Nostalgia City Mysteries

By Mark S. Bacon

Background music for a mystery novel?

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One of the earliest private eye television series was Peter Gunn.   It’s remembered as much for its driving, menacing theme song as it is for the cast or plots.  Written by Henry Mancini, the song is both jazz and rock and has been recorded over the years by such diverse artists as Duane Eddy, Shelly Manne, Ted Heath, The Kingsmen, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Deodato.  

Music—usually jazz—is often associated with PI stories and if TV series and movies can have musical sound tracks, why not mystery novels?   If you were to create music for Desert Kill Switch, I’d select classic rock instead of jazz.  In the book, I mention many songs and imagine them playing in the background to set a mood or to maintain the story’s retro theme.  If you wanted to put together an album representing scenes and themes in Desert Kill Switch, here are the songs I’d suggest:

Riders on the Storm – The Doors

One – 3-Dog Night

Knights in White Satin – Moody Blues

One of These Nights – Eagles

In the Year 2525 – Zager and Evans

You’re No Good – Linda Ronstadt 

Little GTO – Ronnie and the Daytonas

Rockin Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu – Johnny Rivers

Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac

As a footnote, two of the above artists were born in Arizona, site of the Nostalgia City mysteries: Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac and Linda Ronstadt.

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