Anthems like “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” and “Vacation” are an indelible part of our collective soundtrack, but more than that, they speak to the power and possibility of youth.
Inspired by punk but not yoked to it, the Go-Go’s broke important musical ground by combining cheeky lyrics, clever hooks, and catchy melodies, perfectly capturing what it feels like to be young and female in the process.
But beyond the Go-Go’s’ effervescent sound and cheerful pop stylings, a darkness underlies many of their lyrics and melodies, hinting at the heartache and frustration inherent in growing up. In other words, plenty to inspire murder and mayhem.
Net proceeds from MURDER A GO-GO’S benefit Planned Parenthood, a crucial provider of women’s affordable reproductive healthcare.
With a foreword by Go-Go’s co-founder Jane Wiedlin and original stories by 25 kick-ass authors, editor Holly West has put together an all-star crime fiction anthology inspired by one of the most iconic bands of the 80s and beyond.
To learn more about this unique collection of stories, The Big Thrill caught up to editor Holly West:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope readers enjoy the creative ways the MURDER-A-GO-GO’S contributors re-imagined these classic Go-Go’s songs. There’s a good mix here, from cozy to hardboiled to noir, and each one is a completely unique take on the chosen song’s title.
How does this book make a contribution to the genre?
MURDER-A-GO-GO’S isn’t the first music-inspired crime fiction anthology, nor is it the first female-driven anthology. But it might be the first to combine both elements. Beyond that, the work of the individual authors that appear in this volume is top notch. I’m so proud to have worked with each of them.
Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?
This wasn’t a discovery so much as a reminder: People, and specifically the crime fiction community, are generous. The authors and publisher agreed to donate the net proceeds from the sale of this book to Planned Parenthood, while Go-Go’s co-founder Jane Wiedlin took time out of her busy schedule to write the foreword to this collection. I’m so grateful to all of them.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
Jane Wiedlin’s two-word answer when she was asked to write the foreword to MURDER-A-GO-GO’S: “Hell yeah!”
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
Sue Grafton. When I discovered her Kinsey Milhone series nearly 20 years ago, it changed my reading, and eventually, my writing life. I was reading Y is for Yesterday when I learned of her death in December 2017 and after that, I couldn’t bear to finish it. I still haven’t picked it back up. Knowing I still have one of her books to read, even if it’s only half, is comforting in some way.
Holly West is the Anthony Award-nominated author of the Mistress of Fortune historical mystery series. Her debut, Mistress of Fortune, was nominated for the Left Coast Crime Rosebud Award for Best First Novel. Her short fiction has appeared online and in numerous anthologies, and her latest story, “The Best Laid Plans,” appears in Florida Happens, the 2018 Bouchercon anthology.
To learn more about Holly and her work, please visit her website.