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@Read E-pub õ The Last Train to Scarborough ⚠ One night, in a private boarding house in Scarborough, a railway man vanishes, leaving his belongings behindIt is the eve of the Great War, and Jim Stringer, railway detective, is uneasy about his next assignment It s not so much the prospect Scarborough in the gloomy off season that bothers him, or even the fact that the last railway man to stay in the house has disappeared without trace It s that his governor, Chief Inspector Saul Weatherhill, seems to be deliberately holding back details of the case and that he s been sent to Scarborough with a trigger happy assistant And when Jim encounters the seductive and beautiful Amanda Rickerby a whole new personal danger enters Jim s life difficult to follow The Last Train to Scarborough from 2009, is the sixth in a series of detective novels by Andrew Martin, which feature Jim Stringer, a former railwayman, who has been reassigned to the North Eastern Railway Police in Edwardian England At the start of the novel, the time is March 1914, just before the dawn of the First World War Jim Stringer, the railway detective who fronts this series, is uneasy about both his next assignment and his personal life His wife, Lydia, is a suffragette, and ambiti The Last Train to Scarborough from 2009, is the sixth in a series of detective novels by Andrew Martin, which feature Jim Stringer, a former railwayman, who has been reassigned to the North Eastern Railway Police in Edwardian England At the start of the novel, the time is March 1914, just before the dawn of the First World War Jim Stringer, the railway detective who fronts this series, is uneasy about both his next assignment and his personal life His wife, Lydia, is a suffragette, and ambitious on behalf of them both Then there s the fact that Stringer has applied to become a lawyer, and is full of doubts as to whether this is, in fact, what he wants in life He is also not sure whether he has the support of his boss, Chief Inspector Saul Weatherhill The current case he is presented with to solve is fraught with dangers and mystery To cap it all, it is not in his home town of York, but in Scarborough, a thriving seaside resort but now in the gloomy off peak seasonBecause Scarborough was a happier place than most in summer, it was amiserable one come winter Stringer s assignment is to discover what has happened to a railwayman, who is now missing The man had been the last person to stay in a particular Scarborough boarding house one which regularly advertises for railwaymen But the man has disappeared without a trace, leaving his belongings behind Evencurious is the fact that Stringer s chief is very reluctant to divulge any relevant details of the case, and has allowed Tommy Nugent, a temperamental gun obsessed policeman, to follow on as Stringer s assistant Add into the mix the fact that Stringer is easily distracted by thoughts of the attractive landlady, Amanda Rickerby, who sends signals that she is probably sexually available add in also her very odd hulking brute of a brother, plus a few odd ball guests, who may or may not be trustworthy, and Stringer finds himself confused and unable to decide how best to proceed.The novel evokes the time period and location very well In fact it might actually succeed better as an historical novel rather than a crime novel, and the author has been nominated for awards in both genres In this novel, the shabby, slightly seedy boarding house, which is ironically calledParadise , is conjured up in great detail The authenticity of the soot and grime of the Northern steam railway is also spot on you can almost smell itThe loco was black, the smoke was black, and every wagon thoroughly blackened It was as if the English night itself had been put on rails and carted north There is enough in the novel to give a good flavour of the time and place Although it is a few decades before my own experience, I can affirm that the locations are real Plus many of the details about Scarborough itself, such as machines dispensing tiny boxes containing individual stamped postcards, or concertinaed paper fans showing a colourfully idyllic picture of Scarborough, are also very reminiscent of a past era They evoke nostalgia, and also a sense of a materially poorer age, when working class people were by definition badly off financially It is set in a time when railways were vital, and steam engines ruled It is a time of rigid boundaries and parochial prejudices which seem to be set in stone,He was from Macclesfield The North Bay of this town would have beento his liking they both talked to me in the way people do when they want to make themselves pleasant to the lower classes As a child I went on holiday to Scarborough every year forthan a decade, and I remember many details vividly Although the boarding house we stayed in was a far nicer prospect than the shabbyParadiseboarding house, I have no doubt such places existed.So far, so good It is clearly well researched Where the novel falls down is as a detective story The first part is very muddled Half of what is described is from a different time and place from that indicated so far Perhaps the shunting between different time periods, and the fact that Stringer s recollections are far clearer than his present experience, is intended to increase the mystery, but in fact it just tends to confuse the reader unnecessarily It takes a while to realise that Stringer view spoiler is in the coal hole of a ship hide spoiler , never mind why he is there or what is likely to happen to him.These two threads do come together in the end, and there is an explanation, but it is a bit of a damp squib If this had been a so called golden age mystery, then the equivalent would be that the butler did it So much for intrigue and mystery The characterisations of the fellow guests, the slightly trashy landlady and her brother, and the other coppers are all adequate, but both the plotting and the pace of the novel is spasmodic and clumsy, as is the accuracy of the dialogue Granted it is unusual and enjoyable to read some of the authentic Yorkshire slang, such as,appen Any road I began, and I heard the wife s voice saying, Don t say that, Jim, it doesn t mean anything If I had thought on Was she on the marry How do, Jim It s nowt to worry aboutandAre there any sandwiches laid on I asked him Laid on what he said, and I knew he was not a York ladBut by using this way of speech, the author implies that attention is given to accuracy To be consistent, this should also be true in other aspects of the vernacular Often the dialogue, especially the swearing, seems far too modern stylistically.Andrew Martin himself is a Yorkshireman, who studied at the University of Oxford and qualified as a barrister He has had a career as both a freelance journalist, a non fiction author, and has written works for television and radio as well as some other crime fiction including this series of novels His first two novels are comic novels, and this series also has quite a light touch Overall, it might be advisable to try another in the series This one is not really worth recommending The back story and settings are interesting though, and the reader might find with Stringer s decision at the end, that they are left wanting to know what happens next, especially in view of real life world events The author has insight and makes a few interesting and pertinent observations about class And one newspaper critic has said,The Age of Steam has rarely been better evoked Even so, the novel might not have quite the same personal significance to a general reader But if you are a fanatic about steam trains, or love the town of Scarborough, you may want to put up with the drawbacks and deficiencies, and you may find that you enjoy the rideThe gas works still seemed to slumber, and the line of dark, sleeping ships of which we were a part remained as before waiting patiently Yet the factories that commanded the streets were gamely pumping out smoke, making the black sky blacker, keeping it just the way they liked it and the air was filled with a constant clanking noise, as though great chains were being dragged in all directions A poorly constructed plot with two threads supposedly coming together towards the end Jim Stringer trots off to Scarborough to investigate a colleague s disappearance I m blowed if I know how it happened exactly because I couldn t put the two strands together with any meaningful intent but it must be me who is a little dim It is the fourth Jim Stringer I have tried, determined to like them because of their railway connection and the sometimes good ambience, but I am afraid I have failed and A poorly constructed plot with two threads supposedly coming together towards the end Jim Stringer trots off to Scarborough to investigate a colleague s disappearance I m blowed if I know how it happened exactly because I couldn t put the two strands together with any meaningful intent but it must be me who is a little dim It is the fourth Jim Stringer I have tried, determined to like them because of their railway connection and the sometimes good ambience, but I am afraid I have failed and will read noSorry Mr Martin A detective goes undercover at a guest house to investigate the disappearance of a railwayman.I found the narrative confusing The plot, investigation and crime didn t make any sense to me None of the characters or scenes grabbed my attention.