From the Booking Desk:

As you can imagine, I get asked to do a fair number of cover reveals. I try to be accommodating, but it’s not always possible for me to say yes. But when Josh Pachter asked if I would be willing to do the cover reveal for the new anthology he was editing, I wanted to do everything I could to make that possible.

And today is that day!

Below is the cover for The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell. Not only is it edited by Josh Pachter, but it contains stories by a veritable who’s who of crime fiction short story practitioners. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t want to read crime stories based on songs by Joni Mitchell, one of the world’s greatest singer-songwriters? And who wouldn’t want to read new stories from these excellent contributors? Add to that the fact that Josh and all those involved have agreed that a third of all royalties earned by The Beat of Black Wings will be donated to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation in Joni’s name and this becomes a must support endeavor. I am sure that once you see this cover and the list of contributors, you will be off to order a copy for your collection. Release date in April 7, so get those pre-orders in; the time is quickly approaching.

Jacket Copy:

With nine Grammys, multiple lifetime achievement awards, inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and a Top Ten ranking on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time,” Joni Mitchell has established herself as one of the most important singer/songwriters, not only of her generation, but in the history of popular music. 

In this collection, 28 crime writers pay tribute to Joni’s musical legacy with short stories inspired by her lyrics, representing each of her seventeen studio albums from 1968’s Song to a Seagull to 2007’s Shine

Many of the classics are here, including “Both Sides, Now” (in the first literary collaboration between Art Taylor and Tara Laskowski, who have each won major awards for their fiction), “Big Yellow Taxi” (by Kathryn O’Sullivan, author of the Colleen McCabe series), and “River” (by Stacy Woodson, winner of the 2019 Readers Choice Award from Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine), plus such equally fascinating titles as “Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire” (by Donna Andrews, author of the award-winning Meg Lanslow series), “The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines” (by Amber Sparks), and “Ray’s Dad’s Cadillac” (by Michael Bracken).

Editor Josh Pachter’s crime fiction has appeared in EQMM, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and many other places since 1968, and his translations of stories by Dutch and Flemish authors show up regularly in EQMM’s “Passport to Crime” department. He is the editor of The Man Who Read Mysteries: The Short Fiction of William Brittain (Crippen & Landru, 2018) and The Misadventures of Nero Wolfe (Mysterious Press, 2020), and the co-editor of Amsterdam Noir (Akashic Books, 2019) and The Misadventures of Ellery Queen and The Further Misadventures of Ellery Queen (Wildside Press, 2018 and 2020). He is also one of Joni Mitchell’s biggest fans.

Table of Contents:

Introduction by Josh Pachter

Song to a Seagull (1968)

“Marcie” by Ricki Thomas

“The Pirate of Penance,” by Marilyn Todd 

Clouds (1969)

“The Gallery,” by Christine Poulson

“Both Sides, Now,” by Art Taylor and Tara Laskowski

Ladies of the Canyon (1970)

“The Priest,” by David Dean

“Big Yellow Taxi,” by Kathryn O’Sullivan

Blue (1971)

“River,” by Stacy Woodson

For the Roses (1972)

“Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire” by Donna Andrews

“Blonde in the Bleachers,” by Carol Anne Davis

Court and Spark (1974)

“Help Me,” by Abby Bardi

“Free Man in Paris,” by Brendan Dubois

The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975)

“Shades of Scarlett Conquering,” by Adam Meyer

Hejira (1976)

            “Blue Motel Room,” by Edith Maxwell 

Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter (1977)

“Talk to Me,” by Emily Hockaday and Jackie Sherbow

“The Silky Veils of Ardor,” by Greg Herren

Mingus (1979)

“The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines,” by Amber Sparks

Wild Things Run Fast (1982)

“Man to Man,” by Barb Goffman

Dog Eat Dog (1985)

“Dog Eat Dog,” by Elaine Viets

Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm (1988)

“The Beat of Black Wings,” by Josh Pachter

Night Ride Home (1991)

“Cherokee Louise,” by Matthew Iden

“Ray’s Dad’s Cadillac,” by Michael Bracken

Turbulent Indigo (1994)

“Sex Kills,” by Alan Orloff

“Last Chance Lost,” by Sherry Harris 

Taming the Tiger (1998)

“Harlem in Havana,” by Alison McMahan

“Taming the Tiger,” by Mindy Quigley

Shine (2007)

“Bad Dreams,” by John Floyd


The Beat of Black Wings is being published by Untreed Reads with a release date of April 7, 2020.

Print editions (both Paperback and Hardcover) are available for pre-order from Untreed Reads, currently at a 15% discount.
Untreed Reads will have the digital version available at a later date.

You can pre-order the digital version via these links:
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and via the Apple Books app.