Cover Image: Fear on the Phantom Special

Fear on the Phantom Special

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

On Halloween a fateful train excursion takes place and Alex Piper disappears into a wall of fire. What happened to him?  Did the Phantom that haunts the woods get him?  As two detectives from Scotland Yard, Inspector Robert Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming, look into his disappearance you are drawn into a masterfully written mystery along with another 10 year old mystery they stumble upon while solving what happened to Alex.  I found this to be an enjoyable read even in spots where it was a little slower. It kept me guessing until the very end. 

Thank you NetGalley and Edward Marston  for this edition and hearing my honest review. Looking forward to reading more with you
Was this review helpful?
Supernatural Mystery Or Earthly Explanation....?
A conundrum and a puzzling case for the Railway Detective. Halloween in the Lake District, a special train, the supernatural and a missing person - enter Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming tasked with solving the mystery. Are they up against a supernatural force or is there a more earthly explanation? Enjoyable and entertaining. A worthy addition to the series.
Was this review helpful?
A go mystery though easy to follow full of interesting dialogue and engaging characters i recommend for mystery lovers
Was this review helpful?
Fear on the Phantom Special is the second in the series and the first I have read. The book was a bit slow,but the ending has a surprise for me.
Was this review helpful?
This is the latest book by the Author in his Railway Detective series - having read the first two books I was looking forward to this one . 
However I was slightly disappointed …….. where was the usual flow to the storyline , where were the well developed characters ? 
That being said the premise of the book was good  - Alex Piper disappears in a ball of flame , after chartering a train with friends for a Halloween excursion . What caused his death ?- it is up to Railway Detective , Robert Colbeck , aided by his faithful sidekick Sergeant Victor Leeming to search for the truth .
As usual their were other side stories to distract from the main event (which I don't always find necessary to the stroyline ).
Strange things happen on Halloween , perhaps they are Supernatural in nature , perhaps the whole event is an elaborate hoax - is Alex really dead ?
It will take all of Robert and Victor's ingenuity to solve the case .

I hope that the Author manages to bring more life to his characters in his next book - which I will be pleased to read .

 I was given an ARC of this book by Netgalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This was given to me from Net Galley,who I am so glad that they do this! I have been doing reviews for b them for almost a year now and I really enjoy doing  this because it has given me a chance to read new bike before they have ever been published! This story I found out is a series which I didn't know,see learned something we right there. I enjoyed this  time in history where the stories take place investigating crimes with the help of his friend,his so called "side kick". The characters are some what interesting but kinda of boring where I thought that they would be more interesting due to the type of crime and status of people involved. I did read the whole book as promised but struggled with some of it where I was not being able to build my interest. Some of it was pretty intriguing,not all bad. Was surprised in some areas but not very many. It may be fantastic to others but it really wasn't for me. I thought at first I would read more of the series but have changed my mind after reading this one! Thank you again for the opportunity to read this book!! I will put three stars it's in between two and three to be on the fair side I will do three!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to the Publishers and to Netgalley for a free copy of this ebook, in return for an unbiased review.
I hadn't realised at first that this was the latest in a long line of Railway Detective novels, but found the story easy to flow despite that. I thought initially that this would be a suitable read for cold Autumn evenings, butI can't say I enjoyed the book very much at all.
 It tells the tale of a brilliant London based detective and his side kick who are commissioned to investigate the disappearance of a local aristocrat, in the Lake District. The story is set up well, but I found the characters shallow and the dialogue unnatural. The subplot didn't add anything to the mix, other than further additions to an already bewildering array of characters. The ending did bring a surprise or 2, which was welcome. This book didn't set my world alight, and I wouldn't choose to read any more of the series.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for sending me this book.

This book was not for me. I usually like Gothic/Victorian mysteries however I just could not get into this one. I found the story pretty bland with too much unnecessary detail.. Couldn't finish after several attempts and gave up after 28% into it.
Was this review helpful?
I've never been a fan of Victorian settings, so maybe this just wasn't well suited for me. Did not find the plot engaging, did not finish.
Was this review helpful?
This book was sent to me to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

This book is a victorian novel about a detective and his side kick who go to the Lake District to solve a missing person mystery. 
I'm not sure what I expected from this novel - I think I expected more of a spooky read than it was. I think the title mislead me somewhat. 
It was a good story but lacked mystery and suspense that would of made it far more enjoyable.
Was this review helpful?
"Fear on the Phantom Special" did not read up to the usual Edward Marston standards.  There is a LOT of filler in this one; the story is very thin, the middle drags, and everything could have been resolved in a lot fewer pages.  

The plot:  Alex Piper disappears in a ball of flame in the first few pages, after chartering a train with his friends for a fun-filled Halloween excursion.  Could something supernatural have caused his death?  Well, it’s up to Robert Colbeck, the celebrated “Railway Detective” (on his seventeenth case), to put that idea aside and find the real culprit, aided by his faithful sidekick Sergeant Victor Leeming.  Who can be guaranteed to spend the whole book complaining.  That’s nothing new.

