#FirstLineFriday#2 Submissions Are Now Closed – Here’s the Answer to Our Quiz

Submissions for #FirstLineFriday are officially closed now. My thanks to all who emailed me with their guesses. Today, I’m sorry to say we have no winners. While I was hoping I’d be wrong, I was pretty sure this would be a tough one, even though it made an official Top 100 Opening Lines list. 

And now, here’s the answer to today’s quiz:

“The first time I laid eyes on Terry Lennox he was drunk in a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith outside the terrace of the Dancers.” is the opening line of The Long Goodbye, written by Raymond Chandler in 1953.


The Long Goodbye is a novel by Raymond Chandler, published in 1953, his sixth novel featuring the private investigator Philip Marlowe. Some critics consider it inferior to The Big Sleep or Farewell, My Lovely, but others rank it as the best of his work. Chandler, in a letter to a friend, called the novel “my best book.” (NOTE: In early films, Phillip Marlowe was played by Humphrey Bogart, notably with Lauren Bacall in Chandler’s The  Big Sleep. )

The novel is notable for using hard-boiled detective fiction as a vehicle for social criticism and for including autobiographical elements from Chandler’s life. In 1955, the novel received the Edgar Award for Best Novel. It was later adapted as a 1973 film of the same name, updated to 1970s Los Angeles and starring Elliott Gould.


Crime fiction master Raymond Chandler’s sixth novel featuring Philip Marlowe, the “quintessential urban private eye” (Los Angeles Times). 

In noir master Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye, Philip Marlowe befriends a down on his luck war veteran with the scars to prove it. Then he finds out that Terry Lennox has a very wealthy nymphomaniac wife, whom he divorced and remarried and who ends up dead. And now Lennox is on the lam and the cops and a crazy gangster are after Marlowe.

Buy The Long Goodbye  HERE

And that wraps up this week’s quiz, folks! Again, sorry I couldn’t give away any downloads, but as I’ve mentioned, we are down to some of what I believe to be the most difficult to recognize opening lines on the Top 100 list I’m using. Still, I think it’s fun to challenge ourselves, and to study some of the things that have apparently worked well for other writers. Hope you enjoyed this one! 🙂

#FirstLineFriday will be back in two weeks, with another challenge   😀  See you then!


16 thoughts on “#FirstLineFriday#2 Submissions Are Now Closed – Here’s the Answer to Our Quiz

    • I had a feeling you’d be familiar with it, even if that line wouldn’t come to you. It just seems like something you’d have enjoyed reading at some point. Sorry nobody guessed it. 😦 (But not really too surprised.) I’ll be more surprised to find out if there are some who aren’t familiar with Raymond Chandler as a mystery writer. Thanks for stopping by, John! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Me, either. But I’m definitely familiar with Raymond Chandler by name and reputation, and I’ve seen some of his work in old movies, too. (I always enjoyed Bogart & Bacall.) 🙂


    • Me, either, Darlene, but I feel silly that I’ve never read one of the most famous mystery writers of the day. I’ve certainly seen some of the old movies made from his works. Now I want to read some of those books! 🙂 Sorry it didn’t come to you, but it was a tough one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • He’s one of the best known mystery writers from that era, for sure, and some BIG hit movies were made back in the day from his books. But I didn’t recognize it the first time I read it either, Jeanne. And I never even read one in school. It’s an oversight I need to correct. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I had no clue, either, but I certainly am familiar with the author, in general, and have seen several of the classic films made from his books. LOVED Bogey & Bacall, so have watched some of them more than once, but this line didn’t stick in my head. And yet, I think it’s a very effective opener, as I immediately wanted to know more about Terry Lennox.

      This one is another that seems to prove that an opening line’s main job is to pull folks into the story, whether the line itself turns out to be memorable or not. I’ve learned a lot from studying these. (Now to see if I can put it to use for my own work.) 😀

      Thanks for stopping by, Jan! Stay tuned for next time. 🙂


  1. I really enjoy these. There’s the fascination with some really wonderful ideas for hooking a reader, and then there’s the real pleasure to be had from a difficult challenge. Keep ’em coming! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoy them, Trish. No plans on stopping at this point. When I run out of lists from various literary sites, I’ll just start my own. I have some books that open with lines I think are brilliant, and will share them, if need be. IN the meantime, see you next time! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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