Dear Query Shark:
Bailey Brennan takes a job at a local funeral home to help out a friend, not to become a customer.
This is a great first line.
When a biker is brought in to the morgue whose death is not an accident, Bailey is caught up in a chain of events—creepy crematories, stalkers in red Cadillacs and drive-by shootings—that puts every breathing person in the funeral home in danger and digs up events from the past she would like to keep buried.
And we lose the connectivity here. She works in a funeral home, not the morgue. Then there's a list of events with no known connection to her or to each other.
Bailey's long-lost cop-brother doesn't want her involved, but mysterious Luther is counting on her help for his own reasons. A second murder pulls her irrevocably into an underground of criminals and drug-trafficking. It's up to Bailey to unearth the connection that solves the case before time runs out for them all.
If he's long lost how come he's standing around telling her what to do? Shouldn't he be like...lost? You don't need every detail in these queries. This one for example.
And who is Luther? A second murder, who was the first? The biker? "not an accident could mean he died of natural causes"
The description of the plot isn't any where near the lighthearted tone you had at the start. This is where I'm confused.
First Call is complete at 70,000 words, and is the first in a series. Along with my credentials as a journalist, I also work in a funeral home, where most of our guests arrive by natural causes.
"where most of our guests arrive by natural causes" is a great line. You know how to open and close the letter, that's for sure. The middle needs some sprucing up.
I look forward to speaking with you about my work.
Insert sound of screech of panic. Never put the words 'phone' or 'talk' in a query letter. You'll scare me into thinking you might call me up. The best way to close a query is "thank you for your time and consideration, here's the twenty dollar bill's serial number in case you need to look for it in the mail room."