The First Two Pages: “The Mob, the Model, and the College Reunion” by Melodie Campbell

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.

February 13 is publication day for Murder, Neat, a new anthology edited by and featuring contributors to SleuthSayers, a group blog that’s home to some of the finest short story writers at work in the mystery genre today. Michael Bracken and Barb Goffman helmed the collection, and each of them penned stories as well, alongside short fiction by Melodie Campbell, Joseph D’Agnese, David Dean, O’Neil De Noux, Eve Fisher, John M. Floyd, David Edgerley Gates, Kristin Kisska, Janice Law, R.T. Lawton, Steve Liskow, Robert Lopresti, Leigh Lundin, Lawrence Maddox, Bob Mangeot. Travis Richardson, Stephen Ross, Mark Thielman, Brian Thornton, Jim Winter, and Elizabeth Zelvin. And hey! I’m pleased to be included as well, thanks to being a SleuthSayers alum and still-occasional guest writer.

To help celebrate the anthology, I’ll be hosting essays by several contributors, beginning with Melodie Campbell on her story “The Mob, the Model, and the College Reunion.”

Melodie is the author of more than 60 short stories in addition to her 17 novels, and her work has won ten awards, including the Derringer from the Short Mystery Fiction Society and the Arthur Ellis in Canada. Her latest book is The Merry Widow Murders from Cormorant Books, already praised as “the high society flair of Death on the Nile meets a 1920s ocean liner.” You can connect with Melodie at her FaceBook page here.

Stay tuned for more previews of Murder, Neat over the next few weeks. And be sure and check out the full anthology here.

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.