Leicester, 1952: A team of archaeologists digging beneath the arches of the Great Central railway viaduct make a shocking discovery. A child’s body. It has been incinerated so completely that only bone fragments and a few teeth remain.

Railway detectives DI Vignoles and DS Trinder are called in to investigate. They soon discover a possible connection with a similar murder two years earlier in nearby Barrow Hill. And when a third boy goes missing, their worst fears are confirmed – a serial killer is on the loose, preying on young train-spotters.

Inspector Vignoles and his colleagues from the British Railways Detective Department must act quickly to track down the killer before he strikes again…

Set in and around Leicester at a time when Britain was just starting to emerge from postwar austerity, this novel offers a warm but unsentimental portrait of the lives of the men and women who worked on the former Great Central Railway.

Blood and Custard is a macabre, gripping thriller that is bound to appeal to railway enthusiasts and all lovers of good historical crime fiction.

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ISBN 978-1-904109-26-6
Pub. 2015
272 pages


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by Stephen Done

Inspector Vignoles is a railway detective on the Great Central Railway line in the 1940s and 1950s, in the days of the London & North Eastern Railway ownership. Lots of steam locomotives, human interest and action!

1. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

2. The Murder of Crows

3. The Torn Curtain

4. The Marylebone Murders

5. Last Train to Brackley Central

6. New Brighton Rock

7. Blood and Custard

8. The Mountsorrel Mystery

"The best of the railway detective novels on the market!" Steam Railway Magazine

"Not just splendidly paced crime thrillers, not just delicious treats for all steam train enthusiasts but really vibrant social portraits of the life and mores of the immediate post war, Austerity Britain. I intend putting them in my "Best Read of the Year" slot." Ewan Wilson, Crime Fiction Buyer, Waterstone"s

"Move over Aidensfield, the new Heartbeat could be here!" Daventry Post

"Stephen has originated the new literary genre of Post-war Austerity Gothic." Liverpool Daily Post