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‘Jim Stringer’ Is Back In His Latest Mystery …. ‘The Baghdad Railway Club’ by Andrew Martin


I have only just discovered the ‘Jim Stringer, Railway Detective’ series of books. In fact I started with the third book in the series, The Lost Luggage Porter (Jim Stringer Mystery) and managed to pick up enough snippets of information about Jim’s earlier life, so that I didn’t feel too deprived about not having read either of the earlier two books.

I commented, in ‘my thoughts about the book’, that I felt that I wanted to read one of the later books in the series, to determine whether the character of Jim was going to mature and grow into his role. So here I am, having just discovered that Andrew is soon to publish the ninth adventure, featuring Jim, so this may be a good place to catch up with him.



Baghdad in the Great War, and a case of espionage for detective Jim Stringer…

Baghdad 1917. Captain Jim Stringer, invalided from the Western Front, has been dispatched to investigate what looks like a nasty case of treason. He arrives to find a city on the point of insurrection, his cover apparently blown – and his only contact lying dead with flies in his eyes. As Baghdad swelters in a particularly torrid summer, the heat alone threatens the lives of the British soldiers who occupy the city. The recently ejected Turks are still a danger – and many of the local Arabs are none too friendly either. For Jim, who is not particularly good in warm weather, the situation grows pricklier by the day. Aside from his investigation, he is working on the railways around the city. His boss is the charming, enigmatic Lieutenant-Colonel Shepherd, who presides over the gracious dining society called The Baghdad Railway Club – and who may or may not be a Turkish agent. Jim’s search for the truth brings him up against murderous violence in a heat-dazed, labyrinthine city where an enemy awaits around every corner.


It is good to see that Andrew has moved Jim along in his adventures, in a true time-line from 1903 through to 1917, where Iraq is, even back then, on the point of insurrection, with British troops striving to administer an uneasy and volatile peace during the ‘Mesoptamian Campaign’



Andrew Martin grew up in Yorkshire and has built up his series of ‘Jim Stringer, Railway Detective’ books, using Northern characters he can relate to and empathise with, although these days, London is the place he chooses to call home and is where he lives with his wife and family.

All this, a far cry from the career Andrew qualified for, as a barrister, although his change of direction would only appear to emphasize his love of writing.

He has written for several prestigious publications and newspapers, both in staff jobs and in his capacity as a freelance journalist. He has also turned his hand to book editing and writing for radio.

His authorship has taken him from the realms of the short story, through to books with a humorous touch aimed at the ‘weaker’ and undomesticated half of most partnerships .. (that’ll be men to you and I!!) and on, to the novel. There were two stand-alone novels before Jim Stringer came on the scene, however this dour character has dominated Andrew’s writing of late, earning the author several accolades and shortlistings for some serious awards in the field of crime writing.

Publishers, Faber and Faber, have a great question and answer article with Andrew Martin, in their ‘crime writers’ section, so if you have  a couple of minutes to spare why not take a look, I found it very informative and interesting.



Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • Sounds very interesting doesn’t it? A bit unnerving to discover we were in Iraq all those years ago too. I must look into the series.

    • Hi Cath,

      Whilst I have heard about Mesopotamia, I certainly don’t recall enough from my long ago history lessons, to know the exact location and nature of the battles.

      I wouldn’t generally read anything, fiction or otherwise , which has anything to do with war, however, as I really want to know how the character ‘Jim Stringer’ has matured and evolved, I have decided to add this one to my reading list. If I enjoy it, I may return to the remaining 5 stories which I am skipping over.

    • Hi Kathy,

      It would seem that on this occasion, the opposing forces were those from the Ottoman Empire


      I think that the Middle East is just one area of the world where there is destined to always be conflict, ostensibly in the name of religion.

      The book isn’t out for a while yet, however I am looking forward to following ‘Jim Stringer’ in an entirely new environment

      Thank you so much for your comments, I appreciate all of them.

    • Hi Linda,

      It is amazing just how much stuff I learnt at school that I have long forgotten and wish I had not.

      The worrying thing is, that many of the youngsters today aren’t even learning the stuff in the first place, or might it be that they are not being taught it in the first place?

      Having some amazing weather here in Somerset, hotter than a Summer’s day, what’s the betting it will change at Easter?

      Thanks for the visit.

    • Hi Naida,

      It would be good to check out ‘Jim Stringer’s’ career some eight years on and see how things are turning out for him.

      I have so many promised read/reviews lined up just now, that getting to read a book that is only on my schedule, is going to take some doing, but I aim to try.

      Thanks for the visit, great to hear from you again.

  • I hadn’t foreseen Jim Stinger in Iraq! I really need to get and read the rest of the series as I’ve got them in etierh paperback or Kindle format. I’d best get on with it before getting to this one.

    • Hi Nikki,

      I did know that a lot of servicemen found themselves posted to Middle East towards the end of the Second World War, although I didn’t know that it had also happened during the First World War. During the Second World War, many were only there whilst waiting their turn to be de-mobbed, as there were so many of them, that the military here in the UK just couldn’t cope with them all arriving home together.

      This looks like it has been a good series for moving the characters along with the real time-line and I really do want to persevere and read more of them. It seems as though Andrew has an intuitive way of keeping up with the times, probably one of the best I have come across and he obviously researches thoroughly as well.

      Thanks for the comments, I always appreciate them.

  • Thanks for stopping by my blog, I’m amazed that as a teenager you were able to read all 95 novels by Agatha Christie. I thought I had read them all too, but decided to exam her Agatha’s development as a writer by beginning with the first novels and reading them in order of publication.

    • Hi Irene,

      I don’t know that I read them all in order, but I was a very ‘nerdy’ and solitary child and very seldom went out with any of my peers. My idea of a good day in the school holidays. or of an evening after school, was to get on with my homework, then go to bed and read until I fell asleep.

      I was never without a book in my hand and I think I used to drive my parents mad with the amount of times I would beg to go to the library for more books. I had to use my parents library tickets, as children were not allowed in the adult section of the library in those days.

      When fellow bloggers mention Agatha Christie books these days, I do get the urge to rush out and re-read some of them, but there are just too many other great books out there, that I haven’t read at all and there just isn’t enough time …. life was so much easier as a child!!

      Good luck with your ‘Agatha’ challenge, I shall be looking out for any posts which mention her.

Written by Yvonne