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on 31 May 2014
As a latecomer to the Railway Detective series, I have to say I am very pleased that I have found them. Extremely well plotted, believable characters, really good storylines make for excellent reading entertainment. It would be nice one day to find a detective who is appreciated by his boss and isn't always in conflict with him, but that is my only criticism of these books. Somehow, despite the outstanding success of the Railway Detective, his boss still criticises everyone he does and does his best to stop him solving cases. Ah well, yu can't have everything. In every other way these are superb detective fiction, and very highly recommended.
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on 8 May 2014
If you're after a relaxing, fairly easy-going read and like historical crime novels, this is a good one - easier to read than Agatha Christie or Dorothy L Sayers (although they are written far more recently, hence the language is easier going). Light reading, well done.
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on 1 August 2014
I relly enjoyed this introduction to "The Railway Detective". Although there is a whiff of Neville Shunt from the old Monty Python sketsh in the way "Bradshaw" an the railways are woven into the plots, it is a good theme and vehicle for the likeable protagonists. The pace is good and kept the pages turning so much that I have now puchased all the others in the series to see what happens to the characters.
I might say that this is recommendation enough.
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on 26 November 2014
These books are ideal for holiday reading. They aren't taxing, the action moves along nicely and there are plenty of human interest threads interwoven into the plots. It helps if you like trains and railways, but that isn't a prerequisite.

After reading a few of the series, the plots do appear to be rather formulaic, and a lot of the action is of the "with a mighty bound he was free" genre. If you like tortuous "whodunnit" novels, then this probably isn't for you. The culprit is usually pretty obvious, it's the motive and the "Mr Big" behind the crimes that will have you scratching your head. However if you want an undemanding read to relax after a busy day then this fits the bill very well.
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on 6 October 2015
This collection of the first three books in the series is an economical way of buying them, but there is the temptation to read them one immediately after the other, which has both good and bad points: good is the continuity in the personal lives of the main characters; bad is the cumulative effect of minor irritants when they appear in each of the books. 'The Railway Detective' (4*) was a little melodramatic, with an all-too-obvious love interest, but merited moving on to 'The Excursion Train' (4*), which was quite heavy going in places, and I found myself already a little bored and irritated by Leeming's constant whining about any time he had to spend apart from his wife, or his concerns about telling her about anything out of the ordinary. 'The Railway Viaduct' (5*) had an excellent and gripping plot, but there seemed to be so many people who hated the railways to the point of violence. It would have been nice to have had a reminder of how those same railways made travel possible for many ordinary people, who would never otherwise have had the opportunity. My other gripe is the stereotypical character of Tallis, whose blinkered, biased outlook and obstructive habits would surely have been noticed by his own superiors.

I'll probably buy more in this series, but they can be a little dry.
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on 19 February 2014
Books 1,2 & 3. Interesting plots kept me reading to the end. Nice developing story line about the detective and his assistant and their respective domestic arrangements, and the irascible 'boss' who hinders them whenever possible. Plenty of railway information for the enthusiasts. Looking forward to reading the other books in the series.
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on 16 January 2015
These stories are a pleasant surprise, not my usual sort of thing at all I love mystery stories but I'm usually more Agatha Christie or Dorothy L Sayers I really enjoyed these book , they are something really different Well written and charming. I love Inspector Colbeck his world and want to read more
I would recommend this series to anyone
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on 14 May 2015
I have been following this series of books (the Railway Detective) and always enjoyed them.
I was so happy to see this collection and if your thinking of reading this series these books are a great introduction to them.
A time of change in Victorian England, and the railways are heading the way, but crime strikes everywhere even on the railways.
I love murder mysteries with a historial slant and these filled the bill perfectly. Good characters and strong stories, I would highly recommend them.
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on 19 January 2015
An easy and pleasurable read,and whilst depicted in the Sherlock Holmes era contains less flowery dialogue,and is far more plausible.
Edward Marston describes each and every character and their input within the story in great and equal detail, and thus sets the scene to make every chapter flow into the next.
Plots not too complicated, but never the less intriguing and compelling for the reader.
In short Edward Marston is a master story teller. I will look forward ro reading more of his work.
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on 16 January 2015
A superb anthology from Edward Marston, featuring The Railway Detective, Robert Colbeck. these books are extremely well researched and well written and really do evoke the Victorian era, in particular the railway system of the day. Each of the books in this trilogy is different from the others, leaving no room for accusations of repetition, and my only complaint was that they were so engrossing, I finished the three books far too quickly and was left wanting more!!!
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