A Taste of Things to Come

A Maine Crime Writers compilation of opening lines (or paragraphs) from works coming your way in 2018:

Kate Flora: From the opening of Schooled in Death, the 9th Thea Kozak mystery

It was Monday. Always the worst day of the week in the working world. So when my phone rang before I’d showered, brushed my teeth, or even opened my eyes, I knew I was about to be the recipient of bad news and a summons to someone else’s troubles.

I was not wrong.

Kaitlyn Dunnett: from the opening of Crime & Punctuation, publication date May 29, the first in the new Deadly Edits series featuring retired teacher turned book doctor Mikki Lincoln and set in rural New York State

“I don’t know, Cal. It doesn’t look good.”
Always the silent type, Cal stared back at me with big green eyes and an enigmatic expression.
“You should be concerned,” I said. “If I can’t pay the bills, both of us will be reduced to eating cut-rate cat food.”
That earned me what we used to call “the hairy eyeball.”
“What do you know?” I muttered. “You’re a cat.”


Dick Cass, from The Right Brother, a standalone thriller:

After the fire upstairs, Philip Fecteau was forced to close the deli counter at the IGA in Cape Blandon. Too many of the customers waiting for their salami or Muenster cheese complained of smelling roast pork. Some of them hadn’t even been living there when the fire happened and Philip tried hard to convince people it was a mass hallucination until people started driving the extra seven miles to the Hannaford downtown for their groceries. For most of the town, that was as personal as the tragedy got.

The cover photo for Bad News Travels Fast, by Maureen Milliken, due out early summer.

Maureen Milliken, from Bad News Travels Fast, the third in the Bernie O’Dea mystery series. The book is tentatively due to be out in June.

Lydia Manzo lay dying half a mile from where searchers passed not once, not twice, but four times.

She lay dying as the search turned to areas farther and farther away from her campsite somewhere in the deep Maine wilderness of the Appalachian Trail, then was scaled back.

There she lay, nearly dead, about as close to expiration as a human body can get without being there. Then some asshole murdered her.


Susan Vaughan, from Dark Vision, an addition to The DARK Files series, coming in early spring.

The sight of her her slammed Matt in the chest. When Nadia Parker climbed into the limo, he slid from the backseat to the rear-facing one, just catching a whiff of lilacs. He stretched out and crossed his ankles. He’d steeled himself for this first meeting, but with every muscle tensed, it was a hell of a hard job looking like he didn’t give a shit.

She took the seat beside Princess Sarika. When she saw him, her high-boned cheeks paled and hurt flashed in her green eyes. Like on the day he’d arrested her father for treason.

Barbara Ross, from “Logged On,” which will be published in Yule Log Murder on October 30, 2018. (Pre-order links coming soon.)

“It looks like a mousse,” my sister Livvie said. Charitably.

“It looks like something a moose left in the woods,” her husband Sonny corrected. “An unhealthy one.”

Page, my ten-year-old niece, leaned in toward the disaster sitting on a board on the countertop. “At least it must taste good.” She dipped a finger in the mess and popped it in her mouth. “Yuck.”

“There’s the final verdict.” I used a big kitchen knife to sweep it into the garbage bin. “Tomorrow I try again.”

Brenda Buchanan, from a work in progress she calls Big Fish, the first book in a new series featuring a criminal defense lawyer named Neva Pierce, for which she has no publication date (but high hopes!)

The skinny kid who called himself Taggerboy Tommy strutted back and forth in front of a virgin brick wall, a can of spray paint in each hand. Neva Pierce watched his every move from the doorway of a slumbering office building fifteen yards away, a whistle around her neck, phone at the ready. If Skye Littlefield was right, the thug who’d been beating up Portland’s midnight artists would soon emerge from the shadows, but this time he’d be caught before he could get off a punch.

Neva hoped Skye’s hunch was wrong. She signed on to the stakeout in a moment of misplaced solidarity and couldn’t figure out how to back out gracefully when the idea of trapping the graffiti-hating vigilante evolved from big talk to nervous reality. An LED flashlight and 911 on speed dial was no match for a mugger bent on trouble, and if things went sideways, it wouldn’t be Skye who caught the flak. Not when a lawyer was in the middle of it, even a well-intentioned lawyer trying to bring an end to street violence the Portland PD couldn’t be bothered to investigate.




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1 Response to A Taste of Things to Come

  1. John Clark says:

    Such tempting lines. Looking forward to their official emergence in the world.

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