First in a new historical mystery series set in nineteenth century London. A robbery on the London-Birmingham mail train takes Inspector Robert Colbeck into the heart of the seedy dens of the "Devilís Acre". |
In 1851 England, the London to Birmingham mail train is robbed and derailed, injuring the driver and others aboard. However, further investigation proves the seemingly simple robbery to have been impossible. Inspector Robert Colbeck knows this is a case that wonít be easily solved. He is faced with the question of how the robbers got into a safe with two keys that were secure at opposite sides of the country. To get to the bottom of the mystery, he enlists the aid of volatile former policeman Brendan Mulryne behind his Superintendentís back to search out the criminals in the notorious Devilís Acre, a cluster of gambling dens in the shadow of Westminster Abbey. However, it may turn out that Mulryne can create more trouble than he can cure.
Things get even more complicated as the beautiful daughter of the injured train driver, Madeleine Andrews, comes to Colbeck to provide information, unwittingly drawing the attentions of the crooks. When prime suspects begin to disappear and he learns that there was more than just money on the train, Colbeck realizes that he is dealing with the most driven and powerful criminal he has faced in his career. As the very citizens he is trying to protect begin to be affected by this mastermind, Colbeck must join Mulryne in a race against time before all the evidence is efficiently blown away.
The Railway Detective is an action-packed dip into murky 1850s London. Full of twists and with memorable characters, this is a mystery that will surprise you at every turn.