The First Two Pages: “Fly Me to the Morgue” by Lisa Q. Mathews

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.

For our final First Two Pages essay of the year, I’m celebrating a first—namely, Lisa Q. Mathews‘ first short story, “Fly Me to the Moon,” which will appear in the forthcoming Malice Domestic anthology Mystery Most Diabolical. I’m thrilled to be hosting Lisa in conjunction with the Malice anthology, since that’s where I first met her many years ago, and I know many in our Malice community are friends and fans of her work as well. Lisa is the author of the Ladies Smythe and Westin series, including Cardiac Arrest, Permanently Booked, and Fashionably Late, and her background in the publishing industry is simply fascinating, including editing Nancy Drew Mysteries, writing the Mary-Kate and Ashley and the Lizzie McGuire Mysteries, and working as an executive editor at Random House. You can find out more about Lisa at her website here.

Lisa’s essay below is the third in a series by contributors to Mystery Most Diabolical. Check out Marco Carocari on his story “All in the Planning” and Cynthia Kuhn on “There Comes a Time.” And be sure and pre-order the full anthology for more stories by Leah Bailey, Paula Benson, Mary Alyce Blum, Michael Bracken, Susan Breen, Mary Dutta, Christine Eskilson, Nancy Gardner, Barb Goffman, Alexia Gordon, Beverly Graf, Maurissa Guibord, Victoria Hamilton, Kerry Hammond, Peter W.J. Hayes, Smita Harish Jain, Margaret Lucke, Sharon Lynn, Tim Maleeny, Jeff Markowitz, Adam Meyer, Alan Orloff, Rita Owen, Graham Powell, Keenan Powell, Lori Robbins, Cynthia Sabelhaus, Nancy Cole Silverman, Shawn Reilly Simmons, C.J. Verburg, and Andrea Wells.

And remember: you still have several days to register for Malice Domestic 32, 33, and 34 before the end of the year—which will ensure that you can nominate your favorite books and authors for the Agatha Awards, just around the corner!

While this is the final First Two Pages of 2021, be sure and check back after the start of the new year for the start of a new series, featuring contributors to the anthology Midnight Hour, edited by Abby Vandiver.

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.


5 thoughts on “The First Two Pages: “Fly Me to the Morgue” by Lisa Q. Mathews

    1. Art Taylor Post author

      I’ve been out of town–catching up! Thanks so much for the essay–and congratulations again on the story. I can’t wait to read the whole thing!

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