Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.
Today’s opening comes from Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths, the second in the Max Mephisto and DI Edgar Stephens series which began with The Zig-Zag Girl.
Brighton, winter 1951.
Pantomime season is in full swing on the pier with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin, but Max’s headlines have been stolen by the disappearance of two local children. When they are found dead in the snow, surrounded by sweets, it’s not long before the press nickname them ‘Hansel and Gretel’.
DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The girl, Annie, used to write gruesome plays based on the Grimms’ fairy tales. Does the clue lie in Annie’s unfinished – and rather disturbing – last script? Or might it lie with the eccentric theatricals who have assembled for the pantomime?
Once again Edgar enlists Max’s help in penetrating the shadowy theatrical world that seems to hold the key. But is this all just classic misdirection? NetGalley
~ ~ ~
First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro
Stan entered stage left. Of course he did; he was the villain. Villains always enter from the left, the Good Fairy from the right. It’s the first law of pantomime But, in this case, Stan Parks (The Wicked Baron) came running onto the stage in answer to a scream from Alice Dean (Robin Hood). He came quickly because Alice was not normally given to screaming Eve when Stan had tried to kiss her behind the flat depicting Sherwood Forest she hadn’t screamed; instead she had simply delivered an efficient uppercut that had left him winded for hours. So he responded to the sound, in his haste falling over two giant toadstools and a stuffed fox.
It was snowing when Edgar Stephens woke up. The view from his window, the tottering Regency terraces leading down to the sea, was frosted and magical. But the sight gave him no pleasure at all. He hated the snow. He still had nightmares about the Norway campaign, the endless march over the ice, his companions falling into the drifts to freeze where they ay, the moments when the bright white landscape seemed to rearrange itself into fantastical shapes and colours, the soft voices speaking from the frozen lakes: ‘Lie down and I’ll give you rest for ever’
Please note that these excerpts are taken from a proof copy
Do you want to know more?
If you have an opening to share, please leave your link in the comments box below.