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The Beat of Black Wings

Crime Fiction Inspired by the songs of Joni Mitchell

by Josh Pachter [Untreed Books - 2020]
ISBN-13: 9781949135626

Available April 7. Hardcover and paperback versions available here

With nine Grammys, multiple lifetime achievement awards, inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and a Top Ten ranking on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time," Joni Mitchell has established herself as one of the most important singer/songwriters, not only of her generation, but in the history of popular music.

In this collection, 28 crime writers pay tribute to Joni's musical legacy with short stories inspired by her lyrics, representing each of her seventeen studio albums from 1968's Song to a Seagull to 2007's Shine.

Many of the classics are here, including "Both Sides, Now" (in the first literary collaboration between Art Taylor and Tara Laskowski, who have each won major awards for their fiction), "Big Yellow Taxi" (by Kathryn O'Sullivan, author of the Colleen McCabe series), and "River" (by Stacy Woodson, winner of the 2019 Readers Choice Award from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine), plus such equally fascinating titles as "Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire" (by Donna Andrews, author of the award-winning Meg Lanslow series), "The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines" (by Amber Sparks), and "Ray's Dad's Cadillac" (by Michael Bracken).

Editor Josh Pachter's crime fiction has appeared in EQMM, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and many other places since 1968, and his translations of stories by Dutch and Flemish authors show up regularly in EQMM's "Passport to Crime" department. He is the editor of The Man Who Read Mysteries: The Short Fiction of William Brittain (Crippen & Landru, 2018) and The Misadventures of Nero Wolfe (Mysterious Press, 2020), and the co-editor of Amsterdam Noir (Akashic Books, 2019) and The Misadventures of Ellery Queen and The Further Misadventures of Ellery Queen (Wildside Press, 2018 and 2020). He is also one of Joni Mitchell's biggest fans.

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