Mysteries and thrillers with musicians


Hold Me Down, dark psychological thriller by Clea Simon, available now

Gal, a former rock star, is back in Boston to play an advantage when she sees a familiar face in the crowd. When this man is found dead the next day and a friend is charged, Gal begins an informal investigation and, as memories return, she finds she must reexamine her own wild life, perceptions of the past, and an industry that is monetizing. the malfunction. In her Massachusetts Book Award “must read” World Enough, Clea Simon explored the dangers of nostalgia. In Hold Me Down, she follows the beat of a darker, deeper story of love, music, and murder.

Music is a part of all of our lives, often to a much greater extent than we realize. It is therefore not surprising that it plays such an important role in the fiction that we consume. It’s clear in TV shows and movies, of course: there’s a reason a good soundtrack is so intrinsically linked to the success of a production. But it also plays an important role in books: both on and off the page. After all, how many authors have you seen playlists for their WIP? I lost count.

With that in mind, I approached this post thinking that it couldn’t be that hard to find mysteries and thrillers featuring musicians. As it turns out? I was wrong. Apparently, unlike journalism, a career in music doesn’t lend itself well to amateur sleuths. However, the books that I found? The quality of these musical mysteries more than makes up for the low quantity. In these eight novels, the protagonists are not only professional musicians: the music is an integral part of the story, and the mystery, itself. Most of them are cozy mysteries, but beware: I’ve included a few thrillers that are as painful as they are brilliant.

Cover of Murder in G major by Alexia Gordon

Murder in G major by Alexia Gordon (Mysteries of Gethsemane Brown # 1)

Gethsemane Brown is not happy with her current task of taking a bunch of annoying schoolchildren and turning them into an award-winning orchestra. But this classical musician has to suck it up and get by. After all, that task must be easier than proving your roommate’s innocence in a murder case. Especially considering that her roommate is a ghost.

Brendan Slocumb's The Violin Conspiracy cover

The violin conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb (February 1, 2022)

Ray McMillian, a black classical violinist, is determined to