There aren't any new tricks in "Fear on the Phantom Special." Mr. Marston follows his usual formula of setting a scene, bringing his wife, Madeline, Madeline’s father, Caleb Andrews and his constable in, and having his boss, Superintendent Tallis, go on about it all.  There’s nothing earth-shattering about the characters or the situations in this book.  But this time strange things do happen at Halloween.  For once, Superintendent Tallis is actually civil; he’s been on a long leave of absence.    But the new, happy Superintendent is probably not sticking around.

Alex liked his pranks – did he cause his own disappearance?  Is this an elaborate hoax?   Although the missing man had a lot of enemies.  There’s even an ex-girlfriend.

There’s always a secondary story in these books, and this one involves Madeline’s father and a missing medal.  In fact, this particular plot just bogged down everything, and her annoying father just became more and more annoying as the story progressed.  I could do with a lot less of him.  

There are a lot of possible suspects, and an inquiry into the disappearance 10 years before of the town’s blacksmith – which Colbeck begins to suspect is connected to the present case.  The killer is quite a surprise, but Colbeck did mention that that would probably be the case.  But then, men who are after all kinds of women leave a lot of trouble in their wake.

Finally, I guess since the story is set at Halloween, Marston throws in a black-clad figure running around, which seems entirely superfluous and silly.  If it was meant to confuse, it doesn’t.  

Hopefully, we're back to a tighter, more focused story in the next book.  I'll be looking forward to that.

Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for a copy of this book, in exchange for this review.
Was this review helpful?
I was sent an eArc of this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 
I enjoyed reading this book. It was a nice whodunit mystery. However what I didn't enjoy were all the perspectives in the book. I believe most of them were unnecessary including the "mystery" the father in law had. It didn't add anything to the story & the multiple perspectives were jarring. I however did not guess the big twist of the story but it felt rushed. Some of the characters were well developed but others were just flat. I enjoyed the plot of the book but I wish it had been carried out better. I recommend this book if you are looking for a whodunit mystery with a surprise twist.
Was this review helpful?
I love this series and I loved this instalment even if I think it's not the best one in this series as it's a bit slow paced at times.
The historical background is well researched as usual, the cast of characters well written and interesting and the mystery is solid, full of twists and turns and suspects.
What I really liked was the atmosphere, a bit bleak and sometimes creepy, and the description of the town, full of secrets and underground tensions.
Even if there's a lot of backstory this novel can't be read as a stand-alone and it'd be better to start from the beginning.
I look forward to reading the next instalment in this series.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Was this review helpful?
The latest Railway Detective novel is one that I look forward to reading and Fear on the Phantom Special was another very enjoyable book in this long running series.

Edward Marston has created a long list of key characters and they all appear without too much distraction from the main investigation which is, this time, based in and around Kendal and Windermere.

Definitely recommended if you are a fan of this series
Was this review helpful?
I knew this wasn’t the first book in the Railway Detective series but the premise got me interested so I gave it a try. There are lots of references to previous books but that didn’t bother me too much since the main story was detached enough. The story was rather slow, the side story didn’t add anything to the main one.
The characters were likable too but nothing too special, not interesting enough for me to read more of the series.
I’m giving 3 stars though because I didn’t see the end coming.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy.
Was this review helpful?
This is my first read of these old style Victorian Railway Detectives historical mystery series by Edward Marston. It is Halloween in 1861 and a special two carriage train is making its way across the Lake District at night, the destination is notorious, famed for its reputation for supernatural occurrences. The passengers are buoyant, well lubricated with alcohol that has fuelled the noisy high spirits on board. A fire on the tracks forces the train to stop and the last compartment on the second carriage is plunged into darkness when the lights go out. When the excited passengers disembark, it soon becomes apparent there is a passenger missing. Are supernatural forces at play? Two Scotland Yard detectives, Inspector Robert Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming arrive from London to investigate the disappearance of Alex Piper. Is there a connection with a 10 year old mystery of another disappearance? An entertaining if uneven read, ideal reading for this time of the year. Many thanks to Allison and Busby for an ARC.
Was this review helpful?
would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this quaint book

this book reminded me a little bit of Hercule Poirot...and i feel if you like those books then you will love this one

an old fashioned style book about a missing person who had the idea of a train ride on the phantom special and who disappeared after the train was stopped and he was seen running into a fire...

the village police are baffled but their noses are put as the lord of the manor called in for two london police officer 
and from there the fun and games abound...

can this case be linked to another disappearance...

there are a lot of characters in this book but once they are sorted in your head its a lovely little story from a different time
Was this review helpful?
A rather slow-moving mystery that focuses on the disappearances of two men in the same location, ten years apart. A railway detective and his railway-hating assistant spend many hours interviewing and investigating a small town and its populace; the author provides several suspects but in the end reveals he culprit to be one mostly ignored the rest of the time. A side plot of equal tedium adds nothing to the novel overall.
Was this review helpful?
Edward Marston's Railway Detective series are perfect for fans of historical mysteries and train buffs.  We will be buying for our library.
Was this review helpful?
This light historical mystery featuring one of Edward Marstons most successful and popular characters Robert Colbeck, the Railway Detective was both enjoyable and entertaining. Set around Halloween and the days immediately following, it had just the right amount of apprehension to make for a spooky read. Thanks Allison & Busby and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read the next chapter of the wonderful Railway Detective series.
Was this review helpful?