The Blackpool Highflyer

Andrew Martin, Author Harcourt $14 (350p) ISBN 978-0-15-603069-4

Set in 1905, Martin’s second Jim Stringer mystery (after 2004’s The Necropolis Railway ) starts slowly but builds a head of steam like the monster locomotive Jim stokes for “Lanky,” the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. A passenger dies when a huge grindstone on the tracks derails a train carrying the owner of Hind’s Mill on an excursion to seaside Blackpool. Jim begins to suspect class warfare when a young socialist distributes tracts in Jim’s hometown of Halifax, urging workers to shun holidays organized by mill owners. A fallen tree on another rail line further suggests conspiracy, as does the disappearance of smartly dressed Clive, the engine driver on Jim’s next run. Lanky management’s paltry £5 reward hardly seems likely to garner much information, so newlywed Jim turns to comely Lydia, a mill clerk he simply calls “the wife,” for much needed help. Getting used to Jim’s chatty Cockney narration takes time, but as the suspense rises, readers will be captivated. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 360 pages - 978-0-547-53756-6
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-571-21902-5
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-571-25223-7
Hardcover - 440 pages - 978-1-78541-123-6
Paperback - 440 pages - 978-1-78541-129-8
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