Thursday, June 8, 2017

Book Beginning: An Oxford Tragedy by J. C. Masterman




If you open the Oxford University Calendar and turn to St Thomas's College you will find my name -- Francis Wheatley Winn, Vice-President and Senior Tutor. A note at the bottom of the page will make it clear to the initiated that I won, in my youth, some academic distinction, and that I take my part in the administrative side of University life.

-- An Oxford Tragedy by J. C. Masterman. Set in the fictional Oxford college of St. Thomas's, the narrator is an Oxford don who plays Watson to the novel's Sherlock Holmes, an amateur sleuth named Ernst Brendel, a Viennese lawyer visiting the college as a guest lecturer.

The above is a picture of my edition. The Penguin edition is particularly adorable!

I won my copy several years ago from Bev at My Reader's Block in a giveaway she had as part of her Vintage Mystery Challenge. I credit Bev for turning me on to vintage mysteries, both from the Golden Age (pre-1960) and the Silver Age (1960 - 1989).

Please join me every Friday to 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. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

FACEBOOK: Rose City Reader has a Facebook page where I post about new and favorite books, book events, and other bookish tidbits, as well as link to blog posts. I'd love a "Like" on the page! You can go to the page here to Like it. I am happy to Like you back if you have a blog or professional Facebook page, so please leave a comment with a link and I will find you.

TWITTER, ETC: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book  Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up.

TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.



  1. This one sounds tempting. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Vintage mysteries are so fun to read. Of course some of the newer "vintage" titles came out about when I started to read mysteries. Ouch!

  3. A vintage cool!

    Jo-Ann at Inspiration Pie

  4. I agree - adorable is the word I'd use to describe the Penguin edition. Just picking that book up would make me happy. Enjoy reading it.

  5. Hi Gilion,

    I love it when we get the vintage books donated into the charity shop where I work. Unfortunately, some of them are in such poor condition as to be unsaleable, which is a real shame.

    I really enjoy the style and language of writing from many of these past masters of the classics and this sounds like one series which should have gone on for many more episodes, given different circumstances.

    I hope that you enjoy and thanks for hosting BBOF :)

    Here is my link for this week's challenge ...


  6. This one looks pretty interesting.

  7. Interesting picks.

    Thanks for sharing.


  8. That is interesting, as I like the old books that are about Cambridge University, since that's where I live.

    I forget what they're called now... lol

    Here is my choice!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Sassy x

  9. I can see why you like the Penguin cover. :-) This does sound like it would be a good mystery to read! Thank you for sharing!

  10. I've never heard of this one before but it sounds interesting. Thanks so much for hosting. I hope you enjoy your book. Have a greatw week!


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