If Edward Marston stays true to his writing history, his legions of fans can welcome a new series! In "The Railway Detective," Marston introduces us to Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck of the new Scotland Yard. A charming, some
say "dandy," gentleman of the Victorian school, Colbeck seems an unlikely person for his job--solving cases and catching the crooks in 1850s England.
It is the dawn of the age of the locomotive and it does not come peaceably. There are enough "foes" of this "new fangled contraption" and many will go to all ends to try to put a stop to it and the new Age that is surely dawning on the British Empire.
Early on we know who the culprits are, as Marston doesn't play games with the reader. Instead, he permits Colbeck and his Sergeant Leeming to methodically put the pieces of the puzzle together and, despite the usual suspects and the usual
obstacles, arrive at a satisfactory conclusion.
A train is highjacked in Chapter One and subsequently and deliberately de-railed. It is carrying gold bullion from the Royal Mint and the day's mail. The robbery is carried out with true military precision (a clue Colbeck quickly picks up).
It is such a perfect and professional job that Scotland Yard knows that there have to be "insiders" involved. A few murders later (Colbeck cleverly links them to the robbery), the case is put to rest.
Marston doesn't do histrionics and not a lot of melodrama. Instead, he tells a story that not only serves to keep out interest in solving the crime but provides much readable background of the time and place. There's the usual violence in a police procedural murder mystery and Marston also throws in a limited romantic turn, too!
Marston's historical series (The Nicholas Bracewell Elizabethan mysteries, the Redmayne series, and the Domesday Books series) stand on their own merit. The author jumps a few centuries and seems to fit right in. That said, readers will hope for more in this interesting era.