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The Lost Luggage Porter

(Jim Stringer #3)

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  245 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Edwardian detective Jim Stringer goes undercover into the Yorkshire underworld of drifters, pickpockets and train-robbers.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published 2006 by Faber and Faber
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3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  245 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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The Lost Luggage Porter by Andrew Martin is book 3 of the Jim Stringer mystery series set in early 1900s England. It’s winter 1906 and Jim is downhearted, having moved to York to take a new job as railway detective. He sees the new assignment as a punishment for crashing an engine into a station in Halifax. He longs to return to his dream job of railway engineer. The only positive notes in his life are his wife and their soon-to-be-born first child. Of course his anxiety is enhanced by the need ...more
Oct 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Luuuuuuved this book! The tone/voice and the atmosphere--fabulous, completely original! There was one moment early on, when the detective has a conveniently chance meeting with the men who ultimately become the murder victims, which I was a little disappointed with. But then what Martin did with that moment... luuuuved it. So unpredictable, authentic, suspenseful, and entertaining. Can't wait to read more of this series.
Not the best the series has offered. Jim has been sacked from his beloved job on the steam engines he adores after a blunder. He's packed off to York and set to be a detective for the railway fuzz. No actual detecting goes on. He's entirely at the mercy of the station chief who sends him out to see if he can catch some 'bad lads' and an informant sign posts the rest for him. He sets out with a cunning disguise consisting of specs with no lenses and a bad suit. I'm sure if it had occurred to him ...more
Dec 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
An evocative picture of Edwardian York from a railway standpoint. The atmosphere of the railway sidings are admirably captured and the action switches from York to Paris and back before Jim Stringer eventually works out what is happening, nails his men and solves the mystery. The Paris episodes are as good as any in the book but, particularly early on, the mystery is difficult to follow. However, it works out fine and on further reflection, the book may prove to have been better than presently r ...more
Aug 08, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
All the ingredients were there for a good read - historical, murder mystery and set in yorkshire but.... This was just not well written at all. Totally lacked cohesion.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Prior to 9/11, I remember a very handy feature of British (Scottish, Welsh, and Irish, too) railway stations. One could check luggage at a “Left Luggage” locker or check room. This meant that one could take advantage of long layovers and explore towns without dragging one’s luggage along with them. I hadn’t realized, though, that “Left Luggage” and “Lost Luggage” were handled differently. Since The Lost Luggage Porter is one of the Jim Stringer mysteries that takes place in the early 20th centur ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
I found this story a bit slow & some of the situations I just couldn't picture - the whole France thing was a bit of a filler IMHO. The only part that really peeked my interest & I did enjoy, was the visit of Jim's father & his attempts to make Jim's wife more "wifely" (always referred to by Jim, in typical Yorkshireman fashion as "the wife" - did we ever learn her name?)

For some reason I found it difficult to visualise Jim Stringer as a 23 year-old - or was he 25? - either way he se
Yvonne (Fiction Books)
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Yvonne (Fiction Books) by: Charity Shop Purchase
"Jim Stringer ... Railway Detective"

Coming as I do, from what used to be one of the oldest and largest railway communities, Swindon, this book was of great interest to me, when I saw it for sale in a local charity shop. That was long before I knew that the author himself came from a family of railway workers, based in the offices of the York works, where this book is set.

The book was originally recommended to me by Nikki-Ann, after her great review of it appeared over at `Notes Of Life', so I kn
Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading The Lost Luggage Porter. The writing took me straight into the book, right to winter 1906 in York where I totally lost myself in the story. 1906 York, with it’s dark, cobbled, gas-lit streets and down-and-outs, gives the perfect setting for a detective novel. Between Andrew Martin’s period writing and having been to York a few times, I was able to picture the scenery quite vividly (I don’t think the centre of York has changed much over the years, to be honest).

The characters in t
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
The merit of this book appears to be curatorial. Its portrait of York and its great railway yards in Edwardian times is obviously the result of much midnight oil-burning on the part of the author. He has also gone to some trouble to recreate the local vernacular of the time, though the results are only intermittently convincing.

In theory, this is a book that should appeal to a lot of different audiences: readers of detective novels and thrillers, railway enthusiasts, natives of Yorkshire and lov
Chris Gillies
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have to say I'm not too sure if I'm impressed with this book or not. The previous 2 books were excellent descriptions of life in the new post-Victorian era, with colourful worlds built in London and somewhere in the north, all referencing places I know well. Visualising them in their states over a century ago was enjoyable. The good old days of jobs for life, of railway networks that literally criss-crossed the country and a pre-computer age where there were jobs for everyone, that we now take ...more
Jan 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is the third of the Jim Stringer mysteries, and I must say they are really good -- particularly this last one. To refresh your recollection, Jim is a young man working for the English railroad in the very early 1900s. Jim is somewhat of a naif, and in the first two books he sort of stumbles on to some nefarious events and manages to sort them out. In this case, he has been made a railroad detective, and assigned to a particular problem. The dialogue is a little loopy, and the language so a ...more
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One of a series of mysteries set early in the 20th century and taking place on or around the British railway system--trains, yards, stations--populated by various workers, clerks, managers, criminals and hangers-on. This is the third of a (so far) three book series and while ti refers to action that took place in the earlier books it isn't necessary to have read them.

