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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The GriCeR's own detective
This is the second of Stephen Done's Inspector Vignoles Mysteries and it is set very chillingly and realistically in the harsh winter of 1947 - his attention to the detail of the railway and the period austerity setting is excellent and gives one a real feel for the hardships suffered by Britons after the War, whether by rationing or the extremes of Nature.
Done's...
Published on 21 Nov. 2009 by R. W. Barnes

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Getting better
I found the song titles less intrusive in this volume than in the first Vignoles vignette but still rather pointless. Is the author trying to tell me what a clever clot he is to know this redundant information (sadly, I recognise most of the titles!), if so perhaps he could focus on getting some of the detail right first. My knowledge of railway operations just after...
Published on 16 Jun. 2011 by C. B. Tomkinson


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The GriCeR's own detective, 21 Nov. 2009
By 
R. W. Barnes "spikesue" (Bucks UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Murder of Crows (The 2nd Inspector Vignoles Mystery) (Paperback)
This is the second of Stephen Done's Inspector Vignoles Mysteries and it is set very chillingly and realistically in the harsh winter of 1947 - his attention to the detail of the railway and the period austerity setting is excellent and gives one a real feel for the hardships suffered by Britons after the War, whether by rationing or the extremes of Nature.
Done's first Mystery, 'Smoke Gets in Your Eyes', was good on detail and introduced us to some believable characters, many of whom return in this novel. It was, however, a little too slowly paced for my liking, although the denouement was a cracker. This second novel keeps one gripped from the outset and has enough red herrings and sub-plots to keep readers well entertained.
If, like me, you like steam railways and murder mysteries Inspector Vignoles is your man.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 14 April 2010
By 
M. Barlow "Maz" (Moreton-in-Marsh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Murder of Crows (The 2nd Inspector Vignoles Mystery) (Paperback)
I bought both the first and second book together as the author was signing books in a Banbury store last year. I am not a Steam Railway enthusiast, I just like a great story where you can get involved with the characters. This book and the first (Smoke gets in your eyes) really lived up to my expectations. I loved the story telling and was gripped. You will not be disappointed and that is coming from a female non-rail enthusiast!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Getting better, 16 Jun. 2011
By 
C. B. Tomkinson "Bland" (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Murder of Crows (The 2nd Inspector Vignoles Mystery) (Paperback)
I found the song titles less intrusive in this volume than in the first Vignoles vignette but still rather pointless. Is the author trying to tell me what a clever clot he is to know this redundant information (sadly, I recognise most of the titles!), if so perhaps he could focus on getting some of the detail right first. My knowledge of railway operations just after the Second World War is almost non-existent (though my uncle was a wheel-tapper who moved on to fireman) but when I was rushed into hospital some years later the ambulance rang its bell to get through the traffic - flashing blue lights were somewhat later invention. Still, the plot keeps the attention going and I might even try another in the series.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top class period detective drama, 25 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: The Murder of Crows (The 2nd Inspector Vignoles Mystery) (Paperback)
This is the second of the series and as with the first it is both engaging and gives a true feeling of the late 40's railways and life in that era in general. You can feel the cold chill of 1947 and the difficulties faced by all in the book especially the main characters Vignoles and Trinder as they battle to find a particularly nasty killer. The surrounding characters and issues and problems they face are nicely woven in to the plot throughout the book. First class railway detective drama.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good story but falls down on historical accuracy., 11 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: The Murder of Crows (The 2nd Inspector Vignoles Mystery) (Paperback)
Slight spoiler warning and nerd alert!

I'm sure that all the railway references are accurate but unfortunately the police procedures aren't and this causes quite a bit of consternation. As well as the clichés (all uniform police are stupid) and a middle class idea of how the working class viewed life at the time, some of the speech seemed cut and pasted out of 1940s films "Cor' blimey govenor, it's a fair cop" type phrases. Although the author admits the fabrication of the railway detective department in the story, it should have at least been based on practices at the time. The few railway police pre nationalisation had limited powers outside of railway property although some were given the powers of special constables. The local police would never have deferred to them and never taken orders or given up a prisoner to them. More importantly, murder enquiries would have been dealt with by the local constabulary pre 1949. Women police were a separate department in all forces until 1969 and would not have been detectives in 1947, in fact the first woman detective in the UK was in 1973. They were not allowed to do night duty until the 1970s. Failing to know this is bad research by the author.
Also... Uniform constables do not take orders from detective constables (they are the same rank) and never have done.
I realise that this is nit picking and I haven't even started on police procedures but a bit of serious research would have sorted this out.

So, sorry, a good story let down by clichés and bad history.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good read., 22 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: The Murder of Crows (The 2nd Inspector Vignoles Mystery) (Paperback)
I have read several of this author's books and enjoyed them all. Real page turners. Well drawn characters an a believeable story line.
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The Murder of Crows (The 2nd Inspector Vignoles Mystery)
The Murder of Crows (The 2nd Inspector Vignoles Mystery) by Stephen Done (Paperback - 12 Dec. 2008)
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