90 books like The Railway Detective

By Edward Marston,

Here are 90 books that The Railway Detective fans have personally recommended if you like The Railway Detective. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Lifeboat

Chris Turnbull Author Of The Planting of the Penny Hedge

From my list on fiction with an historical twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Yorkshire writer with a passion for historical fiction. My love of history came as a surprise to me in my late teens, as I had originally thought history was not my thing. However, I soon discovered the incredible stories throughout history, and how many authors carve fictional stories around these time periods or historical events. I love researching for my own historical writing, whether it be to find out what kind of jobs people did, or what they ate for breakfast. I love reading and writing historical fiction in multiple eras, such as WW2, Victorian times, and further back to the Romans and ancient Egyptians. 

Chris' book list on fiction with an historical twist

Chris Turnbull Why did Chris love this book?

The Lifeboat is one of the first-period books I ever remember reading, and I was hooked by it from the first page. Told in the first person we follow Grace, as she retells the horrific incidents that have happened to her during the sinking of the Express Alexandra, becoming a widow, and spending three weeks trapped on a cramped lifeboat. I credit this book with being the first to inspire me in the world of historical fiction, both as a reader and writer.

By Charlotte Rogan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lifeboat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The sinking of an ocean liner leaves a newly married woman battling for survival in this powerful debut novel.

Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life.

In the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying her and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion. Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize is over capacity. For any to live, some must die.

As the castaways battle the elements, and each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox…


Book cover of The Greatcoat

Chris Turnbull Author Of The Planting of the Penny Hedge

From my list on fiction with an historical twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Yorkshire writer with a passion for historical fiction. My love of history came as a surprise to me in my late teens, as I had originally thought history was not my thing. However, I soon discovered the incredible stories throughout history, and how many authors carve fictional stories around these time periods or historical events. I love researching for my own historical writing, whether it be to find out what kind of jobs people did, or what they ate for breakfast. I love reading and writing historical fiction in multiple eras, such as WW2, Victorian times, and further back to the Romans and ancient Egyptians. 

Chris' book list on fiction with an historical twist

Chris Turnbull Why did Chris love this book?

This was a book I just could not put down. Originally I was interested in this book because it was set in Yorkshire, but it quickly became one of my favourite reads of all time. Set in 1952 it tells the story of a young lady named Isobel, who moves to the East Riding of Yorkshire with her husband. There is an innocent romance to this book, with an ending I didn’t see coming at all  

By Helen Dunmore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Greatcoat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the winter of 1952, Isabel Carey moves to the East Riding of Yorkshire with her husband Philip, a GP. With Philip spending long hours on call, Isabel finds herself isolated and lonely as she strives to adjust to the realities of married life.

Woken by intense cold one night, she discovers an old RAF greatcoat hidden in the back of a cupboard. Sleeping under it for warmth, she starts to dream. And not long afterwards, while her husband is out, she is startled by a knock at her window.

Outside is a young RAF pilot, waiting to come in.…


Book cover of Eagle of the Empire

Chris Turnbull Author Of The Planting of the Penny Hedge

From my list on fiction with an historical twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Yorkshire writer with a passion for historical fiction. My love of history came as a surprise to me in my late teens, as I had originally thought history was not my thing. However, I soon discovered the incredible stories throughout history, and how many authors carve fictional stories around these time periods or historical events. I love researching for my own historical writing, whether it be to find out what kind of jobs people did, or what they ate for breakfast. I love reading and writing historical fiction in multiple eras, such as WW2, Victorian times, and further back to the Romans and ancient Egyptians. 

Chris' book list on fiction with an historical twist

Chris Turnbull Why did Chris love this book?

Martin Ferguson has quickly become one of my favourite authors, thanks to his Relic Hunters series. What I love about these books is that they are split between two stories, the modern-day story based on the Relic Hunters who work at the British Museum, and the secondary story set in the past relating to the relic they are hunting in the modern chapters. In some ways I would say the historical chapters are my favourite, and the author clearly does a lot of research for these books. These books make me eager to go away and read the rest of the history surrounding the relic, history, and myths. I am always recommending these books to friends. 

