The South Devon Railway contacts Scotland Yard for their assistance, and Superintendant Edward Tallis sends the Railway Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck and his assistant Victor Leeming to Exeter with all due haste. They quickly unearth three suspects, but are they missing something? It is only when Heygate’s diary turns up unexpectedly that the truth becomes clear and a fourth suspect emerges. As Colbeck closes in on the killer, he finds himself in mortal danger - can justice prevail? Or will his beloved Madeleine be robbed of a husband on the very eve of their marriage?
‘Well, he was. You’re after a cunning devil, Inspector – smoke him out.’
An eagerly awaited collection of brand new, specially commissioned short stories from the master of historical crime fiction Edward Marston, featuring his quick-witted Railway Detective, Inspector Robert Colbeck.
In this thrilling selection of stories, a young porter is found dead in a coal tub; Colbeck devises a trap to catch a thief; and a burnt train carriage holds a gruesome secret in a small coastal village. As Colbeck and his trusty aide Sergeant Victor Leeming begin to piece together clues and motives for each crime, it becomes clear the pair must stay a step ahead of the culprits to solve the cases. With a new suspect at every turn, can the duo unearth the real villains?
Including ‘The End of the Line’ and ‘The Barber of Ravenglass’, jealousy, vengeance and duplicity all collide in this supercharged anthology, proving once again, that Inspector Colbeck is the master of mysteries.
Detective Inspector Harvey Marmion and Sergeant Joe Keedy must take on this case of cover-ups and contradictions and track down Jacob's killer – a hunt which carries them from the crime-ridden streets of wartime London to the chaos of the front line. But is the murder simply the result of a tragic excess of wartime hysteria, or perhaps a more premeditated crime?
When he learns his daughter is missing, Sir Marcus Burnhope contacts Scotland Yard for help. Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming are assigned to the case and are advised to tread carefully around Sir Marcus – an MP who is used to getting what he wants.
With witnesses confirming the impossible – that the women boarded the train – is it a simple case of runaways? Or is there a larger, more sinister conspiracy at work? The Railway Detective must unravel the mystifying web of their disappearance before Imogen and Rhoda vanish into oblivion for good.
Scotland Yard suggests it’s the work of a German spy but Detective Inspector Harvey Marnion and Sergeant Joe Keedy remain unconvinced, believing something more complex and sinister to be at work. With five times the victims there are five times the motives for murder. As the pair begins to piece together the lives of the women, they unearth a tension simmering between many of the locals and the canaries.
The dark days of the war has left everyone on edge and suspicion is rife. From marital dysfunction to a failed bomb plot, it seems everyone in the small town of Hayes has a motive, so Marmion and Keedy must work fast to uncover the murderer. Before more canaries are turned to dust.
When Cyril is brutally bludgeoned to death, Scotland Yard detectives Inspector Marmion and Sergeant Keedy are assigned to the case. As the pair build up a portrait of Cyril, they unearth an intriguing private life behind the man’s saintly facade. It soon becomes clear there are plenty of suspicious characters with motives for the killing.
Meanwhile, public sympathy is lukewarm. Some people even claim that a conchie deserves to die if he won’t fight for King and Country. And in the wake of the murder, three close friends of Ablatt fear that they may also be under threat. Marmion and Keedy will have to work fast to find the killer before any more deaths occur . . .
With the Great Exhibition in the offing, interest is mounting in the icon of modern technological achievement: the railways. But this triumph of Victorian engineering has a darker side too, as these sinews of empire offer new opportunities for hidden crime and quick escape, vast destruction and dark double-dealings.
Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck is the Railway Detective. When a train is robbed or a passenger killed, Colbeck and his trusty sergeant Victor Leeming must take to the rails and use their expert knowledge of crime and railways to untangle webs of murder, blackmail and destruction.
The railway director calls Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Lemming in from London to solve the hideous crime. As the pair arrive in the countryside, they find there is no shortage of difficult personalities and conflicting alibis, making the mystery much harder to unravel.
On discovering Bedloe had plenty of enemies as well as a sordid past, Colbeck and Leeming must unearth which of them is capable of plotting a violent murder. Could it possibly be a woman, distraught that he’d taken another lover? Or a jealous husband who detected an affair? With pressure mounting from all sides, and urgent matters closer to home requiring his attention, only the Railway Detective can reveal the truth.
The body is that of Vivian Quayle, director of the Midland Railway and pillar of the community, whose mysterious death baffles local police and necessitates Scotland Yard’s assistance. As Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming piece together the victim’s final moments, and suspects and motives multiply, an unpleasant picture emerges. This is a case only the Railway Detective can solve.
