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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

First Lines … ‘The Baggage Handler’ by Colin Browne

Available From Amazon


‘Martin White looked at his watch. All around the floor of the open-plan office, people gathered in groups, then split into others, mingling through the murmer of after-work plans that had thankfully long since stopped involving him.

It was after five which meant that he would have the place almost to himself and get the best of his work done. In the longest part of a London summer when daylight beats the night by two-to-one, Martin thought of the extra hours of sunlight like plundered loot from a captured galleon.”


I wonder why Martin only gets his best work done when everyone else has gone home for the day?

Why doesn’t Martin want to be included in the after-work plans … is he not very popular?

What is the ‘baggage’ that Martin seems to be encumbered with, is that vivid cover art a clue?


As usual, so as to avoid too many unwanted spoilers, I have not included a full synopsis of the book in this post. However to find out a little more about the story before deciding whether it is your ‘cup of tea’ or not, you can either click on the book image, or click here to enter the author’s website, where there is some great extra background material.


They say that the first lines of a story, are always the most difficult to set down on paper. It seems to me, that they may also be the most definitive, as I find they often set the scene in my mind, even before I have turned the first page, although this book is definitely going to be an unknown quantity because of its unusual genre and its male perspective in the narrative.


What is ‘Book Beginnings’ and how can you join in the fun?

Would the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?

If so, would you like to share them with us, (without revealing too many spoilers of course) ?

 Click on the link and visit Katy, at ‘A Few More Pages’

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Don’t forget that Katy and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time.


This romantic/comedy was gifted by Colin Browne, as an author request for me to read and leave my comments about and as such was free of charge.

This will in no way influence any comments I may express about the book, in this, or any future blog article I may post. Any thoughts or comments will be my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.


Update 13/02/2012 – Great character driven story, well defined and executed plot, just the right amount of humour – a very entertaining first novel.

My thoughts about this book can be found by clicking here.


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • Yvonne, thanks for the introduction to an author I’m not sure I would have heard about otherwise. I bought The Baggage Handler and hope to read it this year (many books ahead of it on the list).

    • Hi Mary,

      I am well into the book now and some of the more serious issues are becoming obvious, as well as it simply being a rollicking, humorous, fun read.

      I too, have so many books on my TBR shelves which I keep promising myself I will get to one day and nearly 100 others that my mother-in-law has downloaded to our joint kindle account.

      The thing is, I have been receiving such a steady stream of authors contacting me for reviews, which is fantastic and I am loving, and of course those reviews have to take priority, although strictly in the order they are recieved.

      I am sure that you will find ‘The Baggage Handler’ entertaining when you do get to it and thanks for purchasing off the back of one of my posts, that is appreciated.

      Take Care and have a great weekend.

  • I’m looking forward to hearing more about this one.

    I often find I can do more work when nobody else is in the office, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop behind when everyone else has finished (unless I’ve got an urgent job to get sorted!).

    • Hi Nikki,

      Although strictly speaking, this book is chick-lit from a male perspective, it does also have some slightly deeper issues, particularly regarding the personality of the main protagonist, Martin.

      Like yourself, I find that I work much better when I am left alone and have some peace and quiet in which to concentrate on the job at hand. I suspect however, that neither of us have the kind of quirky characteristics that Martin has, or are as ‘shallow’ as he appears to be.

      There is a great quote from Martin in the book, about book bloggers and reviewers, which I will share in my review of the book. I am still trying to work out whether the author simply wrote the quote to fit in with Martin’s character, or whether it is a sly dig at reviewers….. you’ll see what I mean!

      Thanks for the comments and have a great weekend.

    • Hi Jo,

      Books with humour are not something that I generally read, so this one is a nice change for me and I am actually quite enjoying it.

      The plot is anything but sophisticated and could be said to be a bit ‘drawn out’ and lengthy, however it is throwing up some real issues, which Colin is dealing with very well in the narrative.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you have a good weekend.

  • “Martin thought of the extra house of sunlight like plundered loot from a captured galleon.” I love that line. The beginning brings up a lot of questions about Martin, I would continue reading just to get the answers. This sounds like an interesting story.

    • Oh! Martin has plenty of unanswered questions and issues about his personality and relationships, believe me!

      The words you quote are quite descriptive aren’t they? although I have to say that you need to be quite broad minded to enjoy much of the language in this book. Don’t forget we are talking ‘chick-lit a la male’, so the language is a bit ‘men’s locker room’ in places.

      Having said that, I haven’t read any female chick-lit for ages, so perhaps the language isn’t much better in those books these days?

      For all that, I am enjoying the read so far and am still not quite sure about the outcome, so that’s good.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a good weekend.

    • Hi Hattie,

      Martin is definitely a loner at the start of the book, and although I haven’t come across any secret activity yet, he is starting to come out of his shell a bit now, so I suspect that his true personality is emerging as he gains in confidence.

      Thanks for the great comments and I hope that you are having a good weekend … we have some of the white stuff falling this afternoon!

  • Hi Yvonne, I called by to thankyou for your recent follow and comments on News From Italy, I was unable to reply direct as you do not have this possibility set up. I would like to follow your blog but as it is not blogspot hosted am unable to do so via Google connect and I cannot find any way to do so here on the blog?

    I am always interested in the first sentences of any book I read which is one of the reasons I now include them in my reviews. Maybe I will join the meme sometimes.

    • Hi LindyLouMac,

      Unfortunately Fiction Books is an independent wordpress blog and does not have a follow facility, however you can contact me direct through the contact page, or follow my random ramblings on twitter.

      I am also interested in the first few lines of any book I am going to be reading and I set up the ‘First Lines’ category so that I could share them with any other potential readers.

      Book Beginnings is a great meme hosted by Katy at ‘A Few More Pages’, who had already obviously had the same thoughts as myself about the importance of those opening words. It would be great to have you join in sometimes and share some of your great book finds, it is always good to ‘meet’ new bloggers.

      I have sent a direct reply to your e-mail with further contact details and I hope that we can keep in touch.

  • i really enjoyed this post and I love the idea behind ‘First Lines’. I found you by way of Bookfan Mary’s blog. After recently reading Domestic Violets, The Baggage Handler sounds like something I’d enjoy. Thanks! I look forward to visiting again!

    • Hi Lisa,

      It is great to ‘meet’ a new blogging friend and thanks so much for the lovely comments, I always appreciate them.

      I had already set up a ‘First Lines’ category on Fiction Books, before I came across Katy’s great meme ‘Book Beginings’, as I really think that those first few lines can give away so much about what I can expect from the rest of the book and the author’s style of writing. The meme is great fun though and very well supported, so maybe we will see you dropping in sometime?

      I find that so often these days, synopses give away far too much about the plot of the book, leaving very little for the reader to discover, which is quite a shame IMHO.

      Having checked out ‘Domestic Violets’ and your great review, I really think that you would enjoy ‘The Baggage Handler’, although be warned, it does contain quite a lot of what I would describe as ‘men’s locker room humour and language’.

      I am aiming to read ‘Domestic Violets’ as a direct comparison to how the genre is dealt with by a US author as oppose to a UK author, as I generally find that there are differences in the style of writing between the two. It is great to find another male author out there writing in the genre, so thanks for bringing the book to my attention.

Written by Yvonne