Crime Fiction Inspired by the Music of The Go-Go's
by Holly West
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Pub Date 25 Mar 2019 | Archive Date 01 Apr 2019
The Go-Go’s made music on their own terms and gave voice to a generation caught between the bra-burning irreverence of the seventies and the me-first decadence of the eighties. Anthems like “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” and “Vacation” are an indelible part of our collective soundtrack, but more than that, they speak to the power and possibility of youth. Inspired by punk but not yoked to it, the Go-Go’s broke important musical ground by combining cheeky lyrics, clever hooks, and catchy melodies, perfectly capturing what it feels like to be young and female in the process.
But beyond the Go-Go’s effervescent sound and cheerful pop stylings, a darkness underlies many of their lyrics and melodies, hinting at the heartache and frustration inherent in growing up. In other words, plenty to inspire murder and mayhem.
Net proceeds from Murder-a-Go-Go’s benefit Planned Parenthood, a crucial provider of women’s affordable reproductive healthcare.
With a foreword by Go-Go’s co-founder Jane Wiedlin and original stories by twenty-five kick-ass authors, editor Holly West has put together an all-star crime fiction anthology inspired by one of the most iconic bands of the eighties and beyond.
“Shock and awe, that sums up my reaction to Murder-A-Go-Go’s. Shock to live in times when ‘The Whole World Lost Its Head’ and awe at the response of these gifted writers. Buckle up for a ride that will leave ‘Skidmarks on Your Heart.’” —Sara Paretsky, bestselling author of the V.I. Warshawski crime series
“Domestic suspense. Hardboiled murder. Stays of execution, and every tale of betrayal, depravity, and heart-breaking bittersweet loss in between. Murder-A-Go-Go’s doesn’t stray far from the source material. Sure, The Go-Go’s spun some of the brightest, catchiest all-girl pop back in the day. But they always carried more weight than your average pop band: the burden of trailblazing and pioneering; the bad kids in the back of the class breaking all the rules and looking damn cool doing it. This collection commandingly captures that sweet subversion.” —Joe Clifford, author of The One That Got Away
“Beneath the pop stylings and sensibilities of the Go-Go’s pulsed the heart of a punk band. In this eye-opening anthology, some of the sharpest voices of contemporary short crime fiction tease out the aches and anxieties echoing through the groundbreaking group’s music: the dark sides of desire, the missed opportunities, the tangled regrets. Angst, uneasiness, soul-baring secrets? These stories—they got the beat.” —Art Taylor, Agatha, Anthony, Derringer, and Macavity Award-winning author of On the Road with Del & Louise: A Novel in Stories
“Holly West (editor)’s Murder-A-Go-Go’s is murderous fun from the first story to the last. Each masterful tale is distinctive, but this collection is so much more than the sum of its parts, infused with all the talent and skill of some of the best short story writers working in crime fiction today.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Creep and Jar of Hearts
“This is the music-driven anthology you didn’t know you needed, but after you read it, you’ll realize your bookshelf was lacking without it. This is a killer line-up of writers, and under Holly’s steady hand, they don’t play a single false note. Murder-A-Go-Go’s has got the beat.” —Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse
“With 25 stories from a greatest-hits list of authors, it’s no surprise that Murder-A-Go-Go’s is a fascinating, addictive anthology, with story styles spanning the entire breadth of the crime fiction genre. Like the songs these writers used for muses, each story contains the energy of a pop group and the rawness of a punk band, with some of the darkness and vulnerability that underscores the Go-Go’s themselves thrown in for good measure.” —Steph Post, author of Miraculum, Lightwood, Walk in the Fire, and A Tree Born Crooked
“I always suspected that twinkle in the Go-Gos’ eyes was a coded invitation to a darker world. In the hands of these 25 stellar crime fiction writers, ‘We Got the Beat’ and ‘Our Lips Are Sealed’ become evil little gems. A totally rad read.” —Alan Hunter, Original MTV VJ, SiriusXM Host
“Who knew those happy songs by one of all-time favorite bands, the Go-Go’s could inspire such dark, noir, spine tingling stories?!! It’s a collection of tales of distinctly female rage—the murderous kind and other wise—to keep you up at night!” —Alison Arngrim, TV’s Nellie Oleson and New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of a Prairie Bitch
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 12 members
Even if the level of the stories can be very different this was and enjoyable and entertaining read.