In the tenth installment of this dramatic Elizabethan series, Westfield’s Men are flying high after a celebrated performance of The Insatiate Duke at the Queen’s Head. However, victory is bittersweet as the company is soon faced with dissolution and the loss of their theatre; were it not for one of the company’s rising stars. After acquiring a new benefactor, the company plan to build their own theatre.
However, before they have the chance to find out who this guardian angel is, one of the group is found brutally murdered. Cue Nicholas Bracewell to uncover not one, but two hidden identities, of both the murderer and the anonymous benefactor, before the company gets disbanded.
As book holder and stage manager of theatrical company Lord Westfield's Men, Nicholas Bracewell is accustomed to solving problems. So when he discovers the naked corpse of a man while crossing the Thames by boat one night, he becomes determined to unravel its mystery. After several attacks on the company's members, Nicholas begins to suspect a connection - could these apparently accidental events be part of some hidden design?
When Lord Westfield's Men are asked to stage one of their comedies at the Nine Giants in Richmond, Nicholas must put aside his worries and focus on the play. But as the attacks become more sinister, culminating in a grisly death, Nicholas is under increasing pressure to prevent more disaster . . .
Following a disastrous fire that burns down The Queen’s Head, the players must take their talents elsewhere. Their newly widowed patron, Lord Westfield plans to marry again and sets his sights on a princess of Denmark. With her uncle being a fan of Westfield’s Men, the troupe are invited to join their patron in his travels to go and wed his beautiful bride in Elsinore. Bracewell and his fellows face perils on the sea as they head for Denmark. But as always for Westfield’s Men, trouble seems to follow them wherever they go and when a body is discovered, questions need to be answered.
The motive for the crash is unclear, with suspects including the North British Railway, a group of sabbatarians and those with personal vendettas to enact. Colbeck and Leeming face further obstacles when the Railway announces a reward of £400 for information – soon they are pitched against criminals, the public and their own colleagues in their attempts to solve the case.
Meanwhile, with the investigation stalling, the newly married Madeleine Colbeck and her father race to reach Inspector Colbeck with important information. Will they be in time to save the royal family before their train journey to Balmoral?
Flanders, 1707. Returning to camp from a dangerous solo mission behind enemy lines, Captain Daniel Rawson finds himself stranded, with French soldiers in fierce pursuit. A kindly farmer helps Daniel hide and then to escape – but with dire consequences.
Back in England there is political unrest. Queen Anne’s favour has shifted causing the Duke of Marlborough to resign as Commander-in-Chief. And all the while, the treacherous and scheming Duc de Vendôme, is hell-bent on capturing Daniel, by any means at his disposal.
With the odds stacked against him, Daniel, aided by his friend Henry Welbeck, must face his greatest challenge yet and fight for his life at the bloody battle of Oudenarde.
His name was Will Fowler, an actor in the esteemed theatrical company called Lord Westfield’s Men, a vibrant young man flushed from the success of a recent performance at The Queen’s Head theatre. So exuberant was he that he persuaded the resourceful manager of the company, Nicholas Bracewell, to quaff a pint or two at a nearby pub.
Alas, it was to be Will’s last taste of beer. A tavern brawl left him dead – but not before he gasped for Nicholas to find his fast-fleeting, red-bearded murderer and administer a just revenge.
Yet finding Will’s murderer in London’s dark, crowded streets was a seemingly impossible task – not to mention the fact that Lord Westfield’s Men were just commanded to appear at the court of Elizabeth I – an honour one dare not refuse . . .
Despite winning a resounding victory at the battle of Oudenarde, the Duke of Marlborough finds his position as captain-general threatened by political enemies back in England, and his campaign to strike deeper into French Flanders is stalled at the siege of Lille, the ‘pearl of fortresses’. To help facilitate the new Allied strategy, Captain Daniel Rawson is given the treacherous task of entering Lille undercover to steal vital plans. Meanwhile, in England, Daniel’s beloved Amalia is herself under siege – a dangerous admirer is determined to have her, even if he has to have Daniel murdered first.
As the weather worsens and Lille’s famed defences appear to be holding, Daniel has to fight against one of his own allies, dwindling supplies, weakening morale, French patrols and a hired assassin. He must battle bravely on or risk losing everything . . .
‘It’s my trade.’
Theatre troupe Westfield’s Men take on a new actor, Francis Quilter, after reaching new heights of success. But with the new member, brings new trouble. Quilter’s father, Gerard, is on trial for the murder of an enemy, but he denies the charge and Nicholas Bracewell sets about proving his innocence.
However, Bracewell’s loyalty to Francis drives a wedge between the players. Who will clear the Quilter family name? On their quest for the truth, they stumble across an unlikely ally, who may just hold the answers they’re looking for.
