What does music tell mystery readers?

Zac Bissonnette, author of A Killing in Costumes, a Hollywood Treasures Mystery, is visiting Ascroft, eh? today to tell us about why he includes music in his mysteries.

Welcome, Zac. I’ll turn the floor over to you –

I love when mystery writers include music in their stories. Music is such an important part of people’s lives, and it gets mentioned so much less than things that I think matter a lot less—things like what people eat. 

According to my extremely rigorous two-second Google search, people listen to an average of 26.9 hours of music per week—there are, in fact, very few activities we devote as much time to as listening to music. Other than sleeping, which is hard to write about in a way that’s interesting.

When Jonathan Kellerman writes that Alex Delaware is listening to Pat Metheny, or Robert B. Parker has Spenser going to see Carol Sloane sing in a chic Boston jazz club, I’m learning about the character, what kind of music they like and when they like it, the memories it brings for them, and what they look to music for: Inspiration? Soothing? Energy? The music we listen to and why we listen to music at all reveals so much about us.

So, it’s always been an element of mysteries that I’ve liked, but I like it more now because of the magic of technology—if a character is listening to a song I don’t know, I can pull up a music streaming app and give it a listen. 

Music is an important part of the lives of the main characters in my book: Jay and Cindy used to be professional musicians. A few of their favorite songs:


Even Now by Barry Manilow 

Brighten the Corner by Ella Fitzgerald 

It Could Happen to You by Perry Como


Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benatar

Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Great White

Hip to Be Square by Huey Lewis and the News

Thank you for sharing this with us, Zac, and good luck with A Killing in Costumes, a Hollywood Treasures Mystery.

Readers can learn more about Zac Bissonnette by visiting the author’s website and his Goodreads and Bookbub pages. Readers can also follow him on Twitter.

The book is available online at the following retailers: 

 Amazon – B&N – Kobo – Google Play – IndieBound 

About Zac Bissonnette: Zac is the New York Times bestselling author of several nonfiction books, including The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute.

His favorite singer is Perry Como. His favorite author is Agatha Christie. His favorite tea is Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice.


About Dianne Ascroft

I'm a Canadian writer and author, living in Britain. My first novel, 'Hitler and Mars Bars' was released in March 2008. More information abo
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