Thursday, April 23, 2020

Book Beginnings: Gin & Daggers

Gin & Daggers (Murder, She Wrote #1), by "Jessica Fletcher" and Donald Bain (first published 1989). These are the book's first lines:
"Care to take a closer look, Mrs. Fletcher?"
"Well, I suppose so," I said.
"Hold on, then, here we go." 
My heart, which had been nestled securely in its usual place, now moved up to my throat and lodged there, beating as though a crazed bass drum player were doing a paradiddle on it.

About the Book:
Jessica Fletcher is off to London to deliver the keynote address at a mystery writers convention. She's also looking forward to seeing her mentor, Marjorie Ainsworth, who's hosting a party on her estate to celebrate her latest book. But a routine business trip becomes murderous business–when Jessica discovers Marjorie stabbed to death in her own bedroom. 
Gossip about Marjorie's failing health and an unknown ghostwriter takes on more serious meaning now that everyone–including Jessica–is a suspect. Inspector George Sutherland of Scotland Yard is eager to help with the investigation for reasons that go a bit beyond the professional. And Jessica's sleuthing introduces her to a whole new side of London, populated with some very colorful–and sinister–characters. (Publisher's description)

Initial Thoughts:

Actually, my very first thought after reading that opening, was that I wasn't at all sure what a "paradiddle" was. I've heard the word before, but only had a vague notion of what it really meant until today when I Googled it and found this definition:
... one of the basic patterns (rudiments) of drumming, consisting of four even strokes played in the order left-right-left-left or right-left-right-right
Also found a bunch of YouTube videos of drummers showing how it's done. Amazing! Just shows, you're never too old to learn something new and interesting.

But I digress.

I loved the Murder, She Wrote TV show back in the '80s and '90s. I'm still watching the reruns just about every night on the Hallmark Movie channel. So I was definitely intrigued when I found out that someone had written a series of mystery novels based on the show, and I've been meaning to give them a try for years now. And for once, I decided to start out with the first novel in the series! (How unique is that?)

So far, Gin & Daggers has been very enjoyable and sounds very much like something the TV Jessica Fletcher might have gotten herself involved in. (Uh-oh! Jessica would never end a sentence with a preposition.) It's definitely lifting my spirits, and goodness knows they can use some lifting right about now. I might just read nothing but Jessica for the rest of this increasingly dismal year.

Have a good weekend, everyone. Stay safe. Stay calm. And happy reading!

Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


  1. I loved the TV show, too, and also enjoy those reruns. I think I need to try the books! Thanks for sharing...and I'm glad you Googled paradiddle, lol.

    Here's mine: ”THE NEW HUSBAND”

  2. I need to look up the youtube videos on drumming because I don't understand the pattern you described. Ha! Stay Safe and Stay Inside
    My Friday quotes are from LONESOME DOVE

  3. I never really got to watch much of the show other than an episode here and there, but I did enjoy what I saw. And I love Angela Lansbury. I hope you continue to enjoy the book! Have a good week and stay well and safe.

  4. I haven't watched the show, but I really like mystery novels :)
    Konna @ The Reading Armchair

  5. So the books were based on the TV show, not the show based on the books? How interesting! I might have to look into this.


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