Andrew Martin: Biography

Andrew Martin is the author of numerous articles, and books of both fiction and non-fiction.

He grew up and was educated in York. After qualifying as a barrister, he won The Spectator Young Writer of the Year Award for 1988, which deflected him into a writing career. After holding staff jobs on several papers and magazines, he became a freelance journalist in which capacity he has tended to write about the north, class, trains, seaside towns and eccentric individuals rather than the doings of the famous, although he did once loop the loop in a biplane with Gary Numan. He has written for The Guardian, the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, the Independent and Granta, among many other publications. His columns have appeared in ES Magazine, the Independent on Sunday and the New Statesman. He has written and read a series of his essays for the Radio Three weekly essay slot, and written and presented two documentaries for BBC4 (one on the literature of the railways, the other on fatherhood in literature).

His first novel, Bilton, was a satire on lifestyle journalism set in the near future. His second, The Bobby Dazzlers, was a crime novel set in contemporary York.

The Necropolis Railway, the first of the series of historical thrillers featuring the railwayman turned railway policeman, Jim Stringer, was published in 2002. It was followed by The Blackpool Highflyer, The Lost Luggage Porter, Murder at Deviation Junction, Death on A Branch Line, The Last Train to Scarborough, The Somme Stations and The Baghdad Railway Club. All of these railway novels are published by Faber. Murder at Deviation Junction and Death on a Branch Line were both shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Ellis Peters Historical Crime Awards in 2007 and 2008; Andrew Martin was shortlisted for the 'Crime Writers’ Association Dagger in The Library' Award 2008 for the entire series. The Somme Stations, won the Ellis Peters award for 2011.

Andrew Martin has also edited a dictionary of humorous quotations: Funny You Should Say That, published by Penguin. His book explaining housework to his fellow men: 'How To Get Things Really Flat: A Man’s Guide to Ironing, Dusting and Other Household Arts' was published by Short Books in 2008. (It was a Book of The Week on Radio Four). His book about British ghosts in fiction and 'fact', Ghoul Britannia, came out in 2009 from Short Books. It includes his short story, The Secret Trust (or Little Jack's). (Andrew Martin has written other short stories, and two episodes of the Radio Four detective series, Baldi, starring David Threlfall.)

His history of the London Underground, 'Underground, Overground: A Passenger's History of the Tube', was first published by Profile Books in May 2012, and came out in paperback in February of last year.

In June 2013, his account of the wartime adventures of Gyles Mackrell, tea planter and elephant expert, was published by Fourth Estate under the title: 'Flight By Elephant: The Untold Story of World's War 2's Most Daring Jungle Rescue'. To research this book, he visited North East India and Calcutta. During his time in Calcutta, he also researched the latest Jim Stringer novel, 'Night Train To Jamalpur', which is forthcoming from Faber.

Andrew Martin regularly speaks in public, usually on historical or crime fiction, or railways. He is married with two children, and lives in Highgate, London.