The Case of the 'Hail Mary' Celeste

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9781408858929: The Case of the 'Hail Mary' Celeste
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It was Tuesday the second of December 1947 when Jenny the Spiddler walked into my office: almost a month before they nationalised my mother. Jack Wenlock is the last of the Railway Goslings: that fabled cadre of railway detectives created at the Weeping Cross Railway Servants' Orphanage, who trod the corridors of the GWR trains in the years 1925 to 1947. Sworn to uphold the name of God's Wonderful Railway and all that the good men of England fought for in two world wars, Jack keeps the trains free of fare dodgers and purse-stealers, bounders and confidence tricksters, German spies and ladies of the night. But now, as the clock ticks down towards the nationalisation of the railways Jack finds himself investigating a case that begins with an abducted great aunt, but soon develops into something far darker and more dangerous. It reaches up to the corridors of power and into the labyrinth of the greatest mystery in all the annals of railway lore - the disappearance in 1915 of twenty-three nuns from the 7.25 Swindon to Bristol Temple Meads, or the case of the 'Hail Mary' Celeste. Shady government agents, drunken riverboat captains, a bandaged bookseller, a missing manuscript, a melancholic gorilla and a 4070 Godstow Castle engine - the one with a sloping throatplate in the firebox and the characteristic double cough in the chuffs - all collide on a journey that will take your breath away.

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About the Author:

Malcolm Pryce was born in the UK and has spent much of his life working and travelling abroad. He has been, at various times, a BMW assembly-line worker, a hotel washer-up, a deck hand on a yacht sailing the South Seas, an advertising copywriter and the world's worst aluminium salesman. In 1998 he gave up his day job and booked a passage on a banana boat bound for South America in order to write Aberystwyth Mon Amour. He spent the next seven years living in Bangkok, where he wrote three more novels in the series, Last Tango in Aberystwyth, The Unbearable Lightness of Being in Aberystwyth and Don't Cry for Me Aberystwyth. In 2007 he moved back to the UK and now lives in Oxford, where he wrote From Aberystwyth with Love, The Day Aberystwyth Stood Still, and, most recently, The Case of the Hail Mary Celeste. malcolmpryce.com / @exogamist

Review:

Complex absurdity of a very special sort. Anyone who loves steam trains, detective thrillers and PG Wodehouse will feel distinctly at home * Jasper Fforde * An utter delight - this cocktail of the surreal and the terrifyingly real is a rare entertainment for rail fans and crime fans alike * Michael Williams, author of On the Slow Train * Gripping * Britain * An arresting mixture of Boy's Own Adventure, Fifties gumshoe novel and oddly affecting love story, this is an absolute treat * Mail on Sunday, Thriller of the Week * Wildly funny, admirably eccentric and warm and humane, this sumptuously detailed book is also strangely topical in its reminder of the contempt and indifference with which our rulers have always viewed us * Morning Star *

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781408851975: The Case of the 'Hail Mary' Celeste: The Case Files of Jack Wenlock, Railway Detective

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1408851970 ISBN 13:  9781408851975
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2001
Softcover

9781408851944: The Case of the 'Hail Mary' Celeste: The Case Files of Jack Wenlock, Railway Detective

Blooms..., 2015
Softcover

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