Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (April 3)

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Vicky from I’d Rather Be At The Beach who 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.

I thought I’d go with an older book this time, one of my classic crime fiction reads for The Classic Club which was first published in 1946. The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin was written at a different time with different needs, but lets see how different the opening page is…


Richard Cadogan, poet and would-be bon vivant, arrives for what he thinks will be a relaxing holiday in the city of dreaming spires. Late one night, however, he discovers the dead body of an elderly woman lying in a toyshop and is coshed on the head. When he comes to, he finds that the toyshop has disappeared and been replaced with a grocery store. The police are understandably sceptical of this tale but Richard’s former schoolmate, Gervase Fen (Oxford professor and amateur detective), knows that truth is stranger than fiction (in fiction, at least). Soon the intrepid duo are careening around town in hot pursuit of clues but just when they think they understand what has happened, the disappearing-toyshop mystery takes a sharp turn…

Erudite, eccentric and entirely delightful – Before Morse, Oxford’s murders were solved by Gervase Fen, the most unpredictable detective in classic crime fiction. Amazon


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Well first it starts with a map, ok, a fairly rudimentary one but I can’t resist a map!

And then the book starts, straight into an action scene.


1, The Episode of the Prowling Poet 

Richard Cadogan raised his revolver, took careful aim and pulled the trigger. The explosion rent the small garden, and like the widening circles which surrounded a pebble dropped into the water, created alarms and disturbances of diminishing intensity throughout the suburb of St John’s Wood. From the sooty trees, their leaves brown and gold in the autumn sunlight, rose flights of startled birds. In the distance a dog began to howl. Richard Cadogan went up to the target and inspected it in a dispirited sort of way. It bore no mark of any kind.

‘I missed it,’ he said thoughtfully. ‘Extraordinary.’


But perhaps not as different as you might imagine?

Would you keep reading? Hint – I did, and my review will be posted soon!


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

33 thoughts on “First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (April 3)

  1. Oooh, The Moving Toyshop is one of Crispin’s best, Cleo! It’s a find story, and I’m glad you’re reading it. I’ll be really interested in knowing what you think of it when you’ve finished it.


  2. Yes, I’d keep reading and I can’t resist a map either. What struck me was imagine just shooting at a target with a revolver in a suburb! And then just casually checking the target and finding you hadn’t hit it. Where did the bullet go???


  3. Oh Cleao, I also love a good map at the beginning of a good mystery. It tells me the author really wants me to go along with the detective in solving the crime. Agatha Christie did that a few times. This book is going on my list. I’m so glad you featured this book today. Enjoy.


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