Cover Image: The Railway Detective's Christmas Case

The Railway Detective's Christmas Case

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It's so well thought out, it reads almost as if it was written in the era rather than in modern day. I'll be recommending this series to a railway obsessed relative. Great winter reading
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A thoroughly enjoyable and well-crafted classic style mystery. 

I was impressed at how immersive this book felt despite lacking many of the atmospheric elements that I generally require to deeply enjoy a mystery of this sort. Though the title designates it as a Christmas mystery, the story doesn’t truly have much to do with Christmas and it certainly doesn’t bother much with the festive details we value in historical cozies. Regardless, it’s a good book that can stand on the quality of the story alone.

I loved the narrative structure employed by the book, switching rapidly between a dozen or so POVs, and the complexity of the mystery itself is quite good. The dialogue can be a bit wooden, but the story has a strong sense of humor and its tone is terrific.

This is my first Marston mystery and has made me decidedly interested in seeking out more. I’m impressed that twenty books into the series, the author is still churning out excellent work.
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What an enjoyable read! This book had suspense, intrigue, action, and so many crazy twists!  And a bit of a who done it! I highly recommend reading this book!
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The cover of this book showing a steam engine evokes the feel of Victorian times, the romance of the railways and new industry, the smoky and dark suspense of dimly-lit alleyways. The detective in this series focuses on railways in the Midlands of England and this, as the title states, is a Christmas murder.

The story opens with a special Christmas treat for workers and their families having an annual excursion on the train for free. There is a blockage on the line and the driver tries not to alarm the passengers and spoil their rare day out, but the man who organised the trip is shot dead by an unknown sniper. Then of course, the railway detective and his team is called in to solve the crime and work out who is the murderer.

There are several points of view, all expressed in the third person, and there are quite a few characters. The book highlights the class system from the very wealthy landowner and her distain for the workers to the poorer people who are glad that the rich employers will take the time to let them have a train ride. The police officer is not too happy though when he is told to use the tradesman's entrance. There is also an interesting take on the Black Country region of the Midlands, so-called because of the pollution caused by industry, compared to the affluence and picturesque Malvern Hills and Worcestershire, particularly the spa town of Great Malvern.

There is a definite feel of the pedestrian way of life in Victorian England, and the story plods on trudging through a complex trail of investigation. The writing is clear and ageless and this is perfect for those who like railways, trains and Victorian detectives and mysteries.
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Set in 1864 England, the Railway Detective undertakes to solve another mystery associated with one of England's railroads. The series features Scotland Yard Inspector Robert Colbeck and Sergeant Victor Leeming, this time not so ably assisted by their superior, Superintendent Edward Tallis. Tallis is determined to take as long as they need to solve the murder of Cyril Hubbleday, but Colbeck is equally determined to solve the murder and be hime by Christmas. I liked the main characters and the setting, and the pace and mystery were well plotted. I will be looking for more of the Railway Detective series.
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When a works manager is shot dead after stepping down from a train on its way to the quiet town of Malvern, Tallis calls in his officers, but to their dismay he’s joining them for this investigation. When another murder victim is found all chances of being at home for Christmas are lost. This is a series that I am already reading and was delighted to hear that there was a second Christmas book. As always inspector Colbeck is a charming, sharp minded individual who works with his trusted detective, sergeant Leeming, they always make a perfect duo and work well together. The book was fast paced and full of lots of action. Colbeck’s wife is a wonderful character so I was a little sad that she didn’t get involved with this investigation, which somehow she normally does but I love reading about Colbeck and his wife, Madeline. They are a sweet couple and seeing their relationship grow through Marston’s books is wonderful. The crimes were interesting and there were plenty of suspects making this a wonderful Christmas read. I highly recommend this book and the rest of the series.
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The Railway Detective’s Christmas Case is the first I’ve read in the series. It works fine as a stand-alone, but I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more had I been more familiar with the characters. Colbeck’s family is featured often, mostly hoping he gets home in time for Christmas and, for me, those interludes were distractions from the plot, but if I cared more about the characters I might have been more interested.

Colbeck and Leeming are charged with finding the killer of a well-respected man, Cyril Hubblesday. Hubblesday was not a nice man though and there are a fair number of suspects, from employees at the works to his daughter’s former suitor. The clues the pair dig up point in several directions, and it turns out there is more going on than was originally suspected.

I don’t know. The case was interesting and I enjoyed the historical details, but it dragged a bit. There were a lot of characters, several of whom were rather eccentric, but not too many to keep track of. The final solution was not great though. The killer made sense, but the motive was a bit weak.
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🚂It's nearly Christmas 🎄1864 and there's been a murder deep in the heart of beautiful, rural worcestershire, and this, my friends, is precisely why I wanted to read this book, as prior to my decampment to France in 1999 I was Worcestershire born and bread and it truely is a beautiful part of the world.
 ....back to the book. 🚂An excursion train comes through a tunnel in the Malvern Hills to be confronted by a blockage on the line ahead, the train stops and Cyril Hubberday, the man in charge of the day trip, disembarks to investigate why the train has stopped, but as he walks along side the steam train he is shot dead by a sniper🔫... Cue the Railway Detectives from Scotland Yard 🔍Colbeck and Learning who are desperate to solve the case so they can make it back home for Christmas🎅

