The First Two Pages: “50” by Josh Pachter

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.

It’s a great privilege to help Josh Pachter celebrate a full five decades of his fine mystery fiction. Fifty years ago, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine published Josh’s debut story, “E.Q. Griffen Earns His Name,” its December 1968, and now, in the November/December 2018 issue, EQMM publishes Josh’s sequel to the first story: “50.”

In celebration of this milestone, EQMM republished the original story on its website and has also invited Josh to read it for this month’s episode of their ongoing podcast series (each link embedded here). Check out either as a companion to the new story, but trust also that “50” can stand on its own—and stand tall.

Here at this golden anniversary of his debut, Josh really is at the top of his career—not just productive but freshly prolific and both ambitious and entertaining in equal measure: as a writer with short fiction in EQMM, in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, in Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and in his terrific collection The Tree of Life; as a translator whose works appears regularly in EQMM‘s “Passport to Murder” section; and as an editor, including three volumes of recent note—The Misadventures of Ellery Queen,  Amsterdam Noir, and The Man Who Read Mysteries: The Short Fiction of William Brittain—and more in the pipeline.

Find out more about Josh and his work at his website here, and enjoy the preview below of his milestone short story, available in full in the current issue of EQMM.

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

Pachter EQ