I'm doing the first-chapter sweep of the challenge reviews (and I'll be back to review the rest of the story, ideally before the deadline, but definitely before winners are declared).
Plot/plot arch: This set up was positively delicious. Reading about a character, learning their habits, occupation, and general opinions invests my attention to them. While I believed that you were introducing a character, complete with occupation, you were instead introducing the victim, complete with possible motive. His position in the Wizengamot-- mainly the key role he has in deciding the fate of a notably controversial economic decision -- is a perfect motive for murder if the murderer suspected that his opinion had already been swayed one way or the other. I do believe that this is one of the only entries so far that has made me connect with the victim, only to have the character killed. Great job.
Characterization: Tobias Hughes -- I may not get any further characterization on this character, but what you've provided (especially for a victim) is incredible in this brief introduction. As I'v stated previously, I know a significant amount the victim -- even enough to already determine a motive! The murderer -- Based on what I believe is the established motive, though I could very well be wrong, the murderer could possible be an angry witch or wizard, determined to maintain the traditional "risk classification system". It will be interesting to see whether I'm right or wrong as the story continues.
Detail: There were several ominous signs that I missed, simply because my brain was tricking me. Since you had me invested in Tobias, there was no way that HE would be the victim. Of course, I was very wrong. Between the rain and clouds -- classic foreshadowing -- and the light in his room not working, I really should have known. The actual murder was gruesome and painful, and I say that in the most positive possible way (this is a murder mystery, after all). The sheer amount of imagery and descriptors in this short introduction was amazing.
Style: Another breif complement on how you've set up the introduction of the victim. I should have saved it for this section, but it was something that really stuck out to me.
Notes/other: This is a fantastic start, I can't wait to read the rest!
Author's Response: Howdy! Thank you so much for the wonderfully kind words!
I always wanted the first chapter to end with the murder when I started, and I never really contemplated the victim being anyone but Tobias, but the big battle for me was giving enough detail about him to make readers appreciate him as a character so that they would feel for him when he was killed just a short bit later. I am very happy you thought that came off.
Though he is dead, more about him will definitely come to light. I can't go any further than that at the moment... ;)
I am also really glad that you thought the murder was well done. While the set-up vs. killing contrast was probably the toughest part for me to get right, this scene caused me the most mental grief because I wanted it to be absolutely perfect. Like you said, it's a murder mystery, so I was obsessed that the murder HAD to be done well. I'm glad it panned out.
Thank you again for the feedback, especially it being so thoughtful and detailed given all you have to read!