Opening lines from recently published books

”I was going to be late. A fat woman in a quilted brown parka — she looked like a walking onion — had kept everyone waiting in the heavy snow at Ninety-sixth and Broadway while she argued with the driver.” — From Daniel Menamaker’s novel The Treatment (Knopf, $23)

”The cold hard light of a December dawn hung heavily over Nantucket Sound, turning the sea opaque and alien. It clung to the church spires and curled like smoke along the gray-shingled eaves of the huddled houses.” — From Death in a Cold Hard Light (Bantam, $23.95), the fourth Merry Folger detective novel from Francine Mathews