The Baghdad Railway Club
by Andrew Martin
In 1917, Detective Sergeant Stringer of the York Railway Police, in serving King and Country, has become Captain Stringer. After being injured on the Western Front he is sent 'under cover' to Baghdad to investigate a suspected case of treason.
Andrew Martin describes the dangers that beset the British Army from all sides, in the sweltering heat and unpleasant conditions of Baghdad, and places the attitudes and behaviours firmly in the period of First World War Mesopotamia. Initially, I found Stringer's references to his spouse as 'the wife' irritating, but the fullness of her character and attitudes are developed later.
But, first and foremost, this is a detective story set against a background of the railways in foreign parts. In the style of a true whodunit we are lured this way and that as we are introduced to the cast of characters, many of which do not survive to the end. Jim Stringer is the semi-professional detective who seems to have the solution thrust on him rather than actually solving the mystery of the Turkish agent.
This latest book will appeal to the many who enjoy the Jim Stringer Steam Detective series and it is an interesting opener for those who are new to Andrew Martin's work. This book is a good stand alone read but if you are interested in the railways and the Edwardian Era, you will be tempted to work your way through the series to see how Jim Stringer develops.
Review by Irene Cradick