The Murder of Crows is a crime mystery set in the 1940s and is the second in the series. It is based along the now-closed Great Central Railway line, in the days of the London & North Eastern Railway ownership. Much of the action centres around Woodford Halse, Charwelton and Leicester Central. Lots of steam locomotives, human interest and action!


As the Big Freeze of 1947 grips the land, the railways struggle in their battle against the snow and refugees from the recent war in Europe, freezing in the Displaced Person"s Camp at Finmere, are forced to resort to desperate measures to stay warm. The snow lies deep as a murder of crows sits and waits upon a telegraph wire along the edge of a lonely railway cutting. A steam engine storms out of Catesby tunnel and a young woman is thrown from the passing train. A killer is stalking the line.

Set against the backdrop of a dark and austere postwar Britain, Inspector Vignoles and Sergeant Trinder of the LNER detective department are soon involved in their most deadly investigation to date.

Review in the Oxford Mail, 26th March 2009

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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

Readers" and critics" reviews of the series

"I love it! A real page-turner." Daily Mirror

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

‘Thoroughly recommended for providing an exciting and captivating read. Each move is meticulously told and there is a pace to the story that keeps one wanting to turn the pages.’ Mainline Magazine

‘A captivating group of characters who seem to encapsulate a more innocent age.’ Tony Johnson

"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 in the run-up to Christmas." Ewan Wilson, Crime Fiction Buyer, Waterstone"s

"An intriguing mystery, warm-hearted and evocative of the time in which it is set." Dave Baker

"An atmospheric and gripping story in which the characters are painted very vividly." Sian Harrington

"An absolutely riveting story that has all the elements of a cracking yarn." British Railway Modelling

"Skillfully constructed and features a host of well-observed characters. Bags of wonderful nostalgia and a gripping denoument." Tony Boullemier

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