Welcome to today’s post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. For each day, I’ll be sharing the opening paragraphs to a book that starts with that letter and is sitting on my shelves or my Kindle.

V is for Vintage Murder

Vintage Murder by Ngaio Marsh

Prologue on a train

The clop and roar of the train was an uneasy element somewhere at the back of the tall man's dreams. It would die away — die away and fantastic hurrying faces come up to claim his attention. He would think "I am sure I am asleep. This is certainly a dream." Then came a jolt as they roared, with a sudden increase of racket, over a bridge and through a cutting. The fantastic faces disappeared. He was cold and stiff. For the hundredth time he opened his eyes to see the dim carriage-lamps and the rows of faces with their murky high-lights and cadaverous shadows.

"Strange company I've got into," he thought.

Opposite him was the leading man, large, kindly, swaying slightly with the movement of the long narrow-gauge carriage, politely resigned to discomfort. The bundle of rugs in the next seat to the tall man was Miss Susan Max, the character woman. An old trouper, Susan, with years of jolting night journeys behind her, first in this county, then Australia, and then up and down the provinces in England, until finally she made a comfortable niche for herself with Incorporated Playhouses in the West End. Twenty years ago she had joined an English touring company in Wellington. Now, for the first time, she revisited New Zealand. She stared, with unblinking eyes, at the dim reflections in the window-pane. The opposite seat to Susan's was empty. In the next block George Mason, the manager, a dyspeptic, resigned-looking man, played an endless game of twp-handed whist with Ted Gascoigne, the stage-manager.

So, what do you think? Actually, I cheated a bit today. This is one I’ve already read, but it’s the only”V” book I found on my shelf.


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