“One jolly fat man?”
“With a long white beard,” I elaborated. “We’ll supply the Santa suit, the elf, and the reindeer.”
The woman on the other end of the line said, “Our Santas are booked solid through the holiday season—”
The anthology kicks off with Why Judy Why written by Robert Lopresti. Judith finds herself sitting in a police interrogation room, being grilled by two detectives. She seems cooperative enough about what she’s done, but the detectives aren’t clear about one thing: motive. They keep asking, “Why, Judy, why?”, but even if she tells them, they’ll never understand.
The 22 tales in this anthology, although inspired by the songs of the ’60s, don’t all take place in that decade. Some will step you back in time, others contemporary, all evoking the sense of the song or its meaning in tales of theft, robbery, kidnapping, dating, family, and other relationships. From the UK to Canada and the US, these authors crafted stories that range from nostalgic to humorous, but all deadly and inspired by songs whose opening riffs are mostly familiar. If not, pull out your old LPs or CDs or log onto YouTube and have a listen as you read Peace, Love, and Crime: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of the ’60s.
When Buck Johnson rolled out of bed and his feet slapped against the cold hardwood floor, his thoughts weren’t on that day’s scheduled train robbery. Instead, he concentrated on leaving the bedroom without waking his wife, who was snuggled warmly on the far side of the bed.
My partner and I left the warmth of our unmarked car and trudged up the snow-covered walk to the porch of a three-bedroom brick ranch in an upper-middle class neighborhood. Smoke drifted from the home’s chimney, suggesting the warmth that awaited us. We couldn’t wait to get next to the fire and thaw the winter chill from our bones.