The First Two Pages: “The Red Taxi” by Ted Burge

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.

Each summer Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine publishes the winner of The Wolfe Pack’s Black Orchid Novella Award; this year, AHMM‘s July/August features a very special winner, since Ted Burge’s “The Red Taxi” is also the author’s first published story! It’s also a unique tale because of its futuristic setting—something the story balances while also paying tribute to canonical elements of the Nero Wolfe novels and stories, as you’ll see in the essay below. As Burge’s bio says, he works with “a team that makes visual effects tools used by artists creating video game cinematics.” But as this award-winning story promises, there’s a career ahead for Burge as a mystery writer too.

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.