From the author of Blood and Custard and The Last Train to Brackley Central, an eagerly awaited selection of brand new stories featuring Chief Inspector Charles Vignoles and his much-loved colleagues from the British Railways Detective Department at Leicester Central as they tackle a varied caseload of odd, baffling and truly blood-curdling crimes…

In the title piece, the body of a railway worker is found dead beside the track of the Mountsorrel Railway line. It looks like suicide, but could it be murder? As Vignoles and his team investigate, they uncover a tragic story of deception and forbidden love reverberating through a man’s life into the present.

In ‘One Way Ticket’ we get to see a different side to the usually irascible Superintendent Badger as he recounts a perplexing murder mystery from his early years in the force.

In ‘Rogue Parcels’ Anna Carelli (the future Mrs Vignoles) shows her own aptitude for crime-solving in a sparkling World War II yarn involving stolen packages at the Goods Despatch Office at Leicester Central.

Other stories feature murder in a quiet Northamptonshire village and a wily crook brought down by modern forensic methods.

Set mainly in and around the former Great Central Railway, these interwoven stories move backward and forward between 1939 and 1953.

Whether speeding towards Dover on ‘The Golden Arrow’, or hurtling through the snowy night aboard the ‘Master Cutler’, this wonderful collection will be a treat for all readers who enjoy a good crime story set against the atmosphere and romance of Britain’s steam railways.

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ISBN 978-1-904109-32-7
Pub. January 2017
258 pages



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