Over the weekend, I borrowed our office copy of The Silver Locomotive Mystery by Edward Marston.
It’s part of the Railway Detective series, featuring Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming. I’m not usually a mystery reader, but this Allison & Busby title may have changed that. The story was captivating from start to finish, with elements of suspense, a tiny bit of romance, and a twist ending that actually caught me by surprise. What’s especially great about this book is that even though it’s part of a series, you do not have to have read the others to enjoy it. This was my first Railway Detective mystery, and even though this is not the first title in the series, I never felt lost or like I didn’t understand an event the characters were referring to. Cases from earlier titles are mentioned, but never in a way that would be confusing to a newcomer to the series.
But don’t just take my word for how great this book is. It’s received some wonderful reviews, including this one from the Historical Novel Society:
“With a final neat twist, on both the professional and personal levels for Colbeck, this novel is an enjoyable addition to a crime series that has an interesting background and always manages to deliver an enthralling whodunit. Plus, Edward Marston has the trick of giving you enough information to make the historical ambience real, without overloading the reader with so much extraneous detail that it holds up the story.”
-Historical Novel Society
Book Synopsis: The Railway Detective’s puzzling new case. An exquisitely designed silver coffee-pot in the shape of a locomotive is on its way to Cardiff in the care of the young, talented silversmith, Hugh Kellow. It has been commissioned by wealthy ironmaster Clifford Tomkins for his acquisitive wife, who wants it to be the envy of all her friends – and enemies. But the coffee-pot is stolen. When a gruesome murder is committed at the Railway Hotel, Winifred Tomkins is distraught. Caring little for the dead silversmith, all she can think about is her missing treasure. Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming of the Detective Department are summoned to Wales from London by telegraph and they are soon confronted by some additional crimes. The situation is complicated by the arrival of a famous theatre company and by revelations of illicit liaisons among members of the local high society. There is no shortage of suspects and Colbeck has to sift through layers of deceit to find the killer – before it is too late.
Don’t miss the rest of the books in this intriguing series!