By Martin Ferguson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eagle of the Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

RELIC HUNTERS: EAGLE OF THE EMPIREWhen his brother mysteriously disappears, sixteen-year-old Adam Hunter discovers that the myths and legends he was told as a boy have more truth to them than he ever thought possible.To free his brother, Adam must uncover the truth about the lost Roman Ninth Legion and find its fabled Eagle Standard, an artefact of mysterious mythical power. Adam calls on the help of the British Museum, a team of quirky Relic Hunters, skilled in recovering and protecting relics around the world. However, they need to act fast for they are not the only ones searching for…


Book cover of Pandora in the Congo

Chris Turnbull Author Of The Planting of the Penny Hedge

From my list on fiction with an historical twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Yorkshire writer with a passion for historical fiction. My love of history came as a surprise to me in my late teens, as I had originally thought history was not my thing. However, I soon discovered the incredible stories throughout history, and how many authors carve fictional stories around these time periods or historical events. I love researching for my own historical writing, whether it be to find out what kind of jobs people did, or what they ate for breakfast. I love reading and writing historical fiction in multiple eras, such as WW2, Victorian times, and further back to the Romans and ancient Egyptians. 

Chris' book list on fiction with an historical twist

Chris Turnbull Why did Chris love this book?

Pandora in the Congo was recommended to me by a friend, and although initially unsure due to its quirkiness (especially the further through you read), I ended up loving it. Set in 1914, this story is again set in a prison cell, with the main character re-telling the horrors he endured in the Congo on a mining expedition, which he alone became the sole survivor of. 

By Albert Sánchez Piñol, Mara Faye Lethem (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pandora in the Congo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is 1914. In the heart of the Belgian Congo, Garvey, a bedraggled British manservant, emerges from the jungle. He is the lone survivor of a mining expedition in which both his masters have died, and all of the party's African porters have fled. With him, he carries two huge diamonds.

From his prison cell in London, Garvey recounts his horrific and thrilling ordeal. Young Tommy Thomson is assigned to transcribe Garvey's story and only he can untangle the extraordinary mysteries of the Garvey case.


Book cover of Inspector Colbeck’s Casebook

Jim Eldridge Author Of Murder at the Natural History Museum

From my list on by the greatest writers of crime fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved history, from ancient Egyptian times up to recent history (the 1950s and 1960s). Put history in the context of a crime and the history becomes even more fascinating. A book where the history of that time comes vividly alive for the reader is the greatest pleasure a reader can experience.

Jim's book list on by the greatest writers of crime fiction

Jim Eldridge Why did Jim love this book?

Edward Marston’s Railway Detective books, set in Victorian England and featuring Inspector Colbeck, have become under-the-wire best sellers internationally. This book features a dozen short stories where he and his sergeant investigate crimes happening in different railway companies. It is a wonderful introduction to the whole Railway Detective series and these short stories can be savored at leisure as a starter for the main course of the full-length novels.

By Edward Marston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inspector Colbeck’s Casebook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An eagerly awaited collection of brand new, specially commissioned short stories from the master of historical crime fiction Edward Marston, featuring his quick-witted Railway Detective, Inspector Robert Colbeck.

In this thrilling selection of stories, a young porter is found dead in a coal tub; Colbeck devises a trap to catch a thief; and a burnt train carriage holds a gruesome secret in a small coastal village. As Colbeck and his trusty aide Sergeant Victor Leeming begin to piece together clues and motives for each crime, it becomes clear the pair must stay a step ahead of the culprits to solve…


Book cover of Mystery in White

Benedict Brown Author Of The Snows of Weston Moor

From my list on overlooked classic Christmas whodunits.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having grown up in a family of crime-fiction readers, I published my first murder mystery in 2019 and have created two bestselling series. My 1920s-set “Lord Edgington Investigates…” books have been a big hit for me, and I’ve just published my third Christmas book overall. But that’s not the only reason I’m qualified to recommend Christmassy whodunits. I am obsessed with Christmas and, with a little help from my four-year-old daughter, spend far too much time decorating every December. Let’s just say that my Christmas Lego village is already out of control, and someone really needs to stop me from buying any more before it takes over our house.

