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Murder on the Brighton Express

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October 1854. As an autumnal evening draws to a close, crowds of passengers rush onto the soon to depart London to Brighton Express. A man watches from shadows nearby, grimly satisfied when the train pulls out the station . . . Chaos, fatalities and unbelievable destruction are the scene soon after when the train derails on the last leg of its journey. What led to such dev October 1854. As an autumnal evening draws to a close, crowds of passengers rush onto the soon to depart London to Brighton Express. A man watches from shadows nearby, grimly satisfied when the train pulls out the station . . . Chaos, fatalities and unbelievable destruction are the scene soon after when the train derails on the last leg of its journey. What led to such devastation, and could it simply be a case of driver error? Detective Inspector Colbeck, dubbed the railway detective thinks not. But digging deep to discover the target of the accident takes time, something Colbeck doesn t have as the killer prepares to strike again . . ."


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October 1854. As an autumnal evening draws to a close, crowds of passengers rush onto the soon to depart London to Brighton Express. A man watches from shadows nearby, grimly satisfied when the train pulls out the station . . . Chaos, fatalities and unbelievable destruction are the scene soon after when the train derails on the last leg of its journey. What led to such dev October 1854. As an autumnal evening draws to a close, crowds of passengers rush onto the soon to depart London to Brighton Express. A man watches from shadows nearby, grimly satisfied when the train pulls out the station . . . Chaos, fatalities and unbelievable destruction are the scene soon after when the train derails on the last leg of its journey. What led to such devastation, and could it simply be a case of driver error? Detective Inspector Colbeck, dubbed the railway detective thinks not. But digging deep to discover the target of the accident takes time, something Colbeck doesn t have as the killer prepares to strike again . . ."

30 review for Murder on the Brighton Express

  1. 5 out of 5

    Leigh

    I didn't enjoy this as much as the others in the series but still a good read! 3.5 Stars! I didn't enjoy this as much as the others in the series but still a good read! 3.5 Stars!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ralph

    The author does a wonderful job of recreating both the era and the mindset of the period in which the story is set, though it’s inevitable that some anachronistic comments and attitudes appear from time to time. He also expertly recreates the experience of rail travel in the mid-Nineteenth Century, right down to the poor suspension of the carriages and the fish-plates on the rails. In this fifth installment of “The Railway Detective” series, two detectives from Scotland Yard investigate a derail The author does a wonderful job of recreating both the era and the mindset of the period in which the story is set, though it’s inevitable that some anachronistic comments and attitudes appear from time to time. He also expertly recreates the experience of rail travel in the mid-Nineteenth Century, right down to the poor suspension of the carriages and the fish-plates on the rails. In this fifth installment of “The Railway Detective” series, two detectives from Scotland Yard investigate a derailing of the Brighton Express, an incident which they see as a deliberate act but which others see as nothing but an accident, eager to cast blame on the dead engine driver. The investigation bounces between London and Brighton. Suspects and red herrings abound in the suspenseful tale. Overall, I enjoyed the story very much and will probably look for other books in the series. If I have a quibble with the book, it is in the ending, which is why I give it four and not five stars. No spoilers allowed in my reviews, so suffice it to say that I take very seriously Ronald Knox’s Rules for Detective Stories, most especially the first one.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Graham Tapper

    This time, the Railway Detective is called in to investigate not just a single murder but the derailment of an entire train, but is it simply an unfortunate accident or something more sinister? Certainly the local investigators have already made up their mind: it was a blunder, and the engine driver was to blame. Colbeck isn't so sure, and this brings him into conflict with those who are not used to having their opinions challenged. Colbeck persists, assisted by the estimable Sgt Leeming, and it This time, the Railway Detective is called in to investigate not just a single murder but the derailment of an entire train, but is it simply an unfortunate accident or something more sinister? Certainly the local investigators have already made up their mind: it was a blunder, and the engine driver was to blame. Colbeck isn't so sure, and this brings him into conflict with those who are not used to having their opinions challenged. Colbeck persists, assisted by the estimable Sgt Leeming, and it soon becomes clear that someone on the train had enemies, indeed, more than one person. But, are either the target or is it someone else entirely? Certainly there are those who appear to have something to hide. Marston's books flow smoothly and expertly. He is the master of the dangling come-on that forces you to read just another page. He is highly descriptive and I challenge any reader not to have a clear picture in their mind when reading him. Highly recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sara Marsden

