by Kathy Waller
Last night I dreamt I went to Mandereley again.
Perfectly poetic, iambic hexameter: Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
Says Sarah Perry in the Irish Times, “Every novelist since has ground their teeth in envy: here is all the enchantment of a child’s story, with an irresistible melancholy hung about it.”
The rest of the novel isn’t bad either.
But so much depends on that first line.
Can you identify the books that begin with the lines below? And the authors who composed them?
Show what you know in a comment. (Searching the Internet is acceptable.)
Some may be a snap. Others, not so much. But each comes from a book by a major mystery author.
All will be revealed in a later post. Or, as they used to say, stay tuned.
- On November the twenty-first, the day of her forty-seventh birthday, and three weeks and two days before she was murdered, Rhoda Gradwyn went to Harley Street to keep a first appointment with her plastic surgeon, and there in a consulting room designed, it appeared, to inspire confidence and allay apprehension, made the decision which would lead inexorably to her death.
- In the corner of a first-class smoking carriage, Mr Justice Wargrave, lately retired from the bench, puffed at a cigar and ran an interested eye through the political news in The Times.
- Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write.
- When I think of my wife, I always think of her head.
- My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.
- The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation.
- There were crimson roses on the bench; they looked like splashes of blood.
- It was as black in the closet as old blood.
- My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood.
- It was five o’clock on a winter’s morning in Syria.
- I feel compelled to report that at the moment of death, my entire life did not pass before my eyes in a flash.
- I’ve always considered myself to be, basically, a lucky person.
- Miss Jane Neal met her maker in the early morning mist of Thanksgiving Sunday. It was pretty much a surprise all around.
- There are two disadvantages to being a minor royal.
- It was a mob, but not yet a full-fledged riot. Over a dozen retirees, dressed in housecoats and robes, had taken to the streets, demanding action at eight in the morning.
- There hadn’t been a god for many years.
Image of book cover via Wikipedia. Public domain.