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Crime Plus Music: Twenty Stories of Music-Themed Noir

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Modern life seems to have a soundtrack for everything. Even crime. CRIME + MUSIC: The Sounds of Noir, collects twenty darkly intense, music-related noir stories by world-renowned mystery authors Brendan DuBois, Alison Gaylin, Craig Johnson, David Liss, Val McDermid, Gary Phillips, Peter Robinson and, from the music world, Galadrielle Allman, author of Please Be With Me: A S Modern life seems to have a soundtrack for everything. Even crime. CRIME + MUSIC: The Sounds of Noir, collects twenty darkly intense, music-related noir stories by world-renowned mystery authors Brendan DuBois, Alison Gaylin, Craig Johnson, David Liss, Val McDermid, Gary Phillips, Peter Robinson and, from the music world, Galadrielle Allman, author of Please Be With Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman and award-winning songwriter-novelist Willy Vlautin. Edited by novelist and Wall Street Journal rock and pop music critic Jim Fusilli.   The lively anthology’s chilling, sinister tales tap into the span of rock and pop history, ranging from Peter Blauner’s heart-wrenching “The Last Temptation of Frankie Lymon” to Fusilli’s “Boy Wonder,” set in the world of contemporary electronic dance music; from Naomi Rand’s “The Misfits,” a punk-rock revenge saga to Mark Haskell Smith’s menacingly comedic “1968 Pelham Blue SG Jr.”; from Reed Farrel Coleman’s study of a one-hit wonder, “Look at Me/Don’t Look at Me” to Erica Wright’s account of betrayal among minor talents in “A Place You’re Likely to Find”—and many more. In the hands of these modern masters of mystery fiction, CRIME + MUSIC exposes the nasty side of the world of popular music, revealing it to be the perfect setting for noir.


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Modern life seems to have a soundtrack for everything. Even crime. CRIME + MUSIC: The Sounds of Noir, collects twenty darkly intense, music-related noir stories by world-renowned mystery authors Brendan DuBois, Alison Gaylin, Craig Johnson, David Liss, Val McDermid, Gary Phillips, Peter Robinson and, from the music world, Galadrielle Allman, author of Please Be With Me: A S Modern life seems to have a soundtrack for everything. Even crime. CRIME + MUSIC: The Sounds of Noir, collects twenty darkly intense, music-related noir stories by world-renowned mystery authors Brendan DuBois, Alison Gaylin, Craig Johnson, David Liss, Val McDermid, Gary Phillips, Peter Robinson and, from the music world, Galadrielle Allman, author of Please Be With Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman and award-winning songwriter-novelist Willy Vlautin. Edited by novelist and Wall Street Journal rock and pop music critic Jim Fusilli.   The lively anthology’s chilling, sinister tales tap into the span of rock and pop history, ranging from Peter Blauner’s heart-wrenching “The Last Temptation of Frankie Lymon” to Fusilli’s “Boy Wonder,” set in the world of contemporary electronic dance music; from Naomi Rand’s “The Misfits,” a punk-rock revenge saga to Mark Haskell Smith’s menacingly comedic “1968 Pelham Blue SG Jr.”; from Reed Farrel Coleman’s study of a one-hit wonder, “Look at Me/Don’t Look at Me” to Erica Wright’s account of betrayal among minor talents in “A Place You’re Likely to Find”—and many more. In the hands of these modern masters of mystery fiction, CRIME + MUSIC exposes the nasty side of the world of popular music, revealing it to be the perfect setting for noir.

