The Crime Writer’s Association has chosen The Somme Stations by Andrew Martin as the winner of its annual Ellis Peters Award. Telling the story of railway detective Jim Stringer, it takes place amongst the horrors and blasted muddy trenches of the Western Front during World War I. Stringer speeds hither and thither on trains, delivering ammunition to the front lines, while at the same time investigating a murder that occurred before the unit’s departure to France.
Stringer’s single-mindedness in solving one murder is juxtaposed with the wasting of life on a massive scale during the conflict. The Somme Stations is actually book seven in the series. “Martin’s novels featuring railway detective Jim Stringer reveal their treasures in subtle fashion with a winning synthesis of period atmosphere, intriguing plotting and a passion for steam railways,” says the judging panel’s statement.
The Ellis Peters Award goes to a historical crime fiction writer every year – the main stipulation is that the story must be set in a time period greater than 35 years prior to the award being presented. Ellis Peters was the nom de plume of Edith Pargeter (1913-1995), creator of the monk-cum-detective Brother Cadfael. Congratulations to Andrew Martin.
Currently, this award-winning book is under £4 for Kindle. If you’ve read it, let us know your thoughts.