Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Music of the Night, the latest anthology of original short stories by members of the Crime Writers’ Association, edited by Martin Edwards. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour and to Flame Tree Press for my digital review copy. Do check out the post by my tour buddy for today, Amanda at The Butler Did It.
About the Book
Music of the Night is a new anthology of original short stories contributed by Crime Writer’s Association (CWA) members and edited by Martin Edwards, with music as the connecting theme. The aim, as always, is to produce a book which is representative both of the genre and the membership of the world’s premier crime writing association.
The CWA has published anthologies of members’ stories in most years since 1956 with Martin Edwards as editor for over 25 years during which time the anthologies have yielded many award-winning and nominated stories by writers such as Ian Rankin, Reginald Hill, Lawrence Block and Edward D. Hoch.
Stories by long-standing authors and stellar names sit alongside contributions from relative newcomers, authors from overseas, and members whose work haven’t appeared in a CWA anthology before. Among the gifted stars of today whose fiction featured in a CWA anthology at an early stage of their crime writing careers are Mick Herron, Frank Tallis and Sarah Hilary. It isn’t a closed shop, and never has been.
The CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) was founded in 1953 by John Creasey and organises the prestigious CWA Dagger Awards which celebrate the best in crime writing. The CWA is a pro-active, thriving and ever-expanding community of writers based in the UK but with a reach that extends worldwide.
Format: Hardcover (288 pages) Publisher: Flame Tree Press
Publication date: 22nd February 2022 Genre: Crime, Short Stories
Find Music of the Night on Goodreads
The contributors to this anthology are a positive Who’s Who of contemporary crime fiction and much of the fun is seeing how each author responds to the theme of music. In some of the stories the musical element is in the background, for example as a setting for a crime. In others it is the key (pardon the pun) to the whole structure of the story. A particularly good example of the latter is the story by Ragnar Jónasson who instructs that it should be read while listening to 4’33” by John Cage. I also really enjoyed ‘The Melody of Murder’ by Antony M Brown in which the killer’s trademark is creating crime scenes which resemble famous album covers. Perhaps my favourite story was ‘Love Me Or Leave Me: A Fugue in G Minor’ by Art Taylor, a strange and rather unsettling story based around a fragment of melody that apparently no-one else can hear.
I always admire authors who can create really taut short stories and some great examples in the collection are ‘Mix Tape’ by Cath Staincliffe, ‘Taxi!’ by Chris Simms, ‘Violin – CE’ by David Stuart Davies and ‘A Vulture Sang in Berkeley Square’. I also enjoyed being introduced in short story form to some crime series I’ve heard of but haven’t read such as Vaseem Khan’s Malabar House series.
There is something for everyone in the collection whether you’re a fan of historical crime, police procedural or noir – or perhaps I should say whether your playlist contains classical music, pop, rock, jazz… or even silence. Whichever is the case, I can safely say that Music of the Night contains no bum notes.
In three words: Inventive, engaging, witty
Try something similar: Mystery Tour edited by Martin Edwards
About the Editor
Martin Edwards is the author of eighteen novels, including the Lake District Mysteries, and the Harry Devlin series. His ground-breaking genre study The Golden Age of Murder has won the Edgar, Agatha and H.R.F. Keating awards. He has edited twenty eight crime anthologies, has won the CWA Short Story Dagger and the CWA Margery Allingham Prize, and is series consultant for the British Library’s Crime Classics. In 2015, he was elected eighth President of the Detection Club, an office previously held by G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers.