Monday, 2 May 2011

The Blackpool High Flyer

Driving or firing the Blackpool High Flyer was a plum job. The train went cross country from Yorkshire right through Lancashire to the North West coast of England, and the town of Blackpool.

But this was to be no ordinary journey. Jim Stringer, the steam detective, had thought that with his return from London, all the dangers and problems of being a railway detective were long gone and all in the past. But fate had different ideas!

It is only the quick reactions of Clive, the driver, that stopped a terrible catastrophe. Someone had left a millstone on the railway line. And one of the 512 passengers on the Whit Sunday Excursion Train to Blackpool dies as a result of the crash. Or did she die as a result of the crash? How, exactly, did she die? And who would have had a motive to kill her?

Was there a connection with the works outing that was taking place on the train? And if there was, what was the connection?

Jim Stringer thought that it was too much of a coincidence for the millstone to be placed on the track and for just one passenger out of 512 people on board to have died.

But how can Jim Stringer, now a former railway policeman, back in his more normal role of being an engine fireman, find out what had actually transpired?

If the same person had caused the death of the woman, how could they also have been responsible for the placing of the millstone on the railway line? And for what reason would they have wanted the woman passenger dead and what possible motive could they have had for placing the millstone on the railway line?

And who is it that means to see that this will be the last case that Jim Stringer, steam detective, will ever investigate? Are they linked to the mysterious person who left the millstone on the railway line? Or the person who had murdered the woman, if they were not the same person? Or is there another reason that Jim Stringer's life is in danger?

This is a very satisfying mystery novel as it does contain several concurrent mysteries. And all is certainly not what it seems!

It is written by Andrew Martin and published by Faber and Faber, the paperback version costs £7.99.

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