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Stephen Done Books In Order

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Publication Order of Inspector Vignoles Mysteries Books

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Murder of Crows (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Torn Curtain (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Marylebone Murders (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Train to Brackley Central (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
New Brighton Rock (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blood and Custard (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mountsorrel Mystery (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cold Steel Rail (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in Broadway (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
This Transient Life (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Author Stephen Done was born August 3, 1960. He is an official curator and historian of the Liverpool Football Club museum at Anfield since the year 1998. Stephen is also a museum curator by profession.

On his eighth birthday, while he was wearing a Batman cape (and his best friend wearing in a Robin cape) he declared he wanted to drive steam engines. This was on a day when dark thunderclouds gathered behind their house right on the outskirts of Scarborough. Then he was told that the last steam engines would be departing the very next day. That might be why he began writing about them instead.

Forty years later, he was actually able to do just that. He spent a week driving and firing large Polish locomotives on actual service trains filled with, oddly unconcerned and relaxed, Polish commuters.

Stephen never knew the Great Central Railway while it was operational, but he did spend some of his teenage years in Brackley where he watched the great viaduct being taken down. He has made an effort, as a result, of breathing life into the huge sections of the line that have become silent and overgrown. He does this by taking his readers back in time when steam ruled the rails. He is a member now of the Friends of the Great Central Railway.

He also enjoys gardening, bird watching, and walking plus railway modeling (when the space and time allow for it), as well as a good ale.

He writes the “Inspector Vignoles” series of historical mystery novels. The first of which, called “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” was released in the year 2007.

“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” is the first novel in the “Inspector Vignoles Mystery” series, which was released in the year 2007. March in the year 1946. The railways are crumbling, rationing is getting much worse, and black marketers are at work. For Violet McIntyre (who works as a dressmaker and lives in Woodford Halse) it is tough just to make ends meet. Her life is connected to the investigation that Detective Inspector Charles Vignoles of the Railway Detective Department is pursuing.

Vignoles thinks he is making progress tracking the gang of money counterfeiters, but as two young cleaners from the Woodford engine shed make a stunning discovery, it all spirals way out of control. The Inspector fights to understand the worsening situation, and his judgment gets clouded, like the smoke coming from the grimy engine that gets into his eyes. He is unable to make a mistake, a person’s life might just depend on it.

This book has some well-written characters and a steady moving plot. Stephen does a great job setting the scene as well as the temperature while being introduced to Inspector Vignoles. There is a lot of attention to detail and this is a well researched historical novel that makes for some good reading.

“The Murder of Crows” is the second novel in the “Inspector Vignoles Mystery” series, which was released in the year 2008. While the Big Freeze of 1947 is gripping the land, the railways are struggling in their fight against the snow, and refugees (who freeze in the displaced persons’ camp at Finmere) have to sink to desperate measures in order to keep warm.

The snow is deep while a murder of crows sits and waits on a telegraph wire on the edge of a lonely railway cutting. A steam engine charges out of Catesby Tunnel, and a young lady is tossed out of the passing train. There is a murderer stalking the line.

Set against the austere and dark postwar Britain, Vignoles and Sergeant Trinder of LNER detective department get involved in their deadliest investigation so far.

“The Torn Curtain” is the third novel in the “Inspector Vignoles Mystery” series, which was released in the year 2009. The year is 1948. A pair of British soldiers working the railways in Trieste, Italy get killed for no apparent reason and it baffles Allied Intelligence.

Back in England, Vignoles finds that somebody has searched his office at Leicester Central. At the same time, the suave yet suspicious Captain Henderson asks some odd questions which stir up some long-repressed memories.

Quickly, Vignoles heads up the investigation, just to find that he is dealing with something much stranger than he could have imagined. A long-buried secret is close to being revealed, and it might rip the Iron Curtain and pitch the West right into a deadly conflict with the East.

“The Marylebone Murders” is the fourth novel in the “Inspector Vignoles Mystery” series, which was released in the year 2011. Halloween 1949. Smog is choking London while Jack Pym’s body floats in the oily Regent’s Canal close to Marylebone station.

It appears to be a suicide, and a simple case, but DI Vignoles suspects foul play. Pym’s wife keeps telling lies, and nothing is exactly what it appears to be.

While the Pyms’ private lives become uncovered, the more deadly and darker truths become revealed. There are those that are prepared to murder in order to keep them safe.

This is an atmospheric, gripping, and evocative page turner. Right from the very start of the novel, Stephen Done is able to set the scene in the prologue.

“The Last Train to Brackley Central” is the fifth novel in the “Inspector Vignoles Mystery” series, which was released in the year 2012. Magdalen College School’s new math master, named Richard Irons, is wakened up when a strange female creeps into his compartment. She has a sad tale story to tell, with a lethal favor to ask of him. While the train hits Brackley Central, however, she slips through his arm like she is a phantom.

Vignoles is never going to have a more baffling and curious case, while he hunts for a young lady who seems to be back from the dead. There is a dangerous dog out on the prowl and for the Cobra’s Eye, which is a diamond that will destroy the lives of anybody that touches it.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Stephen Done

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