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The Blackpool Highflyer by Andrew Martin
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The Blackpool Highflyer (2004)

by Andrew Martin

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Having previously read 'The Necropolis Railway' and enjoyed it when I saw this on the shelf of the hotel I was staying in I dived in.

Continuing on from the first book we're in Edwardian England; Jim Stringer has landed his woman, moved into a house and started on a new railway line where someone attempts to derail his train. Naturally, amateur sleuthing ensues.

One thing to note is whilst these books are not fast paced or action filled they are very detailed and atmospheric so its a bit of a departure from many other modern books which seem to be constantly action filled lest the reader gets bored and turns on the television.

Overall an excellent picturesque Edwardian mystery novel. ( )
  HenriMoreaux | Sep 16, 2013 |
A gentle steam railway-based who-dunnit, set in Edwardian England, this is the second book in the Jim Stringer series, though the first that I have read. There were plenty of train details, most of which probably passed over my head, but didn't distract from the story. I enjoyed the descriptions of the various Northern towns which are visited in the book - you could easily picture yourself there on a Wakes trip.

The ending of the book was a bit of a let-down after the long build-up, but enjoyable all the same. ( )
1 vote floriferous | Aug 12, 2012 |
The second installment of Andrew Martin's Jim Stringer series. Jim has moved back north and is working for the Lancashire and Yorkshire. Still not a driver, but working towards that, Jim's colleague is the rather dapper Clive, well-dressed, a hit with the ladies. The Stringers decide to rent out a room in their home to George, another up and coming lad, who works in the ticket office.

As the weather warms up, Clive and Stringer are to take mill workers on a jolly to Blackpool, unfortunately, this is when tragedy strikes. In the midst of turbulent times, socialist groups against mill owners and even the railway companys, who is to blame? Jim takes up the case when a split second decision leaves him emotionally involved.

I enjoyed picking up Jim's story, as well as the character of his wife being more fleshed out, she is no shrinking violet of a housewife. I look forward to reading more about her. Martin also does well to set the scene historically, the mills of northern England and the trips to the seaside towns.

As in The Necropolis Railway, there is a lot of train info here, Martin fairly peppers the text with trivia and jargon, but it never feels affected or as if it were getting in the way of the story. This is a light murder mystery, but the railway backdrop gives it its quirky edge. ( )
  soffitta1 | Feb 7, 2011 |
Like a lot of these books, when the mystery is finally revealed, it was quite disappointing. But the build-up was excellent - really interesting portrayal of works outings, of Edwardian music-hall ventriloquists, etc ( )
  ngmcd | Feb 1, 2011 |
Trains and a sultry hot summer in 2905 in Halifax are the back drop for this well put together novel.
Andrew Martin's style is concise and clear, he includes observations about living and working conditions of the time and about landmarks in Halifax, Blackpool and Scarborough. It is not a romantic novel, but it has a compassion and respect for people that is refreshing. ( )
  Tifi | Jun 18, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0571219020, Paperback)

A superbly atmospheric thriller of sabotage, suspicion and steam, "The Blackpool Highflyer" brings a new twist to tales of Edwardian England, steam railways and amateur sleuthing. When railwayman Jim Stringer is assigned to drive holiday makers to the seaside resort of Blackpool in the hot summer of 1905, he thinks he's struck lucky. But his dreams of beer and pretty women are soon destroyed - when his high-speed train meets a huge millstone on the line. Who wanted to derail the packed train? And did they want to kill everyone on board, or just one passenger? Desperately seeking the saboteur, Jim is drawn into the fringes of Blackpool Central, Europe's busiest station. He discovers a murky world of dandies, fraudsters and ventriloquists, shifty revolutionaries and textile magnates. In the summer heat, dazed by the sun and by the roaring fire he stokes, Jim begins to understand that the more he investigates, the longer his list of suspects will become...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When railway man Jim Stringer is assigned to drive holidaymakers to Blackpool in 1905, he thinks he has struck lucky. But his dreams of beer and pretty women soon fall away when his high-speed train meets a huge millstone on the line. In the months that follow Jim hunts for the sabateur.… (more)

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