The First Two Pages: “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” by David Edgerley Gates

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 First Two Pages continues a celebration of the new anthology Murder, Neat with an essay below by David Edgerley Gates on his story “Shuffle Off to Buffalo”—following up on essays these last two weeks by Melodie Campbell on “The Mob, the Model, and the College Reunion” and Lawrence Maddox on “Deep Time.” David is a terrific author whose short fiction has been nominated for the Edgar, Shamus, and Thriller Awards and been anthologized in the Best American Mystery Stories series four (four!) times. His recent work includes the spy novella The Kingdom of Wolves (I’m a big fan of David’s espionage stories myself), and he’s currently writing a Western gothic, The Misfortunes of Octavio Medina. Find out more about his work at his website.

Murder, Neat, edited by Michael Bracken and Barb Goffman, was released February 13 and features writers from the group blog SleuthSayers, including (in addition to the folks already mentioned) stories by Joseph D’Agnese, David Dean, O’Neil De Noux, Eve Fisher, John M. Floyd, Kristin Kisska, Janice Law, R.T. Lawton, Steve Liskow, Robert Lopresti, Leigh Lundin, Bob Mangeot. Travis Richardson, Stephen Ross, Mark Thielman, Brian Thornton, Jim Winter, and Elizabeth Zelvin—and I’m pleased to have a story in there as well, thanks to being a SleuthSayers alum.

Hope you enjoy David’s fun essay below—and stay tuned for more one more contributor from Murder, Neat next week! In the meantime, 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.