Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (April 28)

First Chapter

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

My intro this week is from The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and The Missing Corpse by Piu Marie Eatwell

The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse


The extraordinary story of the Druce-Portland affair, one of the most notorious, tangled and bizarre legal cases of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras.
In 1897 an elderly widow, Anna Maria Druce, made a strange request of the London Ecclesiastical Court: it was for the exhumation of the grave of her late father-in-law, T.C. Druce.
Behind her application lay a sensational claim: that Druce had been none other than the eccentric and massively wealthy 5th Duke of Portland, and that the – now dead – Duke had faked the death of his alter ego. When opened, Anna Maria contended, Druce’s coffin would be found to be empty. And her children, therefore, were heirs to the Portland millions.
The extraordinary legal case that followed would last for ten years. Its eventual outcome revealed a dark underbelly of lies lurking beneath the genteel facade of late Victorian England. Goodreads

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

It was a dark, windy winter evening a few days before Christmas 1879. The occupants of the saloon carriage of the train of the Great Central Railway Company that rattled from King’s Cross Station in the direction of Sheffield were tense and silent. In the carriage sat a young man of twenty-two. He was pale, with a high forehead and heavily hooded eyes. Also in the carriage sat five other people: two younger men, a sickly boy, a pensive and alert-looking little girl of six years old, and an older woman who regarded the other occupants with anxious attention. All the party were dressed in sombre black, the garb of deep mourning. Every so often, the countryside bordering the line would light up as the train approached a town: Luton, Northampton, Leicester or Nottingham. In the wells of shadow in between, nothing was discernable from the carriage windows, save – as the train toiled further north – the dark mass of Sherwood Forest.

I can’t resist this tale of lies, deceit and hypocrisy of Victorian England and that foreboding opening sets the tone well.

What do you think? Do you want to know more? Would you keep reading?


A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

40 thoughts on “First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (April 28)

  1. I love the sound of the blurb, so fascinating and different. I really want to know what happens, but the sound of the opening doesn’t completely draw me in. I would potentially keep reading though! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I hope you have a great week!
    My Tuesday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words


  2. This does interest me, Cleo – quite a lot! I enjoy historical mysteries, and this one sounds so intriguing! It’s especially interesting to know it was based on true events.


  3. And then you read advice that says don’t put too much description in the very beginning because it can bore people. I’m honestly not sure I would pick this up, it’s not quite my style, but to each their own.

    So interesting–I’ve started doing analyses on the first 250 words of successful novels as I’m trying to revise the opening of my own. Will definitely be stopping by the blog you mentioned!


  4. I’m already intrigued by this book and waiting to hear what you think of it, and I must say the opening paragraph makes me even keener – nice writing style…


  5. Well, that is a title. Really long. LOL

    I love tales set in the Victorian era. It was such an interesting time. So buttoned up in some ways and very odd underneath. Always makes me think of rainy nights, fog, shadows, Jack the Ripper….


    1. It is a bit – I’m hoping it will fit on the title bar when I come to review 😉
      Even better this one is based on real and very odd events which so far have involved a stately home, a railway and a cemetery!


  6. I love the opening paragraph! It draws you right into the story and I would love to learn more about this novel… The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and The Missing Corpse sounds like a great read.


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