The First Two Pages: Death in Disguise by Karen Neary Smithson

In April 2015, B.K. Stevens debuted the blog series “The First Two Pages,” hosting craft essays by short story writers and novelists analyzing the openings of their own work. The series continued until just after her death in August 2017, and the full archive of those essays can be found at Bonnie’s website. In November 2017, the blog series relocated to my website, and the archive of this second stage of the series can be found here.

Next week marks the release of Karen Neary Smithson’s first novel, Death in Disguise, from Touchpoint Press. Karen’s a friend in the DC area and a fellow member of our Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and in fact, it was at one of our SinC meetings toward the end of 2017 that Karen shared the news about her novel being accepted for publication! Shawn Reilly Simmons and I were  chatting about this with Karen before our November meeting, and Shawn ended up offering a cover blurb for the book!

Here’s Shawn’s praise for Karen’s “stunning” debut: “Death in Disguise had me hooked from the first page. When a young girl is murdered, who happens to work as a nanny for one of Hollywood’s most prominent couples, the police work to find out if her murder is connected to a series of deaths among teenage prostitutes, or if she fell victim to maybe knowing too much about her employers. With a varied cast of characters, and one twist after another, fasten your seat belts for a thrilling ride!”

Karen offers another preview of the novel in her “First Two Pages” essay, which focuses in part on her decision to start the book with the villain rather than the protagonist—good reasons here, as you’ll see.

Please use the arrows and controls at the bottom of the embedded PDF to navigate through the essay. You can also download the essay here to read off-line.

Smithson Death in Disguise