The First Two Pages: “The End of the World” by Susan Breen

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.

Today’s post marks the start of a short series featuring contributors to the anthology Malice Domestic: Mystery Most Geographical, which officially debuts at Malice Domestic later this month—and don’t miss the big anthology signing (and dessert reception!) on Malice’s opening evening, Friday, April 27, at 9 p.m.!

Kicking things off is Susan Breen, reflecting on her story “The End of the World.” Susan’s short stories have appeared in both Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and in the anthology Best Nonrequired Reading, among other publications. Her Maggie Dove mystery series is published by Alibi/Random House. Find out more at her website,

And stay tuned over the next weeks for essays from two other anthology contributors, Peter Hayes and G.M. Malliet.

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.

Breen End of the World