viaduct is an absorbing mystery that will keep you guessing till the very end.

Slaughter in the Sapperton Tunnel

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Slaughter in the Sapperton Tunnel by Edward Marston Book Summary:

‘A master storyteller’ Daily Mail A goods train speeds through the Sapperton Tunnel, but disaster strikes before it can reach the other side as it collides with an unusual blockage on the tracks: seven sheep penned in place. Specially requested to investigate the carnage in Gloucestershire, Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming are confronted with a bizarre case unlike anything they’ve encountered before. Stephen Rydall, board member of the Great Western Railway that manages the route, is convinced this tragedy is a personal attack on him and fears for the safety of his shepherd, missing since the incident. Rydall has many enemies: a churlish squire, a scheming principal and a local ruffian who always manages to evade the law. But, as Colbeck will soon discover, the man also has a closely guarded secret of his own...

A Christmas Railway Mystery

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A Christmas Railway Mystery by Edward Marston Book Summary:

‘A master storyteller’ Daily Mail December, 1860. An army of men is heading to the Swindon Locomotive Works for the morning shift from their nearby terraced houses built by the GWR. Frank Rodman should have been among them, but his new destination is the grave – or it will be, once his missing head is found. Christmas is fast approaching, and the last thing Inspector Colbeck needs is a complex case, mired in contradictions. As he wrestles with one crime, he is alarmed to hear of another – the abduction of Superintendent Tallis. With Sergeant Leeming by his side, the Railway Detective finds himself in a hectic race to solve a brutal murder and save the superintendent’s life before it’s too late.

Peril on the Royal Train

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Peril on the Royal Train by Edward Marston Book Summary:

Spring, 1858. The route of the Caledonian Railway through the southern uplands of the Scottish countryside is disrupted by a fatal crash. Inspector Robert Colbeck and Sergeant Victor Leeming are called from the crime of London to investigate, and must contend with old enemy Superintendent Rory McTurk to uncover the criminals behind the disaster. The motive for the crash is unclear, with suspects including the North British Railway, a group of sabbatarians and those with personal vendettas to enact. Colbeck and Leeming face further obstacles when the Railway announces a reward of ?400 for information - soon they are pitched against criminals, the public and their own colleagues in their attempts to solve the case. Meanwhile, with the investigation stalling, the newly married Madeleine Colbeck and her father race to reach Inspector Colbeck with important information. Will they be in time to save the royal family before their train journey to Balmoral?

A Ticket to Oblivion

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A Ticket to Oblivion by Edward Marston Book Summary:

Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming are summoned to Burnhope Manor when young Imogen Burnhope and her maid Rhoda have disappeared on a non-stop train journey to Oxford.

Points of Danger

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Points of Danger by Edward Marston Book Summary:

1861, East Anglia. Alone in a first-class carriage, the Swarbricks are robbed at gunpoint, but when the universally-admired Swarbrick fights back, the train robber takes more than money and jewellery, killing the man working to unify East Anglia’s tangle of railway networks. Inspector Colbeck is brought in from London, as the only detective in Britain with enough expertise for the job. But as Swarbrick’s glowing reputation begins to crumble, the line of investigation isn’t clear: Is this the act of a bungling burglar, a business rival, a disgruntled son, or a jealous lover? Whoever it is, they are determined to involve Colbeck in their fight. Is the Railway Detective following the right track or will he need to switch points to bring the murderer to justice?

Timetable of Death

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Timetable of Death by Edward Marston Book Summary:

1859. Two children dash past gravestones playing hide-and-seek. A freshly dug grave should provide the ideal hiding place, if it weren’t for an unscheduled body occupying the spot. The body is that of Vivian Quayle, director of the Midland Railway and pillar of the community, whose mysterious death baffles local police and necessitates Scotland Yard’s assistance. As Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming piece together the victim’s final moments, and suspects and motives multiply, an unpleasant picture emerges. This is a case only the Railway Detective can solve.

The Circus Train Conspiracy

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The Circus Train Conspiracy by Edward Marston Book Summary:

‘A MASTER STORYTELLER’ DAILY MAIL After its great success in Carlisle, the Moscardi Circus is travelling by train to Newcastle for its next series of performances. A collision with a couple of sleepers on the track causes pandemonium: passengers are thrown about, animals escape and the future of the circus looks uncertain. When the body of a woman is discovered in woodland nearby, the Railway Detective is despatched to investigate. Believing the incidents to be connected, Inspector Colbeck must piece together the evidence to discover the identity of the nameless woman and unmask the person set on derailing Moscardi’s Magnificent Circus.