    Bit of a convoluted mystery but what annoyed me most is his tendency to speak about women of a middle class status with respect and any lower class women as if they were just objects (and his obsession with breasts is just tiring. He compared them to water balloons at one point). I genuinely think my 6 year old nephew could write about women in a more convincing way

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sian Kerr

    My Mum recommended the Railway Detective books to me. They were a bit different and set in the 1800s. I quite enjoy historical novels, especially with a murder mystery twist. Murder on the Brighton Express begins from the point of view of the driver of the fated Brighton Express just before it crashes with a goods locomotive. From this we follow DI Colbeck and DS Leeming as they solve what appears to be just a tragic accident. To begin with I really enjoyed reading about long ago Brighton. Edward My Mum recommended the Railway Detective books to me. They were a bit different and set in the 1800s. I quite enjoy historical novels, especially with a murder mystery twist. Murder on the Brighton Express begins from the point of view of the driver of the fated Brighton Express just before it crashes with a goods locomotive. From this we follow DI Colbeck and DS Leeming as they solve what appears to be just a tragic accident. To begin with I really enjoyed reading about long ago Brighton. Edward Marston spent a great deal of time describing the train station and the pavilion and it was easy to imagine what it would have been like. The main problem I have with this book is that everything seems a bit one dimensional. The characters didn't really leap off of the page and the story itself was a bit flat. It took me a long time to read for the length of the actual book and I wasn't exactly gripped. On the other hand there were sparks. I enjoyed reading about Rev. Ezra Follis and his going on, as well as Dick Chiffney and his girlfriend Josie Murlow. Those sections seemed to come to life much more than any of the police force. Maybe if I'd started with book one I would feel more for the characters, but all in all they were rather forgetful. I'm afraid Edward Marston isn't on my wish list and I won't be reading anything of his any time soon. Maybe I'll revisit him in the future.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maria Thermann

    Although overall a very entertaining read, this Railway Detective mystery is not one of Marston's finest. In fact, I was not just surprised but rather annoyed to find that in the final few chapters Marston denies the reader the solving of his intellectual murder puzzle by suddenly introducing a villain - and another victim - the reader had never come across before. Therefore, readers couldn't possibly deduce who the murderer was or what the motive for the horrendous deeds perpetrated throughout Although overall a very entertaining read, this Railway Detective mystery is not one of Marston's finest. In fact, I was not just surprised but rather annoyed to find that in the final few chapters Marston denies the reader the solving of his intellectual murder puzzle by suddenly introducing a villain - and another victim - the reader had never come across before. Therefore, readers couldn't possibly deduce who the murderer was or what the motive for the horrendous deeds perpetrated throughout the book could be. If I submitted a short story or novel containing such an essential error to a writing competition, the judges would simply throw it out and not consider it, no matter how well written it might be! This is an amateurish approach to crime writing - one that readers would expect to see from first-time novelists but not from a seasoned author with some 40 years+ experience like Edward Marston. I closed this book with intense irritation, despite having enjoyed reading of Railway Detective Colbeck's romantic entanglements with the lovely artist Madeleine and Sergeant Leeming's nearly fatal sexual collision with one buxom lady of the night. I'm awarding two stars only - purely on account of Inspector Colbeck's boyish charm and Sergeant Leeming's touching devotion to his family.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amy Paget

