Blog Tour: Music of the Night, edited by Martin Edwards

Book Review: Music of the Night, edited by Martin Edwards

Story Collection: Music of the Night, edited by Martin Edwards

Blog Tour (belated posting) February 11, 2022


First, my sincere apologies to Anne Cater and the wonderful people at Flame Tree Press. This review was supposed to be posted on February 11. Since I am writing it on February 19, I obviously missed my date. Totally my fault, no excuses or reasons, and I am very sorry.


Music of the Night is an anthology of short stories by 25 crime and mystery writers, most of them British. I was familiar with some of the names, but most of them were new to me. They were given the theme of music to use in their stories. No other specific directions were given, and the stories range from musicians as killers to musicians as victims, from a killer posing his victims in replicas of album covers to a longer story written with stanzas and a chorus rather than chapters. Certain specific songs were used by different authors, and selections ranged from classical and baroque to the latest chart-toppers.


I am not sure I should read anthologies. My list of books to read may last me the next 100 years–assuming I don’t add any more to it. Reading this collection, though, has made me want to explore the full catalog of all of these writers. Most collections of stories have hits and misses. This one hit the mark on every single page. There was not a single story in the book that I wouldn’t want to read again and again.


Short stories are special art forms of their own. A novel has room to breathe, space to introduce themes, a chance to get to know characters. A short story has no such luxury. It must grab the reader and refuse to let them go. Whether the length is a short flash fiction or a near-novella, the story must compel the reader to stay. It is too easy to turn the page, try the next author, move on without feeling like you’ve rejected the whole book. Every single author wrote like it was the last note they would ever compose. Despite the vast differences in style and approach, Music of the Night was knit together as tightly as a concert, allowing each performer his or her time in the spotlight. 


It’s hard to pick one or two that stood out to me, as they were all so very good. Vaseem Khan has become one of my favorite authors in the last few years, and his story “Bombay Blues” featuring characters from his newest series rewarded my affection for his writing once again. (I missed the elephant, though!) Chris Simm’s “Taxi” was chilling in it’s shifting perspective between killer and victim. An old man keeping his neighbor’s secret grew darker by the paragraph in editor Martin Edwards’ contribution “The Crazy Cries of Love,” as did Dea Parkin’s “The Sound and the Fury” about a woman catching her lover with another woman. Possibly the most chilling (to me) was Kate Ellis’ “Not a Note,” which seems to be about a little girl who hates her piano lessons and then becomes so much more.


Edwards has edited a remarkable collection, woven the disparate music together in a cantata, and if it is done in a dark tone and minor key it is all the more compelling for that.


Music Night (1) BT Poster

Our thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for our copy of Music of the Night, provided with the intent that we would be on the blog tour last week but fortunately not embedded with the Mission Impossible self-destruct code so I was still able to read it. Check out the other bloggers on the tour, who undoubtedly did their posts in plenty of time. The opinions here are those of Scintilla, (though the lateness is due entirely to Dave and not Maria!).

Book Review: Music of the Night, edited by Martin Edwards

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