Best-known for his historical crime fiction, Edward Marston has written over 100 books under various names. These include his Nicholas Bracewell mysteries, the Domesday series and the popular Victorian Railway Detective novels featuring Inspector Colbeck.
Marston was born Keith Miles in Wales in 1940. He graduated from Oxford with a degree in Modern History and taught the subject for three years before turning his hand to writing fiction. After time spent as a playwright and as a scriptwriter for shows including Crossroads, Z-Cars and The Archers, Miles turned to novels in the 1980s and debuted with Bullet Hole, the first of six mysteries featuring golf professional Alan Saxon.
Drawing on his interest in drama and using the name Edward Marston (the surname shared with Elizabethan playwright John Marston), Miles shifted his focus to historical fiction with the 1988 publication of The Queen’s Head. Following theatre manager Nicholas Bracewell as he traces a murderer in Elizabethan London, it was the first in what became a 16-book series in which theatre troupe Westfield’s Men encounter danger on the capital’s streets.
Six more bestselling series soon flowed from the prolific author’s pen, spanning a wide range of historical periods and settings: England during the Domesday survey, Restoration London, the Victorian railways, France during the War of the Spanish Succession, the Home Front in the First World War and early 19th-century Bow Street.
Of these, perhaps the most popular are the eleven Domesday novels, in which two royal commissioners collect data for William the Conqueror while solving crimes across England; and the Railway Detective series – rooted in Marston’s love of steam locomotives and comprising 22 crimes for Scotland Yard detective Robert Colbeck and his sergeant Victor Leeming to solve.
Alongside these series, Marston continued to write under other names. Two novels following architect Merlin Richards, who left the Welsh valleys for 1920s America, were published in the late 1990s using Miles’ birth name; while his Edwardian-era Ocean Liner Mysteries, written between 1999 and 2007, were originally credited to Conrad Allen – these have since been republished under the name Marston.
The chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association from 1997–98, Marston – who has also published under the pseudonyms Martin Inigo and David Garland – was shortlisted for the Dagger in the Library Award in 2022.
- Architectural Murders - books 1-2RRP £19.98
- A Ticket to OblivionRRP £9.99
- Murder on the MauretaniaRRP £9.99
- Railway Detective - 2 booksRRP £19.98
- Slaughter in the Sapperton TunnelRRP £9.99
- Domesday Medieval Mysteries - books 10-11RRP £17.98
- The Wildcats of ExeterRRP £8.99
- Shadow of the HangmanRRP £8.99
- The Queen's HeadRRP £8.99