The First Two Pages: “Sabotage and a Murder Mystery” by Lynn Hesse

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 marks the publication of the new anthology Malice, Matrimony, & Murder: 25 Wedding Cozy Mystery and Crime Fiction Stories, edited by Marla Bradeen and featuring stories by (in order of appearance) Joslyn Chase, Charlotte Morganti, P.M. Raymond, Paige Sleuth, Teresa Inge, Sally Milliken, Rebecca Olmstead, Nikki Knight, Shari Held, Barbara Howard, Ashley-Ruth M. Bernier, KD Sherrinford, Stephen D. Rogers, Elaine Togneri, Lynn Hesse, Margaret S. Hamilton, Stella Oni, Robert Petyo, Pamela Kyel, Karen McCullough, Wil A. Emerson, Jack Bates, J. Aquino, Sharyn Kolberg, and Becky Clark. (Note that the link above goes to Marla’s website, with buy links in various directions.)

We’ll be hosting three contributors to the collection at the First Two Pages this month, beginning today with Lynn Hesse, whose novels include Well of RageMurder in MobileAnother Kind of Hero, A Matter of Respect, Murder in Mobile, Book 2, and The Forty Knots Burn—the last two of which have won the 2023 Georgia Independent Authors Association Awards for Best Police Procedural, Best Cover Adult Fiction, Best Suspense/Thriller, and the Spotlight on Georgia Fiction. Lynn’s short stories include “Shrewd Women” in CrimeucopiaBoomshalalaking, Modern Crimes in Modern Times; “Bitter Love” in Crimeucopia, The I’s Have It; and “Jewel’s Hell” Me Too Short Stories: An Anthology, among others. You can find out more about Lynn and her work at her website:

And stay turned for essays ahead from Ashley-Ruth M. Bernier and Karen McCullough 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.


3 thoughts on “The First Two Pages: “Sabotage and a Murder Mystery” by Lynn Hesse

  1. Marla Bradeen

    Thank you so much for this inside look into Lynn’s Malice, Matrimony, and Murder story! Lynn, I loved learning more about your inspiration and the reasons behind your choice of story structure.

    1. Lynn Hesse

      Thank you, Marla. You are a multi-talented woman, and I appreciate your guidance through the Kickstarter and publishing phases of this remarkable anthology.

    2. Lynn Hesse

      Thank you, Art, for asking the authors of Malice Matrimony and Murder to write for your blog.
      Thank you, Marla, for your guidance through the launch process for this anthology. Writing a cozy with a G-rating language restriction was a challenge for this crime fiction writer.

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