• Search
  • Lost Password?
Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

First Lines … ‘The Lost Luggage Porter’ by Andrew Martin


‘In York Station, the gas lamps were all lit.

It was a wide, grand place. Birds would fly right through under the mighty span, and that roof kept most of the rain out too, apart from the odd little waterfall coming down through gaps in the glass.

I was on the main through platform on the ‘up’ side – number four, although it was the number one in importance, and crowded now, as ever, and with a dark shine to all the polished brass and the black enamel signs, pointing outwards like signals as you walked along: ‘Gentlemen’s Waiting Rooms First Class’, ‘Ladies’ Waiting Rooms First Class’, ‘Refreshment Rooms’, ‘Left Luggage’, ‘Station Hotel’ and ‘Teas’.

No lost-luggage place in sight, however, although I knew that York, as the head station of its territory, did boast one, and that practically any article left on any train in the county came through it.’


I wonder how this person knows that York has a lost luggage place?

Why would they need to know where the lost luggage place is?

Are they going to be working in this department, or have they lost some item of luggage in the station, or on a train?


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.

I can already picture this monolithic, Edwardian station building, with it’s leaking roof, full of travellers from all walks of life, appearing then disappearing from sight into the plumes of smoke and soot being belched into the atmosphere from the many steam trains arriving and departing…


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.


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.


The Lost Luggage Porter (Jim Stringer Mystery) is from my own TBR pile, was originally purchased by myself from a charity shop and has since been read by my father.


UPDATE 18th MARCH 2012

My review of ‘The Lost Luggage Porter’ is now available to read 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'.

View all articles
Leave a reply

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

    • Hi Diane,

      I haven’t come across this film before, but how spooky that you watched it not too long before reading this post!

      I checked out the backstory for the film and can see why you would be making the analagy, so I am going to leave a link below for anyone else who is interested in checking out ‘Hugo’, if that’s okay?


      I don’t want to give anything away, however the ‘Lost Lugggage’ area, is proving to be quite significant to the story, in more ways than one!

      This book is something totally different to anything I have read before, so should be interesting.

      Thanks for stopping by and for the great contribution, I had fun checking it out.

  • I read this last year and bought the rest of the series on the strength of it (well, asked for them for my birthday, anyway). I really hope you’re enjoying it as much as I did. I found it very atmospheric. Have you been to York and York Station?

    • Hi Nikki,

      I am still not sure about this book I have to say. I am going to reserve judgement until I have finished it though.

      We have only been to York a couple of times, but thought it a lovely place. Very similar to Chester in many ways.

      We did visit York Railway Museum, although not the actual train station.

      I come from Swindon, which is another of the UK towns which has major associations with the railways, so many of the production sheds and sidings were regular sights when I was growing up, although very little of them remain intact today. Some of the buildings now incorporate the out of town shopping mall, whilst others house the newly refurbished railway museum, or have been converted into apartments and restaurants. Much of the original ‘railway village’, built for the railway employees, is still used as housing and office facilities, so many of the structures are listed buildings and very interesting to look at.

      Have a great weekend

    • Hi Eva,

      I did think that the opening lines of this book were quite atmospheric. One can only imagine how dark and dismal it must have been inside the station, if it was only lit by gaslight and the roof leaked. Add to that all the black smoke and soot being belched from the trains and it must have also been quite a dirty place.

      Enough to make me want to read on, that’s for sure.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

      I hope that you have a good weekend.

    • Hi Laurel-Rain,

      This book is certainly quite different from anything I have read before, although I am not sure whether I like the author’s style of writing, or not. The whole thing is starting off quite flat and emotionless, although I am hoping that this is only because of either the era in which the story is set, or because of the cultural differences in having protagonists who come from the North of the country, which is reknowned for its more dour and morose attitudes.

      Thanks for the visit and have a good weekend.

    • Hi Jo,

      The cover is also quite interesting and together with that great title, manages to encapsulate much of the Edwardian era so well.

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

  • You have sparked my interest in this book and the series as well! Such a grand time to set a mystery in. I will be looking for these books! thanks Yvonne.

    • Hi Peggy,

      The authors narrative is certainly creating a very atmospheric read about the ‘seedier’ side of life in Edwardian times. The streets and hostelries found around the environs of the railway station sound really gloomy, depressing and frankly very dangerous places to be.

      York is such a lovely place to visit now, as a tourist, but with its narrow alleyways and tall buildings, which allow only a little light natural daylight into the buildings and onto the streets below, I can just imagine how unnerving it would have all been in the early 1900’s.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you enjoy this series of books, if you decide to read them

    • Hi Linda,

      I am quite enjoying the book so far, although, even though the plot is quite changeable and fast moving, it all seems to be being acted out almost in slow motion.

      The main character of Jim Springer, certainly doesn’t leap into action very much, everything is done with quite a deliberate, slow action.

      Quite different from anything I have read before, I am still trying to decide if I like the style.

      Thanks for the visit and have a good week

Written by Yvonne