Review: The Railway Detective by Edward Marston




The Railway Detective
by Edward Marston
Series: The Railway Detective, Book 1
Genre: Historical Mystery (England, 1851)
Published by Allison & Busby, 2004
E-book, Purchased
318 pages
Grade: C-
Synopsis: Set in the 1850s when rail travel took off, this title, written by Edward Marston, also chronicles the new crimes it inspired.

Horses and ships have their place in the scheme of things but they were not enough to defeat the steam locomotive.


  • Provides a great picture of the beginnings of railways and the clashes between horses and trains. We learn some of the history of this Victorian era.
  • Robert Colbeck is the police inspector who must find out how and why the mail train was robbed. His adventures in this case are why he is dubbed “The Railway Detective.”


  • The story is a bit simplistic. There’s really not much mystery.
  • Colbeck is good at everything–as well as being good-looking, well-dressed and well-to-do. He always has the right answer and his sergeant is used as contrast to show how much better Colbeck is.
  • I felt like the story was an excuse to write about the history of trains.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I won’t continue with this series. It may get better, but I have so many books I want to read already.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  • The 2014 New Author Reading Challenge hosted at the Literary Escapism blog.
  • 2014 Goodreads Challenge (Hoping to read 100 books this year)