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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.
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.
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.
‘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 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.
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.

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