Another happy surprise!
As writers, we hear all the time that we’ve got to hook readers in just the first few pages or else. We’ve got to hook agents in the first few pages or else.
Whether you’re looking to get published or just hoping to hook your reader, first impressions are vital. Compelling opening scenes are the key to catching an agent or editor’s attention, and are crucial for keeping your reader engaged.JEFF GERKE, THE FIRST FIFTY PAGES
Well then, let’s study those first few pages in other people’s stories, shall we?
Today I snagged from the New Release shelf:
A Mansion for Murder by Frances Brody
When I saw Frances Brody’s A Mansion for Murder had a prologue, I immediately rolled my eyes. Yet that little prologue provided a lovely scene with just enough ominous foreshadowing. Does the prologue create a “bait and switch” for a boring first chapter?
Nope! Chapter One gives a few brief paragraphs about the protagonist and why she’s an investigator, then dives right into the letter she receives summoning her to her latest case. Considering this is the thirteenth (!!!) book of the series, I did not feel lost or behind. Brody’s introduction of the character is a fine piece of succinct exposition, giving readers just enough to go on regarding the protagonist and her career. Plus, by using first-person prose, Brody can have Shackleton essentially “introduce herself” so readers can understand Shackleton’s frank and fearless personality. It’s a smart strategy for a writer. The cadence of the prose, too, is well formulated, the movement of consonants and vowels making it pleasant to read aloud. For those searching for a cozy mystery, this may be just the literary escape you’ve been looking for.
No matter what the season brings, keep reading!
Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!