The First Two Pages: “All Shook Down” by Libby Cudmore

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.

I first got to know—and admire—Libby Cudmore and her work when we were both contributing to the group blog SleuthSayers. Libby’s posts were sharp and thoughtful, often provocative, sometimes poignant, always entertaining. In her posts, she regularly had interesting and important stuff to say and style to burn in saying it. Libby’s background is journalism, which surely served her well as a blogger, but the qualities that make her such a fine writer in both those areas have also served her well as a fiction writer, from her highly praised debut novel The Big Rewind to her latest short story, “All Shook Down,” which also marks her first story for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.

I’m honored to host Libby here at the First Two Pages on the occasion of her debut in EQMM. Check out the preview below and find the full story in the latest issue. Hooray!

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.