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

‘Murder On The Edge’ By Bruce Beckham

Cover Image - 'Murder On The Edge' By Bruce BeckhamWASDALE HEAD – Monday, early morning

“Fancy a stretch of the legs, Jones?”

DS Jones pirouettes proficiently, crunching loose car park gravel beneath her flat rubber soles. She squints into the bright morning sun beyond Skelgill’s silhouette.

“Oughtn’t we get these under lock and key, Guv?” She refers to the loose bundles of documents cradled against her thorax.

Skelgill does not reply immediately. He casts about and sniffs the fresh dewy air. Then pointedly he glances at the sturdy piebald dog that stands obediently at his side, seemingly unconcerned by the fraying lengths of rustic yarn threaded through its collar.

“I think you’re outvoted, Jones. Cleopatra’s up for it.”

DS Jones frowns. “What exactly did you have in mind?”

Skelgill casually flaps a hand in an easterly direction, towards the silvery grey bulk of Great Gable, its flanks attractively dappled with irregular sliding shadows cast by small fair-weather cumulus. “I was thinking we might stroll over to Gladis’s at Seathwaite.”

Now DS Jones’s voice takes on a distinct note of exasperation. “Guv – that’s miles – we’d be hours.”

Skelgill beams generously. “Trust me – I know a short cut. We’ll be there by eight.”

“But what about my car, Guv-and all this evidence?”

Skelgill shrugs. “Lock it in the boot. Leyton needs to take a statement from his lordship. He can bring a DC to drive your motor back to the station this afternoon.”

Clicking on the book’s cover image will link you directly to its Amazon listing page.

Find out more about both book and author at my ‘Mailbox Monday‘ page.

I can only apologise, however I really had trouble making my ‘Book Beginnings’ any shorter than this finished excerpt, as there didn’t appear to be a natural break in the narration which would offer any tangible evidence of what was happening in the opening sequence….

I hope that I haven’t broken the rules of the meme too badly!


A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City Reader

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) ?

Visit your host, Gilion @ ‘Rose City Reader

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 Gilion 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?

I can’t wait to do a little blog hopping myself and check out all the great Book Beginnings you have!


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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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  • I’m often not sure how much of the beginning to quote. This opening interests me – as much for being set in the Lake District as for its content. Skelgill has a most relaxed attitude to work!!

    • Hi Margaret,

      I know that strictly speaking BBOF is only meant to feature the first couple of opening sentences from a book, however it seems to me that most of us wouldn’t have made up our minds whether to buy a book or not from just that really short snippet and would keep reading on until there was a natural break in the narrative.

      A book which is set in an area I know, will always have something of a head start for me, although in this particular case, I know nothing whatsoever about the Lake District, other than small facts I have gleaned over the years, as a tourist!

      Skelgill doesn’t seem to be in too much of a hurry to progress his case, does he, unless by visiting Gladis’s at Seathwaite he is going to kill two birds with one stone?

      I don’t know why and I have no evidence, but as an instant reference point, I have visions of DCI Skelgill, being of the same temperament and age as DCI Reg Wexford from the Ruth Rendell books!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, it seems an age since we last spoke and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

    • Hi Lorraine,

      Locking evidence in the boot of a car and then walking away from it, does seem like a risky strategy, doesn’t it?

      I think you may be right about something happening to it, all the indicators are there and dereliction of duty is going to be one heck of an accusation to deny.

      Mind you, Jones isn’t protesting too loudly, so I wonder if there is more than a working relationship going on between her and Skelgill?

      Have a great weekend and thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

    • Hi Jo-Ann,

      I have to admit that I have got a bit ahead of myself with my BBOF posts and haven’t actually started reading this book yet!

      As this is billed as a traditional British crime series, I am assuming that would also include the style of writing and character dialogue, hence the rather ‘wordy’ sentences.

      I am not expecting much in the way of high octane action, more of a good solid police procedural, although Jones and Skelgill, the first characters we meet, do appear to be rather unconventional and even a little blase in their approach to police protocol!

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and ‘Happy Reading’ 🙂

  • I have trouble stopping at one sentence too, so I don’t mind you going a bit farther with it. 🙂 This certainly gives a good since of the author’s writing style. And I’m definitely curious now based on what you shared. I love a good mystery. I hope you have a great weekend! Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Wendy,

      I generally try to give a sense of the author’s writing style, offer just a few hints about the storyline and look out for a natural break in the dialogue or narrative. I know this is what I am looking for, if I check out a book on the shelves of the book shop, as well of course, as the synopsis from the book cover itself.

      There are quite a few fictional detectives, whose cases have been adapted for television viewing and with some 8 books to date in the ‘Skelgill’ series, I am wondering if this is the future for Bruce Beckham’s character?

      I love a good murder / mystery, crime / thriller, although to be honest, with the exception of science fiction and fantasy, I’ll read just about anything.

      ‘Happy Reading’ and thanks for visiting 🙂

  • I didn’t remember this book at all, so I guess I wasn’t that impressed with it in your Mailbox Monday post…. but will admit the opening here does pique my curiosity about several things. I hope you’ll share more about it in future posts. I had to smile at the use of the word “thorax”. I can’t help but think of insects when I hear that word!

    • Hi Kelly,

      You did stop by when I featured this book in my Mailbox Monday post, although I have to say that you didn’t really comment on the the book itself, instead a more general remark about the amount of Kindle ‘freebies’ we could fill our TBR piles with!, so I’m guessing that it wasn’t a storyline which really grabbed your attention.

      Despite this series having billing as ‘traditional British crimewriting’, even I wonder at the use of ‘thorax’ in the context of the sentence, so I shall be interested in how this one progresses myself!

    • Hi Katherine,

      There are 8 books in the ‘Detective Inspector Skelgill Investigates’ series to date, with book 9 due for publication this summer. They are collectively billed as a ‘typically English’ crime series, so I am still toying with the idea of starting the series from the beginning, although they do seem to work well for people as stand alone stories!

      Thanks for stopping by this week, I always enjoy reading your comments 🙂

    • Hi Priyanka,

      I have to confess that I have cheated just a little and gotten a bit ahead of myself, as I haven’t actually started reading this one yet and it is still working its way up my TBR pile!

      I do enjoy a good murder / mystery though, so I am certain I shall enjoy it!

      Thanks for visiting and enjoy the rest of your weekend 🙂

  • If the first line or 2 doesn’t grab you then I really don’t hold a lot of hope in the book. For instance my current read, The Big Buddha Bicycle Race by Terence Harkin and it’s not something I would have looked to read, but I read the first few lines and I was hooked. Turns out it’s a great book.

    • Hi Janie,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it 🙂

      I generally read at least the first page before I make up my mind about a book and if that first page is part of a prologue I will then fast forward to the first chapter and read some of that as well!

      It has to be a very good couple of lines to grab my attention immediately!

      I checked out ‘The Big Buddha …’ book and despite the very comprehensive synopsis, I still needed to check out prologue and first chapter before I got a good indication of whether I would enjoy the style of writing or not!

      Whilst the lines in themselves certainly grabbed my attention, the synopsis blew it for me, but I am pleased that you enjoyed the read and thanks for bringing book and author to my attention 🙂

Written by Yvonne