Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (May 15)

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 Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith, after all what is better than a good old fashioned Christmas story in May?


Adrian Gray was born in May 1862 and met his death through violence, at the hands of one of his own children, at Christmas, 1931. Thus begins a classic crime novel published in 1933, a riveting portrait of the psychology of a murderer. Each December, Adrian Gray invites his extended family to stay at his lonely house, Kings Poplars. None of Gray’s six surviving children is fond of him; several have cause to wish him dead. The family gathers on Christmas Eve – and by the following morning, their wish has been granted. This fascinating and unusual novel tells the story of what happened that dark Christmas night; and what the murderer did next.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Part I: Christmas Eve

1. Adrian

Adrian Gray was born in May 1862 and met his death through violence at the hands of one of his own children, at Christmas 1931. The crime was instantaneous and unpremeditated, and the murderer was left staring from the weapon on the table to the dead man in the shadows of the tapestry curtains, not apprehensive, not yet afraid, but incredulous and dumb.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Oh the season to be merry and all that jazz…. I’m intrigued because as Martin Edwards informs us in the introduction Dorothy Sayers herself considered this a detective novel with ‘less emphasis on clues and more on character’ unusual in 1933 when Portrait of a Murderer was first published.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?


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

10 thoughts on “First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (May 15)

  1. This does sound good, Cleo. I like the premise, and there’s something about that ‘Golden Age’ sort of murder mystery. Add in some psychology, and I’m intrigued. I’ll be interested in what you think of it .


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