I appreciated the style of writing and I think the concept was great.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC
“Murder-a-Go-Go” is a group of diverse, quick-to-read stories inspired by the music of the iconic eighties rock band “The Go Go’s.” Top mystery authors took inspiration from classic songs by the Go Go’s and wrote enthralling and shadowy stories with unusual twists.
“Good for Gone” by Jen Conley starts with a wife standing over her husband with a gleaming butcher knife. Readers may never listen to “Vacation” in the same way again after S.W. Lauden opens with messy handwriting and a specialist. Diane Vallere wants to be sure that even though “We Don’t Get Along,” that it does not hurt; “You’re not hurt, right?” Lori Rader-Day in “Our Lips Are Sealed” reminds readers that teen girls at sleepover are not at all well behaved. Wendall Thomas might “Forget That Day” when “I went to grab my purse. There was a gun in it.”
This collection has a story for every reader and every music lover. An anthology allows a fan to read and finish a compelling story all in one sitting. The problem is that after reading “just one quick story,” it is tempting to just “read one more,” and soon the entire book is finished.
I received a review copy of “Murder-a-Go-Go,” and every story was interesting and unique. The collection is entertaining and gripping, and the combination of mystery and music is impeccable. Thank you Down and Out Books, authors, NetGalley, and Evie.
This anthology of short stories was modeled on songs from the Go-Go’s and I liked how the author made their tales fit the song. The visually descriptive narrative told all that was needed to encompass what was happening where nefarious deeds were deservingly warranted. Well written, concise and meticulous, the authors did a great job in telling a complete story in such a short space with the right amount of mischief and mayhem that kept me engaged and riveted to the drama being showcased. Overall, this is a good collection with different levels of intrigue to keep one in suspense.
Murder A Go-Goś
Edited by Holly West
Down and Out Books
When I saw this ARC, I immediately requested it. ¨Crime fiction inspired by the music of the Go-Goś¨. I am so happy my wish was granted. This is an anthology of 25 stories by different known authors, with a foreword by Jane Weidlin.
This such a cool idea and fun book!
The colorful and enthusiastic influence of the Go-Goś songs, the diversity of characters and lifestyles in the stories help make this so enchanting and fun to read. Delving into the fantasies, peeking into the imaginations songs inspire.....what a cool way to share music.
What is also cool is each writer is passionate about the protection and affordable access to care for reproductive services and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood. This is esp. important now!!
All the stories were unique and had a twist, but my favorites were:
¨You Thought¨ by Susanna Calkins about a money pit of a house and the revenge on a dishonest realtor.
¨This Town¨ by Greg Herren which reminds us to behave while visiting New Orleans during mardi-gras...it could turn deadly
¨Mercenary¨ by Bryon Quertermous, about Teddy, a paranoid doomsday prepper.
¨Beatnik Beach¨ by Patricia Abbott, a Grandma shares her memories of being a beatnik....not a hippie....a beatnik
¨Johnny Are You Queer?¨ by Travis Richardson A gay man leaves a letter saying his partner is responsible. Find the killer inherit his million.
¨Girl of A 1000 Lists¨ by Stephen Buehler...a to-do list could be a murder planner.
Thanks so much, Down and Out books for sharing this ARC for review.
I enjoyed this book. It usually isn’t what I read but the title intrigued me and it didn’t disappoint at all. I would buy it for myself or others.
Growing up in the 80's and being a fan of the Go's Go's this book sounded intriguing and fun. The collection of stories based off the Go's Go's songs were entertaining, and how the mystery was weaved in was quite impressive. Although not my usual type of read, I did enjoy it.
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