Night Train to Murder

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Feb 2020

Member Reviews

Ishmael Jones and Penny Belcourt are contacted by The Organization to protect the new minister of the psychic services as he travels to his new posting. As an alien, Ishmael is able to spot psychics who try to conceal themselves under a cloak of invisibility. But, when the minister is murdered in the toilet on the train, it become a matter of "once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." (Sherlock Holmes) This series is an enjoyable romp with typical British humor and good pacing. Always an enjoyable escape.
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Locked Room Mystery With A Twist....
An Ishmael Jones mystery and a worthy addition to this long running series. Ishmael is faced with a conundrum on the night train to Bath when a body turns  up in a locked lavatory cubicle. What he, and partner Penny, first considered a run of the mill request to escort a VIP (the new Head of the British Psychic Weapons Division) on the train rapidly turns into a most puzzling case and Ishmael is working against the clock to solve it. Enjoyable and entertaining locked room mystery with a paranormal twist.
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Ishmael Jones is an agent for a secret organization. He, and his partner Penny, are called out to work unusual, often extremely dangerous, cases....mostly because Ishmael is an unusual, often extremely dangerous, person. Well.....not a person exactly. He's an alien disguised as a human. When strange things happen that threaten humanity, The Organization calls on Ishmael. In return, they make sure nobody discovers he isn't quite human.

This time, Ishmael receives a summons from The Organization that isn't quite his normal sort of case. He and Penny are hired to provide extra security for a VIP aboard a late-night train to Bath. The man is the new head of the British Psychic Weapons Division and rumor has it that someone plans to kill him on the train. What could possibly go wrong? A dead VIP, perhaps? And only an hour to find out who killed him.....

I really enjoy this series. I've been a huge Simon R. Green fan ever since I read his Nightside series. Ishmael Jones is the perfect secret agent....an alien hiding in plain sight. He has excellent protection and sleuthing skills. Penny is his perfect partner.....caring, intelligent, and extremely protective of Ishmael.

These stories are short, but always suspenseful, creepy and fun to read. Green packs a lot into a few pages! I enjoyed this newest case, and look forward to the next! Simon R. Green never fails to deliver a great story! 

Night Train to Murder is the 8th book in the Ishmael Jones series. Although not completely necessary to read the series in order (there is always a bit of explanation about Jones' background at the start of each tale), the series really should be read in order to get the complete background of the characters and to avoid any spoilers for previous cases. The stories are all relatively short...150 pages or less most of the time. So it wouldn't be too difficult for a new reader to catch up with this series. 

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Severn House. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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An interesting locked room murder to be solved by Ishmael Jones and his partner Penny.  They're on a train travelling to the town of Bath when the political official they're supposed to be guarding is found murdered in a locked toilet.  Ishmael follows his usual routine of taking over, interviewing the suspects, keeping them in line, and then figuring out who is really the murderer.  The number of suspects is limited, as is common in  this series, so the reader may be able to solve the case before Jones does.  The whole book really serves as a giant McGuffin for the last line of the book, which opens the door to (many?) more in this series.  A fast read, but similar to the others in this series.
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My thanks to Severn House Publishing for an eARC via NetGalley of Simon R. Green’s ‘Night Train to Murder’ in exchange for an honest review. It is already released in the U.K. and will be published in the USA in early March.

This is the eighth in Green’s Ishmael Jones Mystery series. I read and reviewed the seventh book, ‘Till Sudden Death Do Us Part’ in August and enjoyed it very much becoming an instant fan. I was so excited to see another title released so soon, though Green is quite a prolific author.

When The Organisation receives information that there may be an attempt on the life of Sir Dennis Gregson, the newly appointed Head of the British Psychic Weapons Division, during a late night train journey to Bath, they assign Ishmael Jones and his partner, Penny, as undercover escorts. When a body is discovered in the First Class toilet cubicle, Ishmael and Penny have less than an hour to uncover the murderer.

I adore the combination of science fiction (Ishmael is an alien, the only survivor of a spaceship that crashed in 1963) with the feel of classic Golden Age Detective fiction in this series. Here a murder on a train offers another type of locked room whodunnit and even has the classic style of concluding denouncement.

This was a very entertaining read that exhibits Green’s dry wit throughout. While I plan to catch up on the earlier titles, this works fine as a stand-alone for newcomers to the series as Green opens with background on how Ishmael came to be involved in solving unusual cases for The Organisation and his alien origins. 

