The sixth book in the Inspector Vignoles series

Summer 1951. A young boy fishes something sinister out of a river. A ship enters Liverpool carrying a stoker who is not who he claims to be.

In the fairground, an odd character who resembles a down-at-heel Marlene Dietrich cranks a barrel organ and sings ‘Mack the Knife’ in a cracked voice. She sheds a silent tear for her long-dead brother.

D.I. Charles Vignoles and wife Anna are holidaying in the seaside resort of New Brighton, but all is not well in their boarding house. A fellow guest is missing, and soon they are drawn into a steadily-deepening mystery. What does the missing man know about a robbery at Bidston station, that left a man dead? Did he know too much?

Charles and Anna"s quest to discover the truth takes them onto Liverpool’s Overhead Railway and across the electrified railway lines of Wirral. But as the sun beats down on sea and sand, there are sinister and violent men moving through the holiday crowds…

Read a review in the Liverpool Echo


STEPHEN DONE. Click the photo to
Photo courtesy of Liverpool Echo

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ISBN 978-1-904109-24-2    Published 2013    280 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

"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