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Publisher's Summary

Derby Day at Epsom Downs and a multitude of people crowd to watch the races: dukes and dustmen, bishops and beggars, privileged ladies and prostitutes.

The gamut of Victorian society, though, is also a hotbed for crime and crooks of all kinds. With the country a-flutter in the run-up to this national occasion, events reach fever pitch when a disembodied head is discovered on a passenger train at Crewe; the first in a murky course of events that takes in murder, fraud and race-fixing.

Detective Robert Colbeck and his assistant are assigned to the case and are soon snarled up in a web of skulduggery stretching across the country. Soon, however, they are forced to ask themselves: just what is someone prepared to do in order to win?

©2007 Edward Marston (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A grand romp very much in the tradition of Holmes and Watson... Packed with characters Dickens would have been proud of. Wonderful, well written." ( Time Out)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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No Reviews are Available
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Virginia Waldron
  • 30-08-2010

Beautifully Narrated

I enjoyed this book. It is a lot of fun and the narrator is wonderful.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Johnhvisser
  • 20-10-2015

Great read without the foul language

I really enjoy these stories of the Railway Detective.
They do not require significant intelligence, but the English grammar is excellent and the stories are fun.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Judith A. Weller
  • 10-05-2012

Mix of early railroads and the English Derby

If you could sum up The Iron Horse in three words, what would they be?

Lively, interesting, great characters

What other book might you compare The Iron Horse to and why?

I have read the early books in the series and this is just as good as the first.

What about Sam Dastor???s performance did you like?

His British accent and ability to create characters makes for an excellent audio listen.

Any additional comments?

I like Edward Marston and have read many of his series. I still think his best are his Doomsday series which alas are not on audio. His historical research is meticulous and he captures the period of early railroading in England very well.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-04-2018

Another great piece from Edward Marston!

Edward Marston has done it again, with this exceptionally written story. Although slow in getting to its feet at first, it soon becomes an intriguing and enjoyable murder case to follow; always causing you to question about who’s the liar. I highly recommend book

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Learning is fun!
  • 01-06-2016

enjoyable,easy listening mystery

I love the gentle story line and setting. Imaginative and interesting, my only criticism really is that the narrator gives every female voice a rather irritating, simpering character which is inappropriate.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Valerie
  • 14-09-2012

Looking forward to more

I have only recently discovered Marston and I'm already hooked on two of his series.



The Iron Horse is a Holmes and Watson style detective story complete with period sterotypes, but still thoroughly enjoyable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Judith
  • 01-09-2011

Thoroughly Enjoyable

Having only recently discovered Edward Marston's work, I was delighted to find a few of his books on Audible. This evocative story is wonderfully portrayed by Sam Dastor. It is like listening to a radio play with many actors. Sam has truly brought all of the varied characters to life. More please.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Linden
  • 25-07-2011

kept me unintentionally amused!

I did listen to this book to the end, although 'who dun it' was pretty obvious at least three quarters of the way through. it was well read, but the characters were very stereotyped and cut-out cardboard. it did paint a fascinating picture of class distinctions, snobbery and privilege. i was somewhat bemused and amazed by the sympathy expressed for a truly nasty character.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Demeter
  • 03-01-2011

Very very poor

In fairness while I was not impressed by the book, I was really never able to get past the appallingly bad reading. The reader enunciates every word clearly and is well spoken. So every working class Victorian character speaks with a very carefully delivered 'produced' voice. The dialogue as written is totally unrealistic, with characters using language in a way that I seriously doubt they would have understood let alone used. I found that the effect of the whole thing was to put my teeth on edge.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful