First Two Pages of “Death Will Finish Your Marathon” in Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4

Elizabeth Zelvin

In September and October, The First Two Pages features posts by some of the authors who contributed stories to Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4 (Level Best Books, September 2017), the fourth anthology of crime and mystery short stories by members of the New York/ Tri-State Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

In addition to contributing “Death Will Finish Your Marathon,” I served as editor of the anthology, so the the New York theme—“ the infinite variety of New Yorkers and the uniqueness of New Yorkishness,” as I put it in the volume’s introduction—was as important to me as my protagonist and his sidekicks or the crime itself. Part of my agenda for the first two pages was to make New York City live and breathe.

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14 thoughts on “First Two Pages of “Death Will Finish Your Marathon” in Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4

  1. Elizabeth Zelvin

    All involved at WHERE CRIME NEVER SLEEPS are delighted to appear on The First Two Pages. What a great concept! The first two pages are even more crucial in a short story than in a novel.In my post, I mention trimming even more fat for a reading than while editing the story. We’re having a launch party in October, and if all 17 authors show up, we’ll have to trim it to the bone. I’ve learned a lot since I started writing mysteries and was shocked to learn I couldn’t put the body on page 67. 😉

  2. Roz Siegel

    Liz : Love the idea of the Ancient Marathoner. As a jogger myself– I admit I never ran more than 3 times around the reservoir, but hey, that’s 4 1/2 miles, and I actually only did it once– the day after the Marathon when I got inspired!
    You certainly made us hear the voices and see the scene very quickly. Really enjoy the concept and the execution!

  3. Elizabeth Zelvin

    Thanks, Roz. Did you ever see my inspiration for the Ancient Marathoner, the Mayor of Central Park? He had a drooping white mustache, he sometimes stood on his head on a bench near the South Gatehouse, and he really did have a wave and a smile for everyone. Only someone with a very kind heart would have said “Looking good!” as I did my 15-minute “run” around the reservoir. 😉

  4. Ronnie Sue Ebenstein

    Thanks for showing us how the sausage gets made! You zeroed in on a subset of quirky New Yorkers—Barbara, Bruce, Jimmy and the “beloved” Ancient Marathoner—and put them together in a two-page teaser that sings New York while avoiding “fuggetaboutit” stereotypes. Not easy to do in 200 pages, let alone two.

  5. Eve Fisher

    Love the first couple of paragraphs – I look forward to the book itself!
    “If you’ve never been on Staten Island, you must be a real New Yorker. If that isn’t on a T-shirt, it ought to be. ” Amen!

  6. Elizabeth Zelvin

    Thanks, Nina. As you know, I think your voice is hilarious. Readers will love your Ms Slutskaya, Stanislavski devotee and long-suffering high school drama teacher, in “An Actor Prepares” in the anthology.

  7. janice Law

    This is a really good post although I regret the early demise of the wonderfully titled Ancient Marathoner. Very best of luck with the novel and what good news that the First Pages Post will continue.

  8. Lindsay Curcio

    Wonderful post, Liz! I’m a fan of your Bruce Kohler mysteries. You provide some great insight into the AA process. There is nothing as NYC as the marathon each fall –traveling through all 5 boroughs, and as a former distance runner, I know I will enjoy your story!

  9. Elizabeth Zelvin

    Thanks, Lindsay. I never ran the Marathon (I wouldn’t have finished until well after dark!), but, like Barbara in the story, I once went to Staten Island as a member of the mental health “psyching team.”

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