The First Two Pages: “For Love or Money” by Marcia Adair

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 begins a series of essays welcoming contributors to the new anthology Minnesota Not-So-Nice, edited by Barbara Merritt Deese, Pat Dennis, Michael Allan Mallory, and Timya Owen and published by the Twin Cities Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Subtitled Eighteen Tales of Bad Behavior, the anthology features stories by Marcia Adair, Karen Engstrom Anderson, C.N. Buchholz, Barbara DaCosta, Greg Dahlager, Barbara Merritt Deese, Pat Dennis, Douglas Dorow, Thekla Fagerlie-Madsen, Steven G. Hoffmeyer, Carol Huss, Karl W. Jorgenson, Brian Lutterman, Michael Allan Mallory, Colin T. Nelson, T.S. Owen, Sherry Roberts, and C.M. Surrisi.

Marcia Adair is not only the first alphabetically in that list above but also the first contributor in the First Two Pages series here, and her essay starts with her own reflections on that phrase “Minnesota Nice”—and with some thoughts on the importance of setting as more than backdrop. I particularly loved her phrase “organic integrity” in that regard.

Marcia received the 2018 Dorothy Cannell Scholarship from Sisters in Crime, and she’s published stories in a number of anthologies, including Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible and the forthcoming The Fish that Got Away. You can find out more at her Facebook page here.

In the meantime, enjoy this preview of her story “For Love or Money,” and stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for essays by Barbara DaCosta and Greg Dahlager.

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.

Adair-For-Love-Or-Money

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