Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (April 24)

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.

This week I’m sharing the opening paragraph of Crippen: A Novel by John Boyne which I’m listening to as an audio book. Regular readers of this blog will know I haven’t had a great deal of success with this format in the past, but I’m giving it another go in the hope that I can listen and knit at the same time. So far I’ve listened while walking and it’s going ok but I’m going to practice a little bit before adding anything more complex into the mix!


July 1910: The grisly remains of Cora Crippen, music hall singer and wife of Dr Hawley Crippen, are discovered in the cellar of 39 Hilldrop Crescent, Camden. But the Doctor and his mistress, Ethel Le Neve, have vanished, much to the frustration of Scotland Yard and the outrage of a horrified London.

Across the Channel in Antwerp, the SS Montrose sets sail on its two week voyage to Canada. Amongst its passengers are the overbearing Antonia Drake and her daughter Victoria, who is hell-bent on romance, the enigmatic Mathieu Zela and the modest Martha Hayes. Also on board are the unassuming Mr John Robinson and his seventeen-year-old son Edmund. But all is not as it seems… Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro


The Melrose

Antwerp: Wednesday, 20 July 1910

SHE WAS OVER 575 feet in length, with a beam almost an eighth of that size. She weighed approximately 16,500 tons and had a capacity of over eighteen hundred passengers, although today she was only three-quarters full. Stately and impressive, her hull and paintwork gleaming in the July sun, she seemed almost impatient to depart, her chimneys piping steam cautiously as the Scheldt river crashed noisily against her side. She was the SS Montrose, part of the Canadian Pacific fleet of passenger ships, and she was preparing to set sail from the Port of Antwerp in Belgium for the city of Quebec in Canada, some three thousand miles away.

I think you will agree this is a striking description of the SS Montrose but of course we want to meet the infamous Dr Crippen.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?


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

33 thoughts on “First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (April 24)

  1. Yes. The blurb is intriguing and the description of the ship in the first paragraph seems to beckon you aboard for an adventure.
    I’ve really tried to go the audiobook route, but have found it doesn’t work for me. I can’t highlight for one thing, and I need to do that in order to review effectively. Perhaps I’d be happier with them if I read solely for my own pleasure and was not going to review the book later…


    1. Wise words – I don’t always highlight but I do refer to the book when I’m reviewing so this will possibly be yet another challenge in addition to me not letting my mind wander so much – we’ll see.


  2. I like this author and the cover is cool too. I love audio books but need them to have a minimal amount of characters or I tend to drift off LOL


  3. This does sound interesting, Cleo. Funny how fascinating we still find the Crippen case, even over one hundred years later. I would definitely read on. I hope the audio format works better for you this time than it has.


    1. I was thrilled to realise I had a copy of this on audio – to be honest I’d forgotten and I decided as I’d loved two of this author’s other books combined with the subject matter if this doesn’t work, nothing will on audio for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve heard of the Crippen case, but I’m not familiar with it. I’d like to read this.

    As to your audiobook experience, I’d like to give you a suggestion. Try pretending that someone, a famous storyteller, has come to visit and is eager to tell you their tale. Of course, if you had their physical presence, you’d concentrate and look right at them. So, at first you have to pretend someone is right there with you until you’re able to put that person just within your head/ears. Until you “get it” that the storyteller is a real person telling you a story, you will struggle with audiobooks. It’s probably the same way it was when people started reading books; they wanted to go back and have a real person tell them the story. I’ve struggled with audiobooks too, but my eyesight has failed so much that audiobooks are now my primary form of reading. Hang in there with audio. It can definitely enrich your reading life.


    1. Thank you so much Margot – that makes perfect sense and I will definitely try it. When I was thinking about my struggles I thought I know I can listen but I didn’t take it a step further to realise I listen because someone is physically there talking… Thank you!


    1. I have only recently found this author by reading The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Heart’s Invisible Furies (which is now an all time favourite read) so when I saw I had this audio book I decided to try it out. So far I’m going well.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooh, yes, I’d keep reading – or listening! I shall save a tentative place for this one depending on your review. Hope you get on with the listening/knitting – I freely admit I can’t listen and do cross-stitch at the same time! I am an expert at listening and napping though… 😉


Leave a Reply, I love hearing what you have to say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.