Jim Stringer is an unlikely and not very likable protagonist. He has just been promoted to official railway policeman although he
Liz V.
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This third (my first) Jim Stringer mystery finds Stringer with, and conflicted about, an appointment to the railway police, following his discharge from fireman due to an accident, which he feels was not his fault. Stringer's new Chief has Stringer working undercover on a series of thefts from the railway, having Stringer insinuate himself into the gang. Crooked railway employees, bent cops, and various other murderous villains combine to make Stringer's assignment challenging. Nonetheless, I fo ...more
Feb 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery lovers, train buffs
I like trains, the romance of them, their history. I haven't read a mystery in a long time, so when I saw this book at my local library, I thought I'd give it a go. It was a fun read, well paced and I could tell well researched. The story takes place in England in 1906, in and around the steam trains of the era. I could smell the steam and smoke, hear the rain falling on the station roof, all the while hoping our hero has gets himself out of a dangerous situation with the bad guys. Man, they sur ...more
Richard Denning
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the first of the series about a Railway Police officer in the Edwardian era. It is a beautifully described recreation of the period with well fleshed out characters from the detective himself (who did not want to take the job but got fired as a locomotive driver due to an other man's fault), his wife (about to have a baby and expressing worries about losing her self and becoming 'just' a mother and wife, his chief (slightly pompous but good natured) and a host of criminals. You really fe ...more
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
I liked this Jim Stringer better than the first two. Jim has just become a member of the York Railway Police. He goes to the lost luggage to retrieve some railway magazines he lost. The porter suggests he meet at a railway platform where he observes a man robbing a passenger. In the followup, he goes undercover and gets involved in a big heist, and has trouble getting away from the perpetrators in order to report them. He is required to stay with the two culprits on their getaway to Paris while ...more
Tim Pendry

Third in a series about a railway detective in Edwardian England, this has its merits - good historical colour, a clever plot though one requiring quite a lot of suspension of disbelief and familiarity.

It is light entertainment tending to the potboiler as the author tries to get from A to B. The home life aspects are less well drawn than in the previous book in the series. Enjoyable but not startlingly so.
Keith Hamilton
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
A gripping page turner, The Lost Luggage Porter is a rather old fashioned Edwardian murder mystery involving the decent and likeable railway sleuth Jim Stringer. The plot takes in York, London and Paris, and the action takes place in and around steam locomotives, railway stations and Boat trains. What's not to like?
Oct 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Enjoyable until it becomes unbelievable as the action leaves York. A few inaccuracies in describing York (e.g. The steps from Lendal Bridge to the Museum Gardens are on the North not the South side). Could have done with a good sub-editor. The author's habit of referring constantly to "the wife" is just irritating when it occurs in description rather than speech.
Pat Stearman
Jan 09, 2011 rated it liked it
I agree with the 3 star rating - entertaining read especially when you know the area (York) concerned. I'm still not sure I like the feel of the series tho...and probably wouldn't have read if not set in areas I know.
Scott Heyman
Jul 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Enjoyed the beginning of the book, but the ending felt very disjointed from the first three quarters of the book. I didn't feel like the extensive background given lead or pointed to the climax and resolution.
May 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Set in York railway station in 1906, I was anticipating the romance of steam trains, but got mostly low life petty criminals. Not bad enough to abandon completely (there were a few good bits), but I've been reading it in small doses between books for months.
Aug 07, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the first book I have read by this author. I found it in the villa we were staying in and thought it was worth a look. I loved how it transported me back to the beginning of the last century so easily. I felt like I was following him along the streets. Brilliant.

Nov 28, 2008 rated it liked it
A period detective story, as a railway detective tries to slip into a criminal gang to learn their secrets. Even for this politer age, he seemed far to honest for his own good (worried when he lied and when he essentially had to break the law in the line of his duties) and incredibly naive.
Jan 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent read from Andrew Martin in the Jim Stringer series. These stories and the Edward Marston railway dectective series are good easy tom follow reads but with plenty of description. Good old fashioned detective series
Aug 04, 2009 rated it liked it
A decent mystery, well written, with some early 20th century steam engines thrown in.. Not exactly Hogwarts Express, but fun if you like trains.
Aug 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
New railroad detective in steam era Britain goes undercover, barely comes back up. Wishes he was an engine driver instead.
Dec 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Turn of the century railroad centered British mystery. Simplistic, but a fun read nonetheless.
Patricia Eichenlaub
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
A quirky mystery taking place in York, England, in 1905 primarily in a railroad yard.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Andrew Martin (born 6 July 1962) is an English novelist and journalist.

Martin was brought up in Yorkshire, studied at the University of Oxford and qualified as a barrister. He has since worked as a freelance journalist for a number of publications while writing novels, sta

Other books in the series

Jim Stringer (9 books)
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