The First Two Pages: “Wrong Notes” by Andrew Taylor

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.

The new Crime Writers’ Association anthology Music of the Night, has claimed a prime spot on my nightstand—such a joy all the stories I’ve read so far and still more yet to read. Edited by Martin Edwards, Music of the Night features short fiction connected by the theme of music and penned by a terrific group of writers: Abi Silver, Alison Joseph, Andrew Taylor, Antony M. Brown, Brian Price, Cath Staincliffe, C. Aird, Chris Simms, Christine Poulson, David Stuart Davies, Dea Parkin, Jason Monaghan, Kate Ellis, L.C. Tyler, Leo McNeir, Martin Edwards, Maxim Jakubowski, Neil Daws, Paul Charles, Paul Gitsham, Peter Lovesey, Ragnar Jónasson, Shawn Reilly Simmons, and Vaseem Khan. (I’m in there too with my new story “Love Me or Leave Me” as well—honored to be in fine company!) The collection was published in late February by Flame Tree Publishing and available through Simon & Schuster in the U.S.

The First Two Pages has already welcomed two contributors with essays on their work: Peter Lovesey’s on “And the Band Played On” and Christine Poulson on “Some Other Dracula.” And it’s a joy this week to host Andrew Taylor on his story, “Wrong Notes” —a short story set in the same world as his popular Lydmouth series of novels.

Taylor (no relation to me, I should add) was nominated for an Edgar Award for his first novel, Caroline Minuscule, and he’s written nearly 50 books since then, including most recently The Royal Secret, the fifth book in his Marwood and Lovett Restoration series. Taylor’s awards include the Diamond Dagger, the highest honor from the Crime Writers’ Association; the Historical Dagger (three times); the John Creasey Dagger, Sweden’s Martin Beck prize, and the Historical Writers’ Association Gold Crown for best novel of the year.         

You can find out more about Taylor and his work at his website and be sure to follow him on Twitter too.

In the meantime, enjoy his essay below and check out all the stories in Music of the Night 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.


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