Monday, 21 August 2017
Blood on the Tracks
I'm delighted to announce that I have been compiling an anthology of railway mysteries for the British Library. My work is now more or less completed, and the book will be published in the first half of next year. The title? Blood on the Tracks.
Trains and rail travel make a great setting for a mystery, and there are countless examples, ranging from Murder on the Orient Express to The Girl on the Train (to say nothing of Sleeping Car to Trieste, which I reviewed here last week.) And short train mysteries are also great fun - example that have been included in previous BL anthologies include "Beware of the Trains" by Edmund Crispin, in Miraculous Mysteries, and John Oxenham's "A Mystery of the Underground" in Capital Crimes.
I've even been responsible for one train story myself - "Bad Friday", included in the recent American anthology Busted!, a collection of law enforcement mysteries published by Level Best. That one was inspired by a train journey I took in real life, and last week I sought further inspiration by taking time out for a trip on one of Britain's best preserved railways, the Severn Valley line.
Stopping overnight in Shropshire enabled us to make the most of the day, starting the journey from Bridgnorth and travelling all the way to Kidderminster, before halting on the way back for a look round Bewdley, a pleasant Worcestershire town I've never visited before, which has an excellent free museum. The line tracks the Severn, and it really did make for a pleasant day out, rounded off by another, albeit very short rail trip - on Bridgnorth's Cliff Railway (shades of John Rowland!) All great fun, and nobody got murdered, either.