    This is a great summer read. A superb detective story set in Brighton in 1854. All the elements are there -- the iron-fisted superintendent, the master detective and his acolyte...and the beautiful, talented, and independent girlfriend. This is the 5th book in the series...so I know what I will be reading on vacation! The settings are very well drawn. The railroad lore is sound and the insights into British life at various levels is fascinating. You'll be VERY surprised as to who is the REAL vic This is a great summer read. A superb detective story set in Brighton in 1854. All the elements are there -- the iron-fisted superintendent, the master detective and his acolyte...and the beautiful, talented, and independent girlfriend. This is the 5th book in the series...so I know what I will be reading on vacation! The settings are very well drawn. The railroad lore is sound and the insights into British life at various levels is fascinating. You'll be VERY surprised as to who is the REAL victim at the end of this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    First of these railway detective books I have read and although not a bad book I did find it pedestrian to a degree to the point that I won't desperately seek out another...however it wasn't so bad that I will avoid them at all costs if I see another at a charity shop. It was just OK really...it is what it is...a detective novel set in the days of steam..nothing earth shattering but readable. First of these railway detective books I have read and although not a bad book I did find it pedestrian to a degree to the point that I won't desperately seek out another...however it wasn't so bad that I will avoid them at all costs if I see another at a charity shop. It was just OK really...it is what it is...a detective novel set in the days of steam..nothing earth shattering but readable.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Really enjoyed this tale. Growing to like the author more. Recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Helene Harrison

    Review - I love this series even more reading them directly one after the other. I think it allows you to really get into the heads of the characters. I enjoyed this mystery because it gripped me right to the end. I was a little disappointed with who the over-arching villain was however as I didn't feel there was enough build-up to it. I love the relationship between Colbeck and Leeming, as well as between the pair and Superintendent Tallis, as they constantly seem to rub up against each other, Review - I love this series even more reading them directly one after the other. I think it allows you to really get into the heads of the characters. I enjoyed this mystery because it gripped me right to the end. I was a little disappointed with who the over-arching villain was however as I didn't feel there was enough build-up to it. I love the relationship between Colbeck and Leeming, as well as between the pair and Superintendent Tallis, as they constantly seem to rub up against each other, but you can see there is also some mutual respect there. This mystery was unusual in the series as, just about all of the way through, many people didn't believe there was a crime at all, which put new obstacles in the way of the investigators. Definitely worth a read if you love historical mysteries and even cosy crime! Genre? - Historical / Mystery Characters? - Robert Colbeck / Victor Leeming / Madeline Andrews / Caleb Andrews / Superintendent Tallis / Captain Ridgeon / Ezra Follis Setting? - London & Epsom (England) Series? - Railway Detective #5 Recommend? – Yes Rating - 17/20

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tiera

    I kinda had this "Agatha Christie" vibes when I picked up this book. It reminded me of her book, Murder on the Orient Express. Maybe because the title and book/story setting were similar. But their writting styles and the storylines are wayyy different from each other so I think it's because both stories are set on an express train. Overall, I did enjoyed reading it. It's not a 5-star for me but I love it still. I'm fully aware this is not the first book but I think you can read it as a stand-alo I kinda had this "Agatha Christie" vibes when I picked up this book. It reminded me of her book, Murder on the Orient Express. Maybe because the title and book/story setting were similar. But their writting styles and the storylines are wayyy different from each other so I think it's because both stories are set on an express train. Overall, I did enjoyed reading it. It's not a 5-star for me but I love it still. I'm fully aware this is not the first book but I think you can read it as a stand-alone. I'm genuinely curious about what happens next. But I'm still not sure if I want to buy the other books in the series though.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Malcolm

    There is skulduggery afoot on the Brighton Express; it has mysteriously leapt from the tracks, collided with an oncoming train causing many deaths and much damage. Enter Robert Colbeck, hero of these engaging police procedurals, with his trusty Sergeant Victor Lemming – who distrusts the railway as much as Colbeck is a neophiliac. All the components are here: a perplexing accident that may or may not be an accident (Colbeck thinks yes, but the inspector of accidents disagrees) with several fatal There is skulduggery afoot on the Brighton Express; it has mysteriously leapt from the tracks, collided with an oncoming train causing many deaths and much damage. Enter Robert Colbeck, hero of these engaging police procedurals, with his trusty Sergeant Victor Lemming – who distrusts the railway as much as Colbeck is a neophiliac. All the components are here: a perplexing accident that may or may not be an accident (Colbeck thinks yes, but the inspector of accidents disagrees) with several fatalities and more possible causes and targets. On top of this, there is a healthy set of rivalries in Brighton (where much of the narrative is centred) including a moral crusader of a preacher, a xenophobic politician, an unpopular railway official and more. Yet, somehow this one does not come together, with last minute characters who turn out to be crucial, red herrings that feel forced and clumsy metaphor linking railways to the investigative process. Enjoyable but alas not very satisfying.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cliff