I totally loved any smidge of description of the settings, I love Malvern (I will hopefully be climbing it's vast hills this Christmas with my boys) so it was joy to hear about it from a historical point of view. 
I love the whole countryside- vintage- Christmas feel to the book. As who-done-it's go it ticked all the boxes, it trotted along at a gentle pace and had a vast cast of characters.
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Edward Marston gives us the Railway Detective's Christmas Case.  Employees are enjoying a rail excursion to the countryside in thanks from Mr. Hubbleday for their diligence.  Suddnely Hubbleday is murdered. Tallis and Colbeck the railway detectives are determined to solve the case and get home to their families for Christmas. What could go wrong?  Full of red herrings and social class divisions.  Good solid Victorian murder mystery.
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I enjoyed this story as I have with previous ones in the series, however, I found this to be a little tedious in parts. I am aware that the charm of this series is it's slow pace of another era, however, it seems to drag on as the detectives are continually going from one location to another and back again. Some of the characters had the potential to be quite interesting but I felt that there wasn't enough description of them to really engage.
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It's not the best mystery in this long series but it was entertaining and kept me hooked even if it dragged a bit in the middle.
Edward Marston can write excellent historical mysteries and this series is amongst my favorite as i love Colbeck and Leeming.
The mystery is solid and kept me guessing. I appreciated the descriptions of the historical background and enjoyed the story.
 Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine
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A slow buring cosy mystery that was well written with well developed characters and a compelling storyline. I think the pacing could have been a bit faster and I would have preferred it but I still enjoyed it.
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The Railway Detective's Christmas Case by Edward Marston seemed a bit slow compared to the other books in the series.  It does pick up a bit which kept me reading and the characters of the village were interesting but overall it took me a long time to warm to them.
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Oh how I miss the early years of this series, when Colbeck and Madeline were just courting and before the introduction of Lydia Quayle and Alan Hinton.  These latter two characters sounded the death knell of this series.  While it is understood that situations in a series such as this are bound to change and characters will develop, this series has developed in such a way that the original spark has been extinguished completely, and the remaining squib is tedious in the extreme.  

While the basic premise of the books is sound, with Robert Colbeck and his faithful sidekick Sgt.. Leeming pursuing their unerring course to the solution of one railway-centric crime after another, the backstory featuring Madeleine Colbeck, her father, Lydia Quayle and Alan Hinton is such an unnecessary adjunct to these otherwise quite entertaining stories that one is constantly at a loss to fathom why they are still so much a feature of the books.  These segues into the lives of the totally uninteresting Madeline and her unpleasant father, not to mention  the simpering Lydia Quayle and her 'will-they, won't-they' relationship with Alan Hinton provide unnecessary interruption of the action, to absolutely no purpose whatsoever.  I can give no more comment on the story than this, since it is a distraction that completely ruined any enjoyment I hoped for from the book.  I have read all of these books on publication, but I am not at all sure I will read any more.  There is such a thing as a winning formula for a book I quite understand, but when the formula is flawed, then surely there needs to be some sort of reassessment.  Marston, I think it is time...
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This mystery was a great read and perfect for the cosy Christmas feel.  With a slice of Sherlock Holmes influence I think this book was well written and had a lot of twist and turns a fun read.  Thank you for my eArc netgally and the publishers
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this in the latest of the railway detective series is a return to how the series was in the past but maybe the time for the series is coming to the close as events in the latest book. the usual red herrings kept you entertained.
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Inspector Robert Colbeck and Sergeant Victor Leeming investigate murder connected to the Railways in the 1860’s. A work’s outing to Great Malvern will end in death and the local gentry Lady Foley wants Scotland Yard to solve it before fear has a chance to spread. The Victorian setting in the Midlands gives you a sense of these hard times mixed with the future of forward thinking industrialists who are starting to want change for their workers.
The two main characters come across as very personable. I particularly liked the way the story reflected how their work impacts on their private lives. An old fashioned murder mystery this will keep you happy on a wet winter afternoon.
Thank you NetGalley and (publisher Allison & Busby) for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.
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Thank you Netgalley and Allison & Busby. I really wanted to like this book given that I am huge fan of who dunnit books. This book in particular I felt was dragged. The first 20% of the book goes by fast, the excursion and the train coming to a complete stop and the works manager is shot. After that you get introduced to so many characters which could have been scaled down, and from there on you just don't get where the story is going. I personally felt the story was lacking a good twist. The author did try to engage a reader, but this book is just not for me because I am huge Agatha Christie fan and I felt by the end of the book, the story could have been better.
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The Railway Detective’s Christmas Case is a fun mystery that is written in a style that harkens back to the iconic Sherlock Holmes mysteries. With two intrepid detectives and cast of colorful characters at the center, the setting of a train ride in Victorian England at Christmas time sets the stage for a rollicking whodunit mystery fans will delight in.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Allison and Busby through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I read some of The Railway Detective books a few years ago for my book club, and I enjoyed them, so I was pleased to be approved to read and review this one.

This was a very entertaining Christmas-themed mystery, and it had the kind of cosiness that I typically enjoy about books that are set in this period. It was enjoyable and relaxing to read. I think it would be an enjoyable festive read for anyone who is already familiar with the series.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for my opportunity to read and review this.
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