Thursday, August 09, 2007

Another selection of first sentences

There was nobody there when I arrived, nobody except Birkett and his wife, that is, which was a special penance. He was eating raisins and a stick of celery, and he didn't stop when he saw me, just nodded and continued masticating his mouthful, very slowly and thoughtfully.
A Long Way to Shiloh - Lionel Davidson (1966)

On the evening of November 12, at half past ten, in the Hotel Queensborough on 44th Street, in New York City, a chambermaid encountered a man who had just locked the door of room 1008 behind him.
All Concerned Notified - Helen Reilly (1939)

Whenever I meet a man, I find myself wondering what our child would look like if we were to make a baby. It's practically second nature to me now.
Grotesque - Natsuo Kirino (2007)

The howling storm subsided after three days and the weather became brilliant. It was unbelievably hot and tranquil, more like midsummer than late September.
The Woman in the Sea - Shelley Smith (1948)

Forever is such a very great while. But some things do last that long.
A Tree Full of Stars - Davis Grubb (1965)

It was a hot day in late July when I sat with Uncle Miles at Belting beside the strippling ream. The deliberate spoonerism was Uncle Mile's, and it did seem to express something about the stream that rippled beside us as we sat on the spongy grass.
The Belting Inheritance - Julian Symons (1965)

Nadine Cameron and Paul Debrulet were past thirty when they met. Up to that time they believed that they had led full lives.
The Wench is Dead - Ruth Fenisong (1953)

No one ever arrived here by chance. Here was nearly the end of the world, close to the southernmost tip of Chile, which resembles lace in the cold Pacific waters. On this land, everything was so tough, desolate, and abused by the wind that even the stones seemed in pain.
The Killer's Tears - Anne-Laure Bondoux (2006)

"Dead as they come", said the old doctor zestfully. "Don't know as I ever saw a deader woman."
Go, Lovely Rose - Jean Potts (1954)

Leonardo Manetti, lying in the warm sun on the beach at Beaumont-sur-Mer, looked no less dead than the dozens of others, equally prostrate on the sand. But Leonardo not only looked dead; he was dead.
The King and the Corpse - Max Murray (1949)

The murder mystery at the Royalty Theatre was solved through the agency of a house fly and a canary. The fly discovered the chemical evidence that so impressed the jury at the trial, but the canary provided a psychological clue to the murderer's identity before the murder was committed.
Cue for Murder - Helen McCloy (1942)

I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining-board, which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea-cosy. I can't say that I am really comfortable, and there is a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left.
I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith (1949)

This is how I got here, says Rennie.
Bodily Harm - Margaret Atwood (1981)

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