The First Two Pages: Straight Up by Cathi Stoler

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.

Earlier this week, I hosted Maggie King talking about her story from the anthology Murder by the Glass, and today, a special week’s-end post welcomes Cathi Stoler with Straight Up, the latest novel in her Murder on the Rocks series, releasing on Tuesday, November 10. Is there something in the air about bars and drinking? (I promise no underlying intentions on my own part in hosting these back to back… though Friday happy hour does sound nice, and don’t you want some reading to go with that cocktail?)

Cathi is a great writer and a fine friend—both a talented short story writer (a Derringer Award winner and boasting several additional nominations) and a distinguished novelist. In addition to this current series—which also includes Bar None and Last Call—she’s the author of the suspense novels Nick of Time and Out of Time and the Laurel and Helen New York Mysteries. Find out more at her website, and be sure and connect with her on Twitter too!

In the meantime, enjoy at preview of the new novel—and get your pre-order in now!

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.