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.

#MusicOfTheNight @medwardsbooks @flametreepress #RandomThingsTours @annecater @RandomTTours #blogtour

Stories by long-standing authors and stellar names sit alongside contributions from relative newcomers, authors from overseas and members whose works 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.

FLAME TREE PRESS is the imprint of long-standing independent Flame Tree Publishing, dedicated to full-length original fiction in the horror and suspense, science fiction & fantasy,and crime / mystery / thriller categories. The list brings together fantastic new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices. Learn more about Flame Tree Press at and connect on social media @FlameTreePress

My Review

What a great selection of crime fiction, all with a musical theme. Most of the authors are ones that I have not read before though there are a few old favourites. These include Andrew Taylor, whose works are very familiar to me – I’ve probably read virtually all his crime novels and most of his historical fiction as well.

So it came as no surprise that his Wrong Notes was one of my favourites, full of dark humour in his inimitable style. Can the ‘Cub’ – aka rookie reporter Roddy Hanbridge – cope with a simple write-up of a concert at a girls’ school. He should be OK as ‘unlike most teenagers he seemed fully formed, rather than a work in progress,’ …until something far more sinister occurs.

I think my favourite though was A Sharp Thorn by Alison Joseph in which a middle-aged divorcee receives a strange invitation to meet a dying man in Cornwall and features a harpsichord with a hammer through it. All very mysterious.

I also liked Taxi, in which a girl sets out to discover the identity of a serial killer and revenge her sister’s murder. Be warned though, this is no cosy mystery.

Reading other reviews, I think the one that comes out top is The Melody of Murder by Antony M Brown in which a series of murders is staged to look like the covers of pop records. The most interesting part for me though was the references to the eighties, such as the Falklands War, Wogan, the SDP winning the Glasgow by-election, the Snooker World Championships and much more. It was very cleverly written.

I’ve read stories by Peter Lovesey before and I am quite familiar with his work. In The Band Played On, grandpa sings the same song (the one in the title) over and over. Why that song and what does it mean? A slightly sentimental, cosy mystery, this was another one I really enjoyed.

The final story is another of my favourites. In Bombay Blues by Vaseem Khan, a well-known jazz musician has been murdered in the Taj ballroom in Bombay. Shot twice at close range. A handsome, charming man with a reputation as a womaniser and gambler, but who hated him enough to want him dead?

Music of the Night is a series of 25 short stories. I have selected a few of my favourites to give a flavour of another brilliant anthology of crime thrillers from authors both well-established and new to the genre from around the world.

Many thanks to @annecater for inviting me to be part of #RandomThingsTours

About the Author

Martin Edwards (Editor) 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.

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.

1 Comment on “Music of the Night by Martin Edwards (Editor)

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