The First Two Pages: “Shadow Man” by Bradley Harper

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.

This week’s installment of The First Two Pages continues a series featuring contributors to Deadly Southern Charm: A Lethal Ladies Mystery Anthology, and I’m especially pleased to welcome Bradley Harper—who, while not a lethal lady himself, certainly has charm to spare. His debut novel, the Sherlock Holmes pastiche A Knife in the Fog, was a finalist for this year’s Edgar Award for Best First Novel—success building on his lifelong fandome of Sherlock Holmes and on extensive research into Victorian-era London, including touring London’s East End with a historian specializing in Jack the Ripper. Before turning to creative writing, Bradley was a US Army Colonel and pathologist with extensive experience in autopsies and forensic investigation. And on a lighter note, he and his wife play Mr. & Mrs. Claus each Christmas. Doesn’t he look the part?

For more information on Bradley’s work, check out his website here. In addition to enjoying the preview of his story below, do check out the full anthology which features a fine group of writers: Frances Aylor, Mollie Cox Bryan, Lynn Cahoon, Judy Chalkey, Stacie Giles, Barb Goffman, Libby Hall, Sherry Harris, Maggie King, Kristin Kisska, Samatha McGraw, K.L. Murphy, Genille Swope Parente, Deb Rolfe, Rod Sterling, S.A. Warwick, and Heather Weidner. The collection was edited by Mary Burton and Mary Miley in conjunction with the Central Virginia Chapter of Sisters in Crime and published by Wildside Press.

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.