    I've read several in this series. This follows the usual pattern, an incident occurs on a railway, the company call for the Railway Detective, he attends the scene with his trusty sidekick Sergeant Leeming who doesn't like train travel, swords are crossed with his peppery superior, the Railway Detective catches his wo/man and the R D is vindicated all round. I've read several in this series. This follows the usual pattern, an incident occurs on a railway, the company call for the Railway Detective, he attends the scene with his trusty sidekick Sergeant Leeming who doesn't like train travel, swords are crossed with his peppery superior, the Railway Detective catches his wo/man and the R D is vindicated all round.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Annie Turner

    I enjoyed the book as much as the others in the series. I did feel however that the ending was a bit rushed. He brought in people never mentioned throught the story. He also spent alot of time making sure we knew the main female was as low class as possible where the middle class females are of such better morals. Still enjoyed the book but not the best one.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    I love Edward Marston's style of writing. He always catches me out. Just when I think I've worked out the perpetrator, I realise I'm wrong. I don't know how he does it, but the stories always have twists and turns in them. Thoroughly enjoyable. I love Edward Marston's style of writing. He always catches me out. Just when I think I've worked out the perpetrator, I realise I'm wrong. I don't know how he does it, but the stories always have twists and turns in them. Thoroughly enjoyable.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris Howland

    Another easy to read "Railway Detective" yarn. I like these novels - there's no need to read between the lines, the plot unfolds bit by bit, an you are in no doubt about whodunit and why by the time you reach the last page. Another easy to read "Railway Detective" yarn. I like these novels - there's no need to read between the lines, the plot unfolds bit by bit, an you are in no doubt about whodunit and why by the time you reach the last page.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Krystin Erika

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I love this book so much, it was fun and thrilling as I read the novel. I am also looking forward to read some of the railway detective series. The only character or part that I didn't like is the pastor. I love this book so much, it was fun and thrilling as I read the novel. I am also looking forward to read some of the railway detective series. The only character or part that I didn't like is the pastor.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michael McManus

    As always I enjoy Edward Marston's the Railway Detective books and this one is no exception. A great read and Marston takes you right into the sometimes seedy side of Victorian London. The pairing of Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming is perfect. 👍👍 As always I enjoy Edward Marston's the Railway Detective books and this one is no exception. A great read and Marston takes you right into the sometimes seedy side of Victorian London. The pairing of Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming is perfect. 👍👍

  19. 5 out of 5

    K R POOLE

    Brilliant as always theses series of books are non putdownable. Another great read I love this series which I stumbled across on holiday in 2019. The Railway detective should be made into a TV series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura Alderson

    An enjoyable enough murder mystery set in the Victoria era following a "railway detective" who tries to work out why a train derailed. Quite formulaic, but with a clever twist at the end. My main issue with it was felt the characters were a bit flat; I got some of the men muddled with each other. An enjoyable enough murder mystery set in the Victoria era following a "railway detective" who tries to work out why a train derailed. Quite formulaic, but with a clever twist at the end. My main issue with it was felt the characters were a bit flat; I got some of the men muddled with each other.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Corinne

    Interesting plot, characters, historical setting ... until the out-of-left-field solution to the mystery

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    Cosy crime and easy to read Lovely not to have to concentrate on a book. Enjoying the series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dan Panke

    I'm not sure how I discovered Edward Marston but I do enjoy his writing and the era he's chosen in the Railway Detective Series. I'm not sure how I discovered Edward Marston but I do enjoy his writing and the era he's chosen in the Railway Detective Series.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    A well-crafted detective story, with good characters and an exciting finish.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    In this book, there were more twists and turns to the plot than the last one. Intrigue held interest right to the end.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    An excellent read. At no point would you guess the true murderer, fantastically written and well thought out. Perfect travel companion too.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jean Walton

    Another entertaining tale in the Inspector Colbeck series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tan Clover

    A classic mystery - of its age - and fun

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nadia McGrath

    Good story and character description but a little long-winded

  30. 4 out of 5

    Barbra

    Another interesting read, this series just keeps getting better and better.

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