The final page gives an intriguing teaser for the future. I can hardly wait!
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This one was a little off for my liking. It was more of a slight of hand kind of a read. There was a look over here and not over there quality to the book that actually took away from the book. It's not that it dragged at parts, it's that much of the middle of it actually meant nothing in the end. The ending is supposed to make up for it but really that's just throwing readers a bone for the next book.
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I have to clearly say I love the Ishmael Jones books, and this is no exception. Ishmael along with Penny are to be backup guards for a government official, however when the man is murdered right off the bat we get to watch how Ishmael solves this locked door mystery. It is fast moving as they only have an hour to solve it. Good secondary characters and several suspects it all gets figured out. It's the major story arc at the end that gave me my holy crap moment. Looking forward to the next, and I want it now! Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced read.
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Night Train to Murder by Simon R. Green, a short quick read. Ishmael and Penny return to ride the rails as a bodyguard to a politician. But when the politician dies and there is suspicion of a psychic involved how will they resolve the murder?
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Ishmael Jones isn’t your typical detective. He’s the sole survivor of his alien starship after a crash which left him stranded on Earth. The ship’s transformation machine converted into an adult male human being, and now he works as a detective for an underground group called the Organization whose sole purpose is to keep civilization in the dark regarding the monsters walking among them. 

Ishmael and his partner Penny Belcourt are assigned an undercover security job keeping watch over a politician as he rides the night train to his new job, Head of the British Psychic Weapons Division. As you can probably guess from the title, the man they are hired to watch ends up murdered, and Ishmael and Penny must solve the case.

The premise is solid, and interesting enough for me to pick up the book. When we discovered the murdered man, the means in which he was killed, as well as the murder location, my interest was tickled. Those items, along with an alien detective, should have catapulted this mystery into a high action thriller. However, this book is a slow paced and lacks tension. 

Once the murder happens, things become a bit redundant and, unfortunately, boring. Ishmael interviews the suspects a few times, spends a lot of time contemplating the events of the night, and occasionally chats with Penny, but there really isn’t a lot of meat to sink your teeth into. We learn about the suspects’ personal lives, which didn’t really garner much sympathy from me despite some rather sad backstories. There’s a bit of action, but not enough to keep me fully engaged.

The dialogue was also problematic. The characters seemed to be talking more to the reader than to each other. They asked too many questions, telling the reader too much information rather than let us figure it out for ourselves. Because of this, conversations seemed forced, information repetitive and overall unrealistic. 
I also struggled to connect with Penny. What was her purpose, other than to be the occasional sounding board for Ishmael? She had a role towards the end, but I wonder if her character was even necessary. She seemed more concerned with reading a magazine on the train then solving a mystery.

However, I still find the idea of an undercover detective alien stuck on Earth to be a fun concept. This book is part of a larger series, and while this particular story didn’t work for me, I look forward to giving the series, and Ishmael, another chance.
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I inhaled this book as I usually do with Simon Green's Ishmael Jones books.
It's a great example of locked room mystery and it kept me on the edge till the end, keeping me guessing and trying to understand how it could have happened.
It's a great thriller and the paranormal aspect plays a minor role comparing to other books in this series.
Penny and Ishmael are great characters as usual but I also liked the well thought and fleshed secondary characters.
The book closure makes me wish that the next instalment will be out something like tomorrow.
An excellent and gripping read, highly recommended.
Many thanks to Severn House and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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Synopsis: Ishmael and Penny are back with a new mystery. Asked to guard a jumped up politician on his way to take up as new head of a secret government division, Ishmael and Penny are left interrogating a small first class train carriage when the VIP they're supposed to be protecting is murdered, quite literally with his pants down. With only 56 minutes to solve the case this is one that's going to put even Ishmael's skills to the test! 

Review: if you've not heard me wax lyrical about it before, I LOVE the Ishmael Jones series. They're my wonderful guilty pleasure, a concept that shouldn't work but 100% does. If I'm ever in a reading slump these books are what get me back out of it, I love Penny and Ishmael's relationship and the mysteries they solve together and this one was just as good as the others! I'm also loving the hints being dropped about Ishmael's past and hoping all will be revealed soon just as long as it doesn't mean the end of this excellent series!
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As per usual another great Ishamel Jones novel that ends on a major cliff hanger! A closed room murder mystery that takes place on a train and is funny, twisty and full of the normal Simon R Green wit. Wish he'd bring in a few familiar characters, however.
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The release of a new installment in Simon R. Green's Ishmael Jones Series is always enormously exciting. Ishmael, alien-turned-human since 1963, and his partner Penny Belcourt, are two of my favorite literary series characters. Author Green combines science fiction, urban fantasy, paranormal, and Noir crime into an always fascinating mix. 


This time, it's a classic "locked-room" assassination, committed just feet from Jones and Penny, who had been ordered to prevent exactly that. Four suspects remain, all with unbeatable allies; who could have done it, and how?
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