Railway to the Grave

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Railway to the Grave by Edward Marston Book Summary:

Now here's a murd'rous tale of woe, See a hero misbehave. For it shows a valiant soldier go, By railway to the grave. Yorkshire 1855. Colonel Aubrey Tarleton is a man respected by his neighbours in the small Yorkshire village of South Otterington - as much for his heroic feats in the army as for his social position. So the community is left stunned when Tarleton, deliberately, walks into the path of a speeding train. He is crushed to death on the track, but it is not his broken limbs that attract the attention of the train driver; rather, it is the note pinned to his chest, fluttering in the breeze: 'Whoever finds me, notify Superintendent Tallis of the Detective Department at Scotland Yard'. The famous Railway Detective, Inspector Robert Colbeck, finds his superior officer in great distress when he arrives at the Yard the following morning. Tallis is clutching a letter from his now-deceased friend. In it, Tarleton makes it clear that he no longer wishes to live if he has to do so without his beloved wife, who has disappeared. When the news arrives that a man's body has been found on the track near Thirsk, the coincidence is too great. Was Tarleton responsible for his wife's disappearance, and was his suicide the act of a guilty man? Tallis cannot believe that to be the case and sets out for Yorkshire, accompanied by Colbeck and his trusty Sergeant Victor Leeming, determined to uncover the truth.

Blood on the Tracks

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Blood on the Tracks by Martin Edwards Book Summary:

"A signalman is found dead by a railway tunnel. A man identifies his wife as a victim of murder on the underground. Two passengers mysteriously disappear between stations, leaving behind a dead body. Trains have been a favourite setting of many crime writers, providing the mobile equivalent of the 'locked-room' scenario. Their enclosed carriages with a limited number of suspects lend themselves to seemingly impossible crimes. In an era of cancellations and delays, alibis reliant upon a timely train service no longer ring true, yet the railway detective has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the twenty-first century. Both train buffs and crime fans will delight in this selection of fifteen railway-themed mysteries, featuring some of the most popular authors of their day alongside less familiar names."--Provided by publisher.

Murder on the Brighton Express

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Murder on the Brighton Express by Edward Marston Book Summary:

When the engines finally met, there was a deafening clash and the Brighton Express twisted and buckled, tipping its carriages on to the other line. It was a scene of utter devastation. October 1854. As crowds of passengers rush to make the departure of the London to Brighton Express, a man watches from the shadows nearby - Chaos, fatalities and unbelievable destruction are the scene soon after when the train derails just outside the Balcombe Tunnel. Could it simply be a case of driver error? Detective Inspector Colbeck thinks not. But digging deep to discover the intended target of the accident takes time, something Colbeck doesn't have as the killer prepares to strike again.

Thrilling Stories of the Railway

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Thrilling Stories of the Railway by Victor L. Whitechurch Book Summary:

Victor L. Whitechurch was an English writer and a Church of England clergyman. Whitechurch's most famous work is Thrilling Stories of the Railway which feature the famous vegitarian detective Thorpe Hazell.

Blood on the Line

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Blood on the Line by Edward Marston Book Summary:

1857. On the LNWR train to London, a criminal is being escorted to his appointment with the hangman. But the wily Jeremy Oxley, conman, thief and murderer, has one last ace up his sleeve - a beautiful and ruthless accomplice willing to do anything to save her lover, including cold-blooded murder. When the Railway Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck learns that Oxley, his arch nemesis, has escaped, black memories of their shared past leave him no choice but to do his duty, whatever the cost. With the faithful Victor Leeming at his side, Colbeck must use all of his skills to track his elusive enemy. But could he have finally met his match?

Sherlock Holmes and the Railway Maniac

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Sherlock Holmes and the Railway Maniac by Barrie Roberts Book Summary:

Now in his third year of retirement, the celebrated master detective Sherlock Holmes announces his firm resolve to stay well out of the affairs of others to his old friend and colleague, Dr John Watson. But this emphatic sentiment is to be short lived. At the behest of his enigmatic brother, Mycroft, Holmes is persuaded to investigate two unexplained, catastrophic train derailments which have caused the death of more than forty people. Why would a criminal wreck an express train? As the clues accumulate - a strange astronomer, the German Intelligence Service, a Russian yacht in the port of Aberdeen - the most homicidal lunatic in Britain remains at large. Something was afoot in Scotland to draw both the King and Mycroft from their lairs...a meeting with the emissary of the Czar, or something more? Can even the strenuous efforts of Sherlock Holmes avert an international calamity and bring to justice this evil assassin? All is revealed in an ingenious tale that even the late Conan Doyle would have been proud of.

The Railway Policeman

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The Railway Policeman by J. R. Whitbread Book Summary:

Early legislation - Protection and traffic control - The great gold robbery - The railways detectives - Murder on the line - Female fatalities - Dangerous travelling companions - Luggage thieves and careless passengers.

