Opening lines from recently published books

”Like a fudge soufflé, life can collapse. You think you have it all together — fine melted chocolate, clouds of egg white, hints of sugar and vanilla — and then bam.” From DIANE MOTT DAVIDSON‘s newest culinary thriller, Prime Cut (Bantam, $23.95)

”I live better than most kings. For example, I live far more comfortably than William I, who conquered England almost a millennium ago but, for all his wealth and power, had nothing remotely resembling a flush toilet.” From DAVID OWEN‘s Around the House: Reflections on Life Under a Roof (Villard, $21)