1851 is the setting for this first title in the Railway Detective series: the year of the Great Exhibition, and the building of the Crystal Palace. The Detective Department of Scotland Yard is only 9 years old. A train on the Great Western Railway is held up at Leighton Buzzard, its driver seriously hurt, the train robbed of the consignment of gold coins that it is carrying, and finally derailed. The investigator is Inspector Robert Colbeck, a considerate, well-spoken, well educated and gifted lawyer turned policeman. He has spent minimal time in uniform and brings a different outlook to law enforcement, focusing on crime prevention rather than punishment. The story has an authentic depiction of mid 19th century English society on the brink of the second industrial revolution. Good reading. #1 in a series that currently has 4 titles.