Benedict's book list on overlooked classic Christmas whodunits

Benedict Brown Why did Benedict love this book?

I can’t think of a more evocative start to a murder mystery than a steam train stuck in the snow on Christmas Eve. With no hope of getting to their destination, a group of unlikely allies gangs together to find shelter for the night.

Led by the mysterious Mr. Maltby of the Royal Physical Society, they survive a torturous trek through waist-high drifts and hole up in a stately home with the fires blazing but no one on the premises. There are bodies about the house, clues to be deciphered, and an ancient crime to uncover. I was overjoyed to discover this whodunit from 1937 that is full of quirky characters, unexpected twists, and more snow than any other Christmas mystery I’ve read.

By J. Jefferson Farjeon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mystery in White as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The horror on the train, great though it may turn out to be, will not compare with the horror that exists here, in this house.' On Christmas Eve, heavy snowfall brings a train to a halt near the village of Hemmersby. Several passengers take shelter in a deserted country house, where the fire has been lit and the table laid for tea - but no one is at home. Trapped together for Christmas, the passengers are seeking to unravel the secrets of the empty house when a murderer strikes in their midst.


Book cover of The Girl on the Train

Mallika Narayanan Author Of In the Dark I See You

From my list on Suspense/thriller books with great plot twists.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer of suspense/thrillers and psychological thrillers, I’ve always loved thrillers and suspense books where I can’t guess the ending. And this list of books is additionally close to my heart because of the way they made me feel when I read them: breathless; restless to know how they were going to end; and most of all, they made me think about and question the psychology of the characters. I hope you will like them as much as I did!

Mallika's book list on Suspense/thriller books with great plot twists

Mallika Narayanan Why did Mallika love this book?

A multiple POV thriller that kept me up all night. This book awed me with its multiple POVs combined with unreliability and timeline jumps.

As the book shifted from one POV to the other and from one timeline to another, I loved how the author weaved in the backstories of the characters by showing the impact it had on the present timeline.

The writing. The style, the words used, and the way the sentences spun the story is something I still think about, years after I first read this book. It drew me in, lulled me into a false sense of security, then sprung a small nugget of what really happened. A brilliant tactic.

By Paula Hawkins,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Girl on the Train as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller, USA Today Book of the Year and now a major motion picture starring Emily Blunt.
 
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple having breakfast on their deck. She's even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It's…


Book cover of Around India in 80 Trains

Rajendra B. Aklekar Author Of India’s Railway Man: A Biography of E. Sreedharan

From my list on railways and trains.

Why am I passionate about this?

Rajendra B. Aklekar (born 1974) is an Indian journalist with over 25 years of experience and author of best-selling books on India’s railway history and heritage. He is also the biographer of India’s legendary railway engineer Dr. E Sreedharan. With museology from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharasj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai, Aklekar is also a Google-certified Digital Marketer. Aklekar, associated with the Indian Railway Fans’ Club Association, Indian Steam Railway Society, Rail Enthusiasts Society, has contributed significantly while setting up the Rail Heritage Gallery at the UNESCO-listed Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station, formerly Victoria Terminus building, Bombay, and documentation of heritage relics of India’s first railway.

Rajendra's book list on railways and trains

Rajendra B. Aklekar Why did Rajendra love this book?

This out-of-the-box book that takes you on a very Indian train trip on the lines of the iconic work of eminent Jules Verne has been my instant favourite right from the title and idea. The author, the Indian British Tourist went on a trip to the sub-continent on trains and has covered everything from commuter trains to hospital trains. I personally love this book for the various narratives and the “people stories” that reflect as the author goes on trips across the country in trains. The small stories capture the essence of India and bring out the magnitude of railways and how deeply it is connected to Indian social life. As one of my favorite rail authors Ian J. Kerr once told me in a historical context, “No railways, no India.” on how the iron web of railways brought together a nation.

