On the excellent 4MA mailing list, one of the standard questions each month is "What is the first paragraph on Page X of the book you are reading?" I get loads of book recommendations that way, so I thought I would start a similar discussion here, as I am always looking for suggestions for books to read.

So what is the first paragraph or two of the book you are currently reading?

I've just started TO KISS OR KILL by Day Keene from 1951. Here's the first few paragraphs as they are short:

'You never can tell what a big tough Polish boy will do when he finds a nude blonde in his bathroom. Especially if he is a heavyweight fighter who was born back of the yards, is married to a million dollars, and has a psychiatric record.

He might do a number of things. He might tell her to get out. He might yell for his wife. He might blow what's left of his top. He might even do what Barney Mandell did, come to his addled senses.

It really happened, in Chicago. It happened to Barney Mandell on the afternoon on the day he was released from the asylum as cured, because he hadn't wrung a parrot's neck in two years.

Oh, yes. The nude blonde was dead.'



Isn't that marvellous? What a start. Tells you enough about Barney Mandell to make you want to know more.

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It was a bitterly coldnight of frost, the stars sharp and piercingly bright overhead.

He pulled the motorcar to the verge and settled to watch the house that lay directly across the black expanse of water. It stood out against the sky, amazingly clear. Even from here he could tell there were lamps burning in three of the rooms. He could picture them in his mind; at the rear of the house-the sitting room, very likely. In the entry where the pattern of the fanlight over the front door shone starkly against the deep shadows there - behind it at the staircase, of course. And one on the first floor nearest the eaves.

A False Mirror by Charles Todd
I read the very first one in this series when it came out. Thanks for reminding me of it!
yes, that reminds me of "The Murder Stone" on my TBR pile!
Max Fisher opened his eyes, looked at the blurry mess around him, thought, Where the fuck am I? He managed to turn his head, stare at a wall. It was a white wall. The walls in his apartment were white--okay, he was probably home. What day was it? He thought it was Monday because yesterday was Sunday, right? Didn't he see a football game on TV, at the bar he was drinking at? Or was that two days ago? Wait, it wasn't football, it was baseball. It was July for Christ's sake. The Fourth was just, what, last week? He remembered loud noises, explosions, fireworks. Yeah, it definitely wasn't football season.

That's the first paragraph of SLIDE, by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr, the book I'm currently reading (although at the same time I'm also trying to read QUINN, by Seamus Smyth from 1999).
Oooooooooooooooh, I'm looking forward to that one. I loved BUST, and it was impossible to tell who wrote what chapter. I think there was one chapter I thought had to be Ken's and one that had to be Jason's, but I'm probably wrong on those and the rest I had no clue!
TO KISS OR KILL is one of my all time favorite Keenes! I love that opener.

It's my birthday today and I've gotten mostly books as gifts (hooray!!!) so I've actually got more than one going at the moment. The one right here on my desk is Megan Abbott's QUEENPIN.

"I want the legs.

That was the first thing that came into my head. The legs were the legs of a twenty year old Vegas showgirl, a hundred feet long and with just enough curve and give and promise. Sure, there was no hiding the slightly worn hands or the beginning tugs of skin framing the bones in her face. But the legs, they lasted, I tell you. They endured. Two decades her junior, my skinny matchsticks were no competition."

Beautiful!
Happy birthday Christa! Is QUEENPIN out yet or are you being like Don and teasing me with an ARC? I really loved Megan's first two books and can't wait to get my hands on a copy of QUEENPIN. And that's a superb opening. And the Keene is shaping up well after that excellent opening.
I guess it's available now. I received it as a gift after I put it on my Amazon wish list. Don't know if it's available on Amazon UK yet, but you can always order from the states if you get impatient.

And thanks for the birthday wishes.
Yes, happy birthday. Hope you were a good girl and blew out all the candles.
Thanks Christa! That's me straight off to order that one.
For some reason, I suddenly feel like going indoor rock climbing.

Happy birthday, Christa!
Another one going on my list. I've never heard of this author before Nikki. Thanks!

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