The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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March 8, 2011

The page I'm reading now...

He was surprised, even a little annoyed at her silence. He looked sideways at her profile. A woman in her early thirties perhaps, neatly dressed and at some expense. She could never, even in her first bloom of youth, have been very beautiful. Her face was a little too long, and a little too narrow. Her carriage and neat figure suggested good health and habits, however.  Her gloved hands rested easily on the reins and her hair was a dark red, curled under the edge of her riding hat.
      'Do you like it?' she asked. 'My maid Dido always rejoices when I agree to have my hair curled. I find it gets in my eyes.'
      Crowther started, and faced forward at once. 'My apologies, madam. I did not mean to stare.'
      She turned to him, looking at him squarely for a moment or two, then smiled. Crowther noted the dark green of her eyes, was surprised to find himself wondering briefly what she might think of him.
      'No, I am sorry, Mr. Crowther,' she said. 'And I must thank you for riding out so early. I have been wondering what to say to you, and I'm sorry to confess that nothing that seems appropriate has occurred to me. I could ask you what you think the weather will be today and how you are enjoying Hartswood, but it hardly seems fitting, given our expedition. So I waited until I had the opportunity to be rude to you instead.'

-- from Instruments of Darkness, by Imogen Robertson

I'm charmed by the story behind this first novel -- that the author won a First Thousand Words of a Novel competition with the opening pages.  They've definitely drawn me in.

{image found here}
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Anonymous said...

I read this last year, and really enjoyed it. Thank you for the reminder!

Ann said...

The second one, 'Anatomy of Murder', is just as good and the third, 'Island of Bones', is due out in a couple of weeks.

Marie Cloutier said...

Sounds really fun. I love the illustration!

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