The First Two Pages: “A Death in Yelapa” by Leslie Budewitz

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 rounds out a short series featuring contributors to the Malice Domestic anthology Mystery Most Edible—and just in time for Malice itself! Later this week on the opening night of the conference, Friday, May 3, Malice will host an anthology launch and group book signing at 9 p.m. You can see the full list of contributors at the anthology’s website here.

Leslie Budewitz’s story, “A Death in Yelapa,” features characters from her Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries—the first book of which, Death al Dente, won the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. She also writes the Spice Shop Mysteries. Her short stories have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, and other publications, and one of her stories for AHMM, “All God’s Sparrows,” is a finalist for this year’s Agatha Award, along with stories by Susanna Calkins, Barb Goffman, Tara Laskowski, and yours truly (!).

Links to all of this year’s finalists for the Agatha Award for short story can be found at the Malice site here. And for more information on Leslie’s work, visit her website,

In the meantime, I’m thrilled to welcome Leslie here for a preview of her story in Mystery Most Edible, and be sure and check out the previous two essays in this series, by M.K. Graff and Gabriel Valjan.

Looking forward to seeing these authors and so many other writers and readers in Bethesda soon!

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.