30 review for Crime Plus Music: Twenty Stories of Music-Themed Noir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    The biggest reason for me to reading this collection of short stories was that a story by Craig Johnson was included. Unfortunately, it was a story I had already read and not a favorite short story of mine. But, re-reading made me like it better this time. Many of the names in this book were unknown to me, besides Craig Johnson have I previous read books by Alison Gaylin, Val McDermid, and Peter Robinson. So, I was curious to see which stories would work for me. And, I'm really pleased to say th The biggest reason for me to reading this collection of short stories was that a story by Craig Johnson was included. Unfortunately, it was a story I had already read and not a favorite short story of mine. But, re-reading made me like it better this time. Many of the names in this book were unknown to me, besides Craig Johnson have I previous read books by Alison Gaylin, Val McDermid, and Peter Robinson. So, I was curious to see which stories would work for me. And, I'm really pleased to say that most of the stories in this book were good. Only one or two did not completely work for me, the rest was enjoyable to read. The big drawback, for me, was so many of the stories was interesting, but I would have loved to read them as full-length novels instead. So many of them had potentials, but often I felt that because of the length did they not really have time to develop the story and its characters. However, what I really liked was that this collection has me a chance to discover several new authors that I want to read more from. I want to mention some of my favorite stories in this collection. For instance, Played by Death by Bill Fitzhugh is one that I would love to see as a full-length book. A serial killer that stages the victim's death to evoke the title of a classic rock song. That's just awesome! Earworms by Zoe Sharp is also pretty cool. Torture through music, with a twist. Another one is The Last Temptation of Frankie Lymon by Peter Blaunder. This one does not really feel like a crime novella, but it's good. The kind of story when, despite being so short you start to care for the character and its characters. Finally The Blackbird by Peter Robinson. That story just grabbed my attention, so tragic, so good! I want to thank Three Rooms Press for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Sankey

    This is a themed collection of stories collected from all-stars of procedurals, on the connection of music and our darker impulses, and set in the world of music performance and production. A "girl" rock group who get revenge on their sleazy manager, a rising singer who steals from and abandons his backup band on the road, a haunted jazz man, the dark corners of local talent contests, AM radio and fleeting fame. They stories are of varying quality, some one-shots, some connected to long-running This is a themed collection of stories collected from all-stars of procedurals, on the connection of music and our darker impulses, and set in the world of music performance and production. A "girl" rock group who get revenge on their sleazy manager, a rising singer who steals from and abandons his backup band on the road, a haunted jazz man, the dark corners of local talent contests, AM radio and fleeting fame. They stories are of varying quality, some one-shots, some connected to long-running series you need to read to fully get the story, but it is a worthwhile weekend read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Langert

    This collection of short stories, with music an element in each story, was pulled together by Jim Fusilli, the Wall Street Journal's rock music critic. I don't read books of short stories very often, but they can be a good way to discover new authors. I did not know, for example, that Fusilli himself has written eight novels in addition to his WSJ work that I am so familiar with. His short story, which concludes this collection, is one of the better ones in this book. Many of the stories in this This collection of short stories, with music an element in each story, was pulled together by Jim Fusilli, the Wall Street Journal's rock music critic. I don't read books of short stories very often, but they can be a good way to discover new authors. I did not know, for example, that Fusilli himself has written eight novels in addition to his WSJ work that I am so familiar with. His short story, which concludes this collection, is one of the better ones in this book. Many of the stories in this collection are nondescript and easily forgettable. But thankfully they are all short. Other stories had some neat ironic twists. The atmosphere created by the music themes is most often quite dark in these stories. There are a couple big name authors who contributed stories. I already have a Val McDermid novel in my queue. The lesser known authors that made a positive impression on me were Alison Gaylin and David Liss.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Wagner

    I bought this book purely for the Peter Blauner short story, "The Last Temptation of Frankie Lymon," which is the first story in this collection. Blauner is one of my favorite authors, and I know I'll sound biased when I say his story was my favorite and worth the price of admission. After the first tale, I dove in to the other stories. I found some of them to be pretty good, while I felt other stories here portrayed musicians and the business in a very clichè way--making me wish the authors trie I bought this book purely for the Peter Blauner short story, "The Last Temptation of Frankie Lymon," which is the first story in this collection. Blauner is one of my favorite authors, and I know I'll sound biased when I say his story was my favorite and worth the price of admission. After the first tale, I dove in to the other stories. I found some of them to be pretty good, while I felt other stories here portrayed musicians and the business in a very clichè way--making me wish the authors tried harder and did their research. I give Crime Plus Music 3 stars here. It's worth picking up and reading. Take each story as if you're taking whiskey shots....backstage watching these characters play out their parts with a musical backdrop.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I find short stories to be incredibly rich in nuance when handled well by an author who understands the genre. It's about mood, character, place, etc. but with a subtlety that is unnecessary in a full novel. What's said is important but what is unsaid taps into an underused part of our makeup, imagination. These 20 stories have only one thing in common, music. An old guitar, a song, a particular band. Some lead to death, others to redemption, murder, and loss. All work well. They draw you in, let I find short stories to be incredibly rich in nuance when handled well by an author who understands the genre. It's about mood, character, place, etc. but with a subtlety that is unnecessary in a full novel. What's said is important but what is unsaid taps into an underused part of our makeup, imagination. These 20 stories have only one thing in common, music. An old guitar, a song, a particular band. Some lead to death, others to redemption, murder, and loss. All work well. They draw you in, let you move around until you begin to feel the rhythm, then they show you the door wanting an encore that will never come. Kudos to each of the individual authors and to Jim Fusilli for bringing them all together.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Starhistnake

