Monday, November 3, 2008

Tired of Waiting? Something to Pass the Time

Today I’m waiting. Waiting to hear of the reaction to my latest manuscript. Especially waiting for the election returns tomorrow night.

I figure some of you are waiting rather than working as well. So, I’ve come up with something to help you pass the time.

Here’s a list of first sentences from some favorite works of crime fiction. Put the title and author in a comment below. (Spelling counts!) The first commenter to get them all right wins! If no one gets them all, the person with the most correct answers by Friday at noon Pacific Time wins. What does the winner get beyond prestige and adulation? Well, the best I can think of right now is a personally inscribed copy of Dot Dead, but maybe I’ll come up with something better.

Good luck. VoilĂ .

1. After creating the heavens and the earth, God produced, in his own image, the first man, and named him Adam.

2. In the shadows of the John F. Kennedy Expressway, surrounded by warehouses, factories, and auto-body shops stands Villa d’Este, a family-run restaurant, that serves generous portions of decidedly untrendy Italian-American food at reasonable prices.

3. The warm glow from the cabin’s window told a lie.

4. The smile was famous.

5. Have you seen us?

6. Halfway to Christmas, Forchetti stated the obvious: “You can’t teach for shit.”

7. Cougar flipped through the trail log.

8. My weekend was D.O.A....dead on arrival.

9. In the year 1878 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the Army.

10. Mas Arai didn’t believe in Jesus or Buddha, but thought there might be something in bachi.

11. Cape Weathers just wanted to know what time it was before he died.

12. It took just minutes for Dr. Emil Varga to reach the old man’s room.

13. I’d seen him angry plenty of times.

14. “Is this payback?” I said as I jogged along a powder blue hearse, wearing a zippered black jumpsuit and Reeboks and panting in the eighty degree heat.

15. I returned from the City about three o’clock on that May afternoon pretty well disgusted with life.

16. It happened every year, was almost a ritual.

17. The headline made me sit down when I read it, that and the picture next to it, and the article that spilled out over to columns underneath.

18. Josh Ryder looked through the camera’s viewfinder, focusing on the security guard arguing with a young mother whose hair was dyed so red it looked like she was on fire.

19. Swirling snow bit his cheeks, snapped at his blinking eyes.

20. Marilyn Crier peered in the window, and I knew the past was about to kick me in the ass.


Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Fun post, Keith. There are about 7 or 8 I'm pretty positive about, especially 8-11, & 19. Is #1 a trick question? :)

Keith Raffel said...

#1 is published by Midnight Ink!

Jess Lourey said...

I don't know any of them. Not a one. Okay, maybe a couple, but what I want to know is how you judge a first line to be worthy of inclusion on your list.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

My bad. I've read many of Midnight Ink's books, but apparantly not that one. I thought you threw in the Old Testament just to be sly.

Keith Raffel said...

Sue Ann, Better put up your guesses. (I'll think of a different prize for u.) Not too much competition. Good luck on #8.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

4. The Davinci Code by Dan Brown ?
8. Too Big to Miss by Sue Ann Jaffarian
9. A Sherlock Holmes, not sure which one.
10. The Summer of the Big Bachi by Naomi Hirahara
11. Stealing the Dragon by Tim Maleeny
19. Lost Dog by Bill Cameron

And here's one for you: "He loved to watch fat women dance."

Jeff Shelby said...

6 is The Crazy School and's on the tip of my tongue...

Keith Raffel said...

Sue Ann. Jan Burke, Goodnight, Irene. #4 is not Da Vinci Code. It's a 2008 book set in Chicago.

Jeff, keep thinking. You should be able to get #20.

Cornelia Read said...

I'm pretty sure about #6, and Naomi and Tim. For everything else, I blame my stupidity on the continuing anemia.

I've spent the last few weeks waiting, too. Found out last week they hate the second draft of #3. Oh well. Back to the writing board. It turns out once again that the waiting was actually more fun than the having to start rewriting... something I seem to forget every damn time.

Keith Raffel said...

Cornelia, You're only pretty sure about #6? Yes, you must be focused on Book #3. Which will be great.

Carla Buckley said...

I have #2, which I just happen to be reading right now: BIG CITY, BAD BLOOD by Sean Chercover.

Great book!

Keith Raffel said...

Carla, Do not let Sean know I said so, but you are oh so right.

Keith Raffel said...

Time's up! Sue Ann wins with a pretty pathetic score of 4 correct. Cornelia gets 3. Here are the answers:

1. Grail Conspiracy by L. Sholes and J. Moore (shame on you, Sue Ann)

2. Big City Bad Blood by S. Chercover

3. First to Kill by A. Peterson

4. Good People by M. Sakey

5. Breaking Cover by J.D. Rhoades

6. The Crazy School by C. Read

7. Boneyard by M. Gagnon

8. Too Big to Miss by S.A. Jaffarian

9. Study in Scarlet by A. Conan Doyle

10. The Big Bachi by N. Hirahara

11. Stealing the Dragon by T. Maleeny

12. Blue Zone by A. Gross

13. Red Cat by P. Spiegelman

14. Vampire of Venice Beach by J. Colt

15. 39 Steps by J. Buchan

16. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by S. Larsson

17. Little Girl Lost by R. Aleas

18. Reincartionist by M.J. Rose

19. Lost Dog by B. Cameron

20. Killer Swell by J. Shelby

Joe Moore said...

1. Grail Conspiracy by L. Sholes and J. Moore (shame on you, Sue Ann)

Yeah, shame on you, Sue Ann. Wait a minute, I missed that one, too. :-)