Murder on the Brighton Express

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Murder on the Brighton Express by Edward Marston Book Summary:

When the engines finally met, there was a deafening clash and the Brighton Express twisted and buckled, tipping its carriages onto the other line and producing a cacophony of screams, howls of pain and groans from the passengers. It was a scene of utter devastation. October 1854. As an autumnal evening draws to a close, crowds of passengers rush to make the departure of the London to Brighton Express. A man watches from the shadows nearby, grimly satisfied as the train pulls out of the station ... Chaos, fatalities and unbelievable destruction are the scene soon after when the train derails on the last left of its journey. What led to such devastation, and could it simply be a case of driver error? Detective Inspector Colbeck, thinks not. But digging deep to discover the intended target of the accident takes time, something Colbeck doesn't have as the killer prepares to strike again.

The Iron Horse

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The Iron Horse by Edward Marston Book Summary:

Derby Day at Epsom Downs. A multitude of people crowd to watch the races: dukes and dustmen, bishops and beggars, privileged ladies and prostitutes. The gamut of Victorian society and a hotbed for crime and crooks of all kinds. With the nation a-flutter in the run up to this national event, a disembodied head is discovered on a passenger train at Crewe; the first in a murky course of events that takes in murder, fraud and race-fixing. Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck and his assistant are assigned to the case and are soon snarled up in a web of skulduggery stretching across the country. They are forced to ask themselves, just how much is someone prepared to hazard to win?

The Frost Fair

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The Frost Fair by Edward Marston Book Summary:

The Frozen River Thames gives up its secrets Christmas, 1669. In the grip of the coldest winter for years, the Thames is frozen from bank to bank and London celebrates with the traditional Frost Fair held on its broad back. Among the throng are Christopher Redmayne, an ambitious young architect, and his good friend, Constable Jonathan Bale. But the pair make a chilling discovery: the frozen corpse of a naked man embedded in the ice. Christopher is further drawn into the mystery when his own brother is accused of the murder. With his brother facing execution, the architect must risk all he holds dear, both professionally and personally, to uncover the truth.

Railway Reading and Late-Victorian Literary Series

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Railway Reading and Late-Victorian Literary Series by Paul Raphael Rooney Book Summary:

Introduction: audiences and publisher's series -- Railway readers in the post-1870 reading climate -- "Food for the mind," consumer choices, and the railway bookstall environment -- Second generation yellowbacks: Chatto & Windus's cheap editions of popular novels (1877-1897) -- Transnational crime writing and the cheap series reprint: Routledge's sixpenny detective books (1887-1888) -- As necessary to the traveller as a rug in winter and a dust-coat in summer": light reading and Arrowsmiths Bristol library (1884-1898) -- Conclusion

Great Train Robbery Confidential

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Great Train Robbery Confidential by Graham Satchwell Book Summary:

IN 1981, Detective Inspector Satchwell was the officer in charge of the case against Train Robber Tom Wisbey and twenty others. The case involved massive thefts from mail trains – similar to the Great Train Robbery of 1963 where £2.6 million was taken and only £400,000 ever recovered. Thirty years later their paths crossed again and an unlikely partnership was formed, with the aim of revealing the truth about the Great Train Robbery. This book reassesses the known facts about one of the most infamous crimes in modern history from the uniquely qualified insight of an experienced railway detective, presenting new theories alongside compelling evidence and correcting the widely accepted lies and half-truths surrounding this story.

3 Detectives

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3 Detectives by Victor L Whitechurch,Guy Thorne,Edwin D Torgerson Book Summary:

Early mystery fiction involving puzzling murders and more on the railways.

The Last Train

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The Last Train by Thomas Neradin Book Summary:

The Last Train is an original collection of surreal travelling tales. The four novella-sized tales re-kindles the art of the multi-layered fire-side yarn and laced it with black humour. Infused with dark philosophical themes and subtle social comment., The Last Train transports the mundane travelling experience into a world of pulse pounding adventure and macabre characters. Thomas Neradin, a newsreader and health writer, moves the thirty-something genre along. Tailor-made to slip into the backpacker's rucksack, or holiday suitcase.

Blood on the Line

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Blood on the Line by Edward Marston Book Summary:

Inspector Robert Colbeck enlists the help of Victor Leeming and Ian Peebles to track down his nemesis Jeremy Oxley, who escaped from the LNWR train, which was en route to London for Oxley's hanging.