    I won this book through a Goodreads Givaway. Normally short story collections that aren't by one author can be a bit of mixed bag. While I wouldn't say I didn't like some stories more than others, I did enjoy every story. I liked the different directions authors took with the theme. There were stories that were silly, fun, sad, chilling, and everything in between. The only thing that I think would have made this collection better for me would have been if the authors had written a little bit abou I won this book through a Goodreads Givaway. Normally short story collections that aren't by one author can be a bit of mixed bag. While I wouldn't say I didn't like some stories more than others, I did enjoy every story. I liked the different directions authors took with the theme. There were stories that were silly, fun, sad, chilling, and everything in between. The only thing that I think would have made this collection better for me would have been if the authors had written a little bit about their stories. I really love reading about the creative process. Otherwise, this was a great collection.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Cobb Sabatini

    I won Crime Plus Music: Twenty Stories of Music-Themed Noir, edited by Jim Fusilli from Goodreads. Crime Plus Music, an anthology of twenty short stories written by various writers, edited by Jim Fusilli, presents the darker side of the music world. From rock stars to DJs to amateurs, individuals who roam the stages and back roads of the world of music often discover that it can be decidedly deadly. A collection of tales for those readers who also love music, Crime Plus Music will have you tapping I won Crime Plus Music: Twenty Stories of Music-Themed Noir, edited by Jim Fusilli from Goodreads. Crime Plus Music, an anthology of twenty short stories written by various writers, edited by Jim Fusilli, presents the darker side of the music world. From rock stars to DJs to amateurs, individuals who roam the stages and back roads of the world of music often discover that it can be decidedly deadly. A collection of tales for those readers who also love music, Crime Plus Music will have you tapping out a beat while trying to slow the rapid beating of your heart.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Randall J.

    A hit and miss collection of short stories, but far more hit than miss.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brett Wallach

    Like an album with a great single lead off track, this one fades away after the terrific "Frankie Lymon" story by Peter Blauner. Most of the rest are just meh, though Craig Johnson and A.J. Hartley offer good cuts.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kara Whipple

    Some of the stories were really good! But the rest were just okay.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Rose

    Some excellent stories and a few weak links - good reading for a trip.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Mackie

    Well curated group of stories. Nice to read familiar writers and be introduced to new ones. Even when Peter Robinson isn't writing Inspector Banks his style is identifiable and wonderful.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Good and Bad Liked The Blackbird, The Long Black Veil, The Long Lament, and Vincent Black Lightning. The others, meh. Just not my style.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mark Taylor

    Love the idea. 4 or 5 good stories, but overall too much rape -taking the easy path to character motivation and a couple of stories have the same plot twist, lazy editing if you ask me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susan Storer

    This is a highly personal reaction--I didn't enjoy this book as much as I expected to. I expected to read about different kinds of music and musicians and maybe one or two stories where the crime was directly related to music. Instead it was rock and jazz musicians, and too much of the crime was drug-related. That being said, I did like the story Fusilli wrote and will probably look up more of his stuff.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I won this book through Goodreads. This is a great collection of authors. Enjoyed them all and likes the whole music aspect of it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Overall, I enjoyed the stories. Some of them had cliffhanger endings while others you knew exactly what happened.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Posa

  19. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl Proc

  20. 4 out of 5

    Freida

  21. 5 out of 5

    Constance Renfrow

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jfm Tech

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sam Carter

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chris Rhodes

  28. 5 out of 5

    Janice

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kalyse713

  30. 5 out of 5

    Evan

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