A Spanish crime fiction blog, El blog de Novela Negra y Criminal, publish in a post today that in his opinion Ruth Rendell has the best opening line in the history of crime fiction: “Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write” (A Judgement In Stone, 1977).
Since I was sure that there were some other great opening lines I search in the Internet and I came across an old post at Detectives Beyond Borders: Great first lines in crime fiction. And, curious enough, I’m actually reading Raymond Chandler’s Trouble is my Business, a collection of short stories, for reasons that I will discover in due time.
One of these short stories, Red Wind, has the opening line mentioned on Peter’s blog: “There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”
Which crime fiction opening lines do you like most?