The First Two Pages: Skin Game by J.D. Allen

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.

Last week, the First Two Pages hosted Kristin Kisska, one of three writers who made their mystery fiction debuts—or fiction debuts period!—in Murder Under the Oaks, the anthology I edited for the Raleigh Bouchercon. Kristin Kisska and Karen E. Salyer had their first-ever publication credits in the collection, and J.D. Allen published her first mystery short story there, with the multi-part, multi-layered story “Grasshoppers.”

As with the other two authors above, J.D. and I became fast friends, and she has gone on to a fine writing career in crime fiction—two novels so far in her Sin City Investigations series: 19 Souls and Skin Game, the latter of which she introduces us to today. And she’s also been active in the mystery community more widely—both with the Bouchercon National Board, which she’s also chaired, and with Sisters in Crime, where she’s president of the Triangle, North Carolina chapter.

You can find our more about her work at her website here—and be sure to connect with her on both Facebook and Twitter. And in the meantime, enjoy this preview below of Skin Game and an introduction to her P.I. Jim Bean.

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.