by Julia Buckley
I decided, since I was making quizzes for my classes (testing seniors who feel existential anyway on the existential-ness of The Stranger) that I would compile a quiz for thee, oh loyal mystery fans and Inkspot readers. Let’s see if you can match ten first lines with ten author/title choices. I will make number one REALLY easy. (And since I'm trying to be impartial, not one is written by an Inkspot author--that will be a whole different quiz. :)
1. “Alexey Fydorovitch Karamazov was the third son of Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, a landowner well known in our district in his own day (and still remembered among us) owing to his tragic and obscure death, which happened exactly thirteen years ago, and which I shall describe in its proper place.”
2. “It was dusk when he came to the ferry. He could have been there much earlier. The truth was, he had put it off as long as he could.”
3. “Bob Barnes says they got a dead body out on BLM land. He’s on line one.”
4. “Memory makes desires of its own. Deep in the candle hours it casts Hong Kong up like a shimmering sea of color against flames of ache, fright and wonderment.”
5. “My father had a face that could stop a clock.”
6. “The night air was thick and damp. As I drove south along Lake Michigan, I could smell rotting alewives like a faint perfume on the heavy air.”
7. “Now there’s a pretty girl, Kenneth Strang thought, as he relaxed his efforts to open the porthole of his cabin and glanced down at the cluster of upturned faces planted along the pier’s edge.”
8. “The office of the university president looked like the front parlor of a successful Victorian whorehouse.”
9. “It was a dead time in the London underground—after lunch and before rush hour—when the last plaintive notes of a Chopin nocturne floated from Katie O’Brien’s violin down the tiled corridor.”
10. “Once you get past the overall irony of the situation, you realize that killing a guy in the middle of his own health club has a lot to recommend it.”
Choices: Helen MacInnes, DECISION AT DELPHI; Fyodor Dostoevsky, THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV; Jasper Fforde, THE EYRE AFFAIR; Agatha Christie, ORDEAL BY INNOCENCE; Martha Grimes, THE ANODYNE NECKLACE; Jonathan Gash, THE JADE WOMAN; Sara Paretsky, INDEMNITY ONLY; Craig Johnson, THE COLD DISH; Barry Eisler, HARD RAIN; Robert B. Parker, THE GODWULF MANUSCRIPT.
Okay, how do you think you did? Answers to be posted later. No fair cheating on the internet—but hopefully you’ll find a couple that are so interesting you just have to head to the library and take out those books!