Crime Fiction Inspired by the Music of The Go-Go's
by Holly West
Pub Date 25 Mar 2019
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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