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Blue Lightning

John Harvey (ed.): Blue Lightning (UK 1998)

From the Publisher:
Acclaimed mystery writer and jazz aficionado John Harvey asked some of his British and American friends in the crime/mystery world if they'd like to contribute to a collection of stories about music. Many did, including some new friends in music, and the result is Blue Lightning. Here are eighteen brand new stories inspired by music, all kinds of music -- from rock-bottom blues through jazz and country to gansta rap and Japanese avant-garde -- written by a stellar cast of characters.

Walter Mosley's contribution is the collection's title story, a new Socrates Fortlow piece (introduced in Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned), a heart-breaking snatch of the blues through a few days in the life of this tough, brooding ex-con. Singer Roseanne Cash imagines a Memphis meeting between her father, Johnny Cash, his legendary guitarist Luther Perkins, and John Lennon. From Gary Phillips there's an authentic tale from the frontline of the rap wars, inspired by the real-life killings of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. Mozart features in pieces by Jeffrey Deaver and James Sallis, the Rolling Stones at Altamont is covered in Ian Rankin's contribution (which, Rankin tells us, "should be read while listening to the opening track of the Stones' Beggars Banquet), Etta James shows up in stories by Michael Z. Lewin and Liza Cody, and editor Harvey provides a new Charlie Resnick piece in which an addiction to Duke Ellington's jazz is a clue to solving the mystery in the story. Julie Smith's offering is a haunting meditation on motherhood by a daughter who has become a musician and those by Charlotte Carter and Bill Moody deal with those unsung heroes of the recording studio, the back-up singers.

John Harvey (ed.): Blue Lightning. Slow Dancer Press, ISBN: 1871033438 (September, 1998), 399 p., £7.99.






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