Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.
This week I’m featuring one of the books I’m currently reading – Death in the Tunnel by Miles Burton, a Golden Age murder mystery. Miles Burton is one of the pen names of Cecil John Street, who also wrote under the names John Rhode and Cecil Waye. He was a prolific author who produced four detective novels a year for thirty-seven years!
The Book Begins:
The 5.0 pm train from Cannon Street runs fast as far as Stourford, where it is due at 6.07. On Thursday, November 14th, it was, as usual, fairly full, but not uncomfortably so.
A fairly dull opening paragraph to a very complicated murder mystery that is keeping me turning the pages as fast as I can and at the same time trying to take in all the detail.
Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice. *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to Page 56 or 56% on your ereader . If you have to improvise, that is okay. *Find a snippet, short and sweet, but no spoilers!
The alternative to suicide can only be murder. I should naturally like to know who may be said to benefit by Sir Wilfred’s death?
On a dark November evening, Sir Wilfred Saxonby is travelling alone in the 5 o’clock train from Cannon Street, in a locked compartment. The train slows and stops inside a tunnel; and by the time it emerges again minutes later, Sir Wilfred has been shot dead, his heart pierced by a single bullet.
Suicide seems to be the answer, even though no motive can be found. Inspector Arnold of Scotland Yard thinks again when learns that a mysterious red light in the tunnel caused the train to slow down.
Finding himself stumped by the puzzle, Arnold consults his friend Desmond Merrion, a wealthy amateur expert in criminology. Merrion quickly comes up with an ‘essential brainwave’ and helps to establish how Sir Wilfred met his end, but although it seems that the dead man fell victim to a complex conspiracy, the investigators are puzzled about the conspirators’ motives as well as their identities. Can there be a connection with Sir Wilfred’s seemingly troubled family life, his highly successful business, or his high-handed and unforgiving personality? And what is the significance of the wallet found on the corpse, and the bank notes that it contained?
What have you been reading lately?