By Monisha Rajesh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Around India in 80 Trains as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Crackles and sparks with life like an exploding box of Diwali fireworks' -William Dalrymple

'One can only envy Monisha Rajesh as she embarks on this epic journey' -Tim Parks

When she was a child, Monisha Rajesh's family uprooted to Madras in the hope of making India their home, but soon returned to England with a bitter taste in their mouths. Two decades on, Monisha turns to a map of the Indian Railways and takes a page out of Jules Verne's classic tale, embarking on an adventure around India in 80 trains, covering 40,000km - the circumference of the Earth.

Her…


Book cover of Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide

Jules Brown Author Of Not Cool: Europe by Train in a Heatwave

From my list on rail journeys.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jules Brown wrote travel guides for Rough Guides for over thirty years – if there’s a railway timetable somewhere he hasn’t studied, he’d like to know about it. He took his first InterRail trip around Europe when he was seventeen and, as a travel writer, he’s been on trains around the world, from Norway to New Zealand. Jules is the author of two travel memoirs, Don’t Eat the Puffin and Never Pack an Ice-Axe, which – after a lifetime of travel – are still the best bits of advice he has for anyone heading off on a journey.

Jules' book list on rail journeys

Jules Brown Why did Jules love this book?

Back in the day, no self-respecting InterRail traveller would leave home without the iconic red Thomas Cook European timetable and while it’s still available in different formats these days, apps and websites have removed the urgency of travelling with a big book of timetables. But this sterling work, updated regularly, fills the gap between inspiration and destination – full of the nuts and bolts of European rail travel (what tickets, where, and how to buy) while featuring over fifty routes, complete with descriptions, diversions, recommendations, and discoveries. It’s brilliant for the armchair traveller, and invaluable for anyone eyeing a leisurely ride on the rails around Europe.

By Nicky Gardner, Susanne Kries,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Europe by Rail as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whether you are making a long grand tour or just planning a couple of weekend breaks, Europe by Rail is the perfect guide. The book describes over 50 key routes in detail. Together, they span mainland Europe and - brand new for this 16th edition - now also the British Isles. Each route can be followed in its entirety or used as a building block in a longer itinerary. Beyond the main routes you will find worthwhile excursions well off the beaten track. Written by two highly experienced travellers, Europe by Rail contains useful tips about how to plan your…


Book cover of Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

Neill McKee Author Of Finding Myself in Borneo: Sojourns in Sabah

From my list on exotic Asian travel and adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

My first travel memoir, Finding Myself in Borneo, has won three awards. I hold a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Communication from Florida State University. I worked internationally for 45 years, becoming an expert in the field of communication for social change. I directed and produced a number of award-winning documentary films/videos, popular multimedia initiatives, and have written numerous articles and books in my field. I worked and lived in Asia, Africa, and Russia for a total of 18 years and traveled to over 80 countries on short-term assignments. In 2015, I settled in New Mexico, using my varied experiences, memories, and imagination in creative writing.

Neill's book list on exotic Asian travel and adventure

Neill McKee Why did Neill love this book?

When I retired from my 45-year career as an international filmmaker and multimedia producer, I decided to concentrate on creative nonfiction writing, using my experiences and memories as a basis for the many stories I wanted to tell. I began to read and listen to travel memoirs to learn how to write in a captivating and entertaining way. Paul Theroux is one of the top writers in this genre and Ghost Train to the Eastern Star is one of his best. He doesn’t make it to Borneo, but reaches many familiar places I traveled to during my years in Southeast Asia. I love his style, full of descriptions of those old haunts, and his dialog with the people he encounters on his journey.

By Paul Theroux,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ghost Train to the Eastern Star as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paul Theroux's Ghost Train to the Eastern Star is a journey from London to Asia by train.

Winner of the Stanford Dolman Lifetime Contribution to Travel Writing Award 2020

Thirty years ago Paul Theroux left London and travelled across Asia and back again by train. His account of the journey - The Great Railway Bazaar - was a landmark book and made his name as the foremost travel writer of his generation. Now Theroux makes the trip all over again. Through Eastern Europe, India and Asia to discover the changes that have swept the continents, and also to learn what…


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