Thursday, September 15, 2016

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
Today I'm featuring Arsenic With Austen by Katherine Bolger Hyde.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library. 

Arsenic with Austen (Crime with the Classics #1) 

A gentle late-spring breeze ruffled the tender leaves of the maple and cherry trees on Reed College's front lawn, flirted with the skirts of the graduates' robes and tugged at the edges of their mortarboards, then swirled up three stories to tease Emily's upswept hair as she stood at her open office window.  Of late this scene had become the favorite of her whole teaching year, because it meant the year was over.
Page 56:  " Just then an elderly woman shuffled up to their table, breathless.  'Oh, Sheriff--little Timmy--come quick.  That tree--so high . . . I can hardly see him.'  She stood, wringing her hands, her features contorted."

My thoughts:  As many of you may know, I am always thrilled to get in at the beginning of a new mystery series, and this book is the first in the Crime with the Classics series.  Beyond that, I was drawn to the cover, the title, and the academic setting in the opening paragraph.

From GoodreadsWhen Emily Cavanaugh inherits a fortune from her great aunt, she expects her life to change. She doesn't expect to embark on a murder investigation, confront the man who broke her heart 35 years before, and nearly lose her own life.

Emily travels to the sleepy coastal village of Stony Beach, Oregon, to claim her inheritance, centered in a beautiful Victorian estate called Windy Corner but also including a substantial portion of the real estate of the whole town. As she gets to know the town's eccentric inhabitants--including her own once-and-possibly-future love, Sheriff Luke Richards--she learns of a covert plan to develop Stony Beach into a major resort. She also hears hints that her aunt may have been murdered. Soon another suspicious death confirms this, and before long Emily herself experiences a near-fatal accident.

Meanwhile, Emily reads
Persuasion, hoping to find belated happiness with her first love as Anne Elliot did with Captain Wentworth. She notices a similarity between her not-quite-cousin Brock Runcible, heir to a smaller portion of her aunt's property, and Mr. Elliot in Persuasion, and her suspicions of Brock crystallize. But as she and Luke continue to investigate and events speed toward a climax, Emily realizes that underneath the innocent-looking rocks of Stony Beach lurk festering jealousies that would have shocked even the worst of Jane Austen's charming reprobates.

Which book are you reading now or about to start? 

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings was originally published by Catherine for This post cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated.

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