Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (May 1)

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 The Lodgerby Marie Belloc Lowndes which will be my next choice from my Classics Club reading list. This thriller has been filmed five times and was originally published in 1913 so I’m really looking forward to seeing what this one has to offer!


The Buntings are an elderly London couple who have fallen on hard times. They take in a lodger with the strange name of Mr. Sleuth, who pays handsomely for their shabby rooms. He seems to be a perfect gentleman but none the less they begin to suspect that he may be the Jack-the-Ripper-like serial killer known in the press as ‘The Avenger’. As the number of murders in the city begins to mount, and Mr. Bunting’s teenage daughter from an earlier marriage comes to stay, the couple must decide what to do about the man in their upstairs rooms. An early example of a psychological suspense story and a brilliant evocation of the fog-bound and gaslit streets of late Victorian London, The Lodger is still a wonderfully compelling thriller. Amazon

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First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro


Robert Bunting and Ellen his wife sat before their dully burning, carefully banked-up fire.

The room, especially when it be known that it was part of a house standing in a grimy, if not exactly sordid, London thoroughfare, was exceptionally clean and well cared-for. A casual stranger, more particularly one of a Superior class to their own, on suddenly opening the door of that sitting room, would have thought that Mr and Mrs Bunting presented a very pleasant, cosy picture of comfortable married life. Bunting, who was leaning back in a deep leather armchair, was clean-shaven and dapper, still in appearance what he had been for many years of his life – a self-respecting manservant
On his wife, now sitting up in an uncomfortable straight-backed chair, the marks of past servitude were less apparent; but they were there all the same – in her neat black stuff dress, and in her scrupulously clean, plain collar and cuffs. Mrs Bunting, as a single woman, had been what is known as a useful maid..

So that’s a snapshot of the Buntings, how I’m wonder will the lodger measure up?

What do you think? Would you keep reading?


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

28 thoughts on “First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (May 1)

  1. To be honest, no. There’s something about the style of the writing that puts me off. And I think a modern day writer might have added a killer last line to that paragraph that would turn everything on it’s head..


  2. Oh, that is a deliciously creepy story, Cleo! I really think you’re going to enjoy it. And there’s nothing like that late-Victorian London setting for the atmosphere. I really hope you’ll like this.


  3. I am definitely curious, although I am already anxious about what the “lodger” will bring to their home. I suspect it won’t be good! Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.


  4. Ooh, I’m excited now – I hope you enjoy it! Still one of my favourites of all the classic crime I’ve read – and the old Hitchcock film is great too, if you can cope with silent movies. 😀


  5. I have never read this one, nor seen any of the film adaptations, but I would definitely keep right on reading.

    I really enjoy good, descriptive writing and so long as I take the narrative in the context of the ‘classic’ style it is, then all is usually well!

    I wonder how the couple set out to uncover what they suspect to be Mr. Sleuth’s alter-ego and is the daughter an accomplice or potential victim?

    Enjoy 🙂



    1. I think you are right about accepting that this was written at a different time with a different style, doing a straight comparison to contemporary fiction doesn’t work for me either – thanks so much for visiting Yvonne x


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