Dyke Darrel the Railroad Detective: The Crime of the Midnight Express

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Dyke Darrel the Railroad Detective: The Crime of the Midnight Express by Allan Pinkerton Book Summary:

"The most audacious crime of my remembrance." Dyke Darrel flung down the morning paper, damp from the press, and began pacing the floor. "What is it, Dyke?" questioned the detective's sister Nell, who at that moment thrust her head into the room. Nell was a pretty girl of twenty, with midnight hair and eyes, almost in direct contrast with her brother, the famous detective, whose deeds of cunning and daring were the theme of press and people the wide West over. "An express robbery," returned Dyke, pausing in front of Nell and holding up the paper. "I am sorry," uttered the girl, with a pout. "I shan't have you with me for the week that I promised myself. I am always afraid something will happen every time you go out on the trail of a criminal, Dyke." "And something usually DOES happen," returned the detective, grimly. "My last detective work did not pan out as I expected, but I do not consider that entirely off yet. It may be that the one who murdered Captain Osborne had a hand in this latest crime." The girl reeled, and clutched the table at her side for support. The name uttered by her brother was that of a friend of the Barrels, a man of family, and one who had been in the employ of the express company for many years. No wonder Nell Darrel was shocked at learning the name of the victim. "You see how it is, Nell?" "Yes," returned the girl, recovering her self-possession. "I meant to ask you to forego this man-hunt, but I see that it would be of no use." "Not the least, Nell," returned Dyke, with a compression of the lips. "I would hunt these scoundrels down without one cent reward. Nicholson was my friend, and a good one. He helped me once, when to do so was of great inconvenience to himself. It is my duty to see that his cowardly assassins are brought to justice." Even as Dyke Darrel uttered the last words a man ran up to the steps and opened the front door. "I hope I don't intrude," he said, as he put his face into the room. "No; you are always welcome, Elliston," cried Dyke, extending his hand. The new-comer accepted the proffered hand, then turned and smiled on Nell. He was a tall man, with smoothly-cut beard and a tinge of gray in his curling black hair. Harper Elliston was past thirty, and on the best of terms with Dyke Darrel and his sister, who considered him a very good friend. "You have read the news?" Elliston said, as his keen, black eyes rested on the paper that lay on the table. That was the heading to the article announcing the assassination of the express messenger. The train on which the deed had been committed, had left Chicago at ten in the evening, and at one o'clock, when the train was halted at a station, the deed was discovered. Arnold Nicholson was found with his skull crushed and his body terribly beaten, while, in the bloody hands of the dead, was clutched a tuft of red hair. This went to show that one of the messenger's assailants was a man with florid locks. Leaving Nell and Mr. Elliston together, Dyke Darrel hastened to the station. He was aware that a train would pass in ten minutes, and he wished to enter Chicago and make an examination for himself. The detective's home was on one of the many roads crossing Illinois, and entering the Garden City—about an hour's ride from the Gotham of the West. In less than two hours after reading the notice of the crime on the midnight express. Dyke Darrel was in Chicago. He visited the body of the murdered messenger, and made a brief examination. It was at once evident to Darrel, that Nicholson had made a desperate fight for life, but that he had been overpowered by a superior force. A reward of ten thousand dollars was already offered for the detection and punishment of the outlaws. "Poor Arnold!" murmured Dyke Darrel, as he gazed at the bruised and battered corpse. "I will not rest until the wicked demons who compassed this foul work meet with punishment!" There were still several shreds of hair between the fingers of the dead, when Dyke Darrel made his examination, since the body had just arrived from the scene of the murder. The detective secured several of the hairs, believing they might help him in his future movements. Darrel made one discovery that he did not care to communicate to others; it was a secret that he hoped might lead to results in the future. What the discovery was, will be disclosed in the progress of our story.

Signal for Vengeance

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Signal for Vengeance by Edward Marston Book Summary:

1860, Wimborne, Dorset. Rebecca Tullidge, miserably married to her callous husband, is having an affair with a railway officer, John Bedloe. Much to her distress, she trips over her lover's dead body on the railway tracks. Determined to win votes for the upcoming election of mayor, Mr Feltham calls for Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming to solve the hideous crime, which takes longer than anticipated. On discovering Bedloe has a town's worth of enemies as well as a sordid past, Colbeck and Leeming must unearth who is capable of plotting a violent murder. And with a pregnant wife at home, Colbeck must work quickly.

The Case of the ‘Hail Mary’ Celeste

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The Case of the ‘Hail Mary’ Celeste by Malcolm Pryce Book Summary:

Jack Wenlock is the last of the Railway Goslings: that fabled cadre of railway detectives created at the Weeping Cross Railway Servants' Orphanage, who trod the corridors of the GWR trains in the years 1925 to 1947. Sworn to uphold the name of God's Wonderful Railway, Jack keeps the trains free of fare dodgers and purse-stealers, bounders and confidence tricksters, German spies and ladies of the night. But now, as the clock ticks down towards the nationalisation of the railways Jack finds himself investigating a case that begins with an abducted great aunt, but soon develops into something far darker and more dangerous. It reaches up to the corridors of power and into the labyrinth of the greatest mystery in all the annals of railway lore – the disappearance in 1915 of twenty-three nuns from the 7.25 Swindon to Bristol Temple Meads, or the case of the 'Hail Mary' Celeste. Shady government agents, drunken riverboat captains, a missing manuscript and a melancholic gorilla all collide on a journey that will take your breath away.