By Tina Jordan
Updated December 22, 2008 at 10:09 PM EST

Hello, and welcome to another installment of PopWatch’s regular “Starting Lines” feature! The game is simple and oodles of fun. Check out the first sentences of three recent releases, then play judge, jury, and executioner in our handy poll. Today, we’re in court to determine which author has delivered the least effective intro:

* She didn’t even knock. She just strolled into my office as though it were her living room. Mrs. Sandra Riley. Her features were bleached white with powder and a fierce red gash of lipstick gave the impression that someone had cut her face open. —from Without Conscience, by David Stuart Davies

* The first time I died, it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be. —from Secrets of the Light: Lessons from Heaven, by Dannion Brinkley

* When God created tabloids, that Tuesday after Thanksgiving was surely the kind of day he had in mind. —from Mrs. Astor Regrets: The Hidden Betrayals of a Family Beyond Reproach, by Meryl Gordon