“The killer came by streetcar.” David Zucchino, Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy.

“From across the aisle Harry Bosch looked into his partner’s cubicle and watched him conduct his daily ritual of straightening the corners on his stacks of files, clearing the paperwork from the center of his desk and finally placed his rinsed-out coffee cup in a desk drawer.” Michael Connelly, Nine Dragons.

“Let’s look beneath the ice-chipped surface of a fish counter at a Whole Foods in New York City.” Benjamin Lorr, The Secret Life of Groceries: The Dark Miracle of the American Supermarket.

“It all started one afternoon early in May when I came out of the House of Commons with Tommy Deloraine.” John Buchan, The Power-House.

“Imagine an archaeologist, thousands of years from now, whose trowel clangs against something solid.” Edward Dolnick, The Writing of the Gods: The Race to Decode the Rosetta Stone.

“He no longer feels cold; instead, a curious heat is spreading through his veins.” Arnaldur Indridason, Strange Shores.

“The Headquarters Building at the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia, is a grim maze of identical corridors flanked by blank, color-coded office doors that are always shut tight.” Nicholas Dawidoff, The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg.

“On the first Monday in March 1901, in the early evening when the sound of sleigh bells filled the air, a student unexpectedly knocked at my door.” Lauren Belfer, City of Light.

“These are the fisherman who stand sentry over the cod stocks off the headlands of North America, the fisherman who went to sea but forgot their pencil.” Mark Kurlansky, Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World (1997).

“The last time I’d eaten at the Watergrill I sat across the table from a client who had coldly and calculatedly murdered his wife and her lover, shooting both of them in the face.” Michael Connelly, The Reversal.

“Years ago, as a medical student in Boston, I watched a senior surgeon operate on a woman.” Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes From an Uncertain Science.

“I have no intention of explaining how the correspondence which I now offer to the public fell into my hands.” C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters.

“The story of modern cancer research begins, improbably, with the sea urchin.” Sam Apple, Ravenous: Otto Warburg, the Nazis, and the Search for the Cancer-Diet Connection.

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