When the deathly horrors of the Black Plague decimate the audiences in London’s theatres, the acclaimed troupe of players called Lord Westfield’s Men take to the high road to seek out fresh audiences. But wherever they go, they are thwarted by misfortune and baffled by mysteries. Their scripts are stolen, their players abducted. A dead man walks, and a beautiful woman hears the voice of God.
Only one man is clever enough to match swords with the troupe’s burgeoning troubles. Upon Nicholas Bracewell, the company’s bookholder and mainstay, falls the burden that may cost him his life – as they head for an ancient inn called The Trip to Jerusalem, where the last act of a bloody drama is about to begin.
While England is brought low by rumours of Queen Elizabeth's declining health, celebrated theatre company Lord Westfield's Men suffer their own bitter blows. A vicious feud between players causes chaos; a rival company launches a new production; a mysterious beauty reduces their leading actor to a lovelorn wreck; and a brutal murder leaves the group of actors reeling. With matters so fraught, even a performing horse becomes a threat.
Stage manager Nicholas Bracewell, accustomed to damage control, is the only man with the wit to keep the company afloat. As the Queen sinks towards death, Nicholas begins to discern the connections between the company's misfortunes and the larger shadow falling over England . . .
Yet in spite of his efforts, the peace talks collapse, and Daniel finds himself once more embroiled in dangerous adventure. For Marlborough has another mission for him: this time it is not information but a precious tapestry that has to be recovered. The tapestry of the Battle of Ramillies has been stolen, and Daniel’s hunt for the ruthless thieves leads him into enemy territory, where he must daily outwit betrayal and kidnap, and risk capture and life itself.
All the while, the French army is regaining its strength under the supervision of Marshall Villars, a worthy opponent in the field. As the opposing armies mass in the area around the village of Malplaquet, a bloody encounter looms. Which means that if Daniel manages to return safely to the Duke’s forces from behind enemy lines, he must then stand fast and fight in their most murdering battle yet.
Faced with the austerities of a bitterly cold English winter, the theatre is deserted and Westfield’s Men find themselves out of work. Fortuitously, the company is invited to perform at a country home in Essex; welcome news to the disgruntled players.
The company decide it’s the perfect opportunity to trial their new play The Witch of Colchester. However, when the group’s leading actor begins to fall mysteriously ill, the company fear witchcraft might be involved. Then on the performance night, an audience member inexplicably collapses and dies, paving the way for Nicholas Bracewell to uncover the cause of the strange events taking place in Silvermere.
At the last moment the duel is broken up by Bow Street Runners. They are overjoyed to include Paul, one of their enemies and rivals, in the arrest. However, despite the interruption, the passions behind the duel seem to spill out into the full light of day when Bowerman is stabbed to death in a stranger’s garden.
Paul and his twin, Peter, are determined to see justice done and a race against the Runners begins, where the brothers must pick a path through threads of inheritance and treachery, with a beautiful woman at the heart of the web.
Westfield’s men are in dire straights, and their playwright appears to be suffering from a lack of creative inspiration. Thankfully, the company is offered a new play, The Malevolent Comedy, which they believe will drag them out of their rut and put on a spectacle enough to rival Banbury’s Men, preventing them from stealing their audiences. However, during the play's opening performance, one of the cast members is struck down after being poisoned, making it his first and last appearance on stage. Suspicion is rife and Nicolas Bracewell, the trusty book keeper, refuses to let the crime go unpunished. Given the nature of the murder, subsequent plots to sabotage Westfield’s Men during their performances and the theft of the only copy of The Malevolent Comedy, all signs appear to point to the company’s rivals on the other side of the river.
When the body of a woman is discovered in woodland next to the derailment, Inspector Colbeck is despatched to lend assistance, believing the two incidents might be connected. It is up to Colbeck to put the pieces together to discover the identity of the nameless woman and unmask who is targeting Moscardi’s Magnificent Circus.
But strange occurrences begin to take place within the company and book holder Nicholas Bracewell fears something sinister is afoot. Then the company’s costumes are stolen from a locked cabinet and they are forced to perform without them. Nick delves deeper into the mysterious events happening around London because for Westfield’s Men, the show must go on.
During a performance of their new play, A Trick to Catch a Chaste Lady, Westfield’s Men are sabotaged, and they find themselves in the throngs of an audience-player melee. In the midst of the rotten-vegetable battlefield, one of the audience members is found stabbed, and their masterful clown, Barnaby Gill, is discovered with a broken leg.
With the company clown-less, they must find a replacement before they embark on their tour of Kent. Enter Gideon Mussett, a ruffian, scallywag and all around drunk. Thinking the victim in the theatre was an accident. Nicholas Bracewell and his fellows soon learn that there is more to this death than a drunken brawl. With a murderer still on the loose, it appears further deaths are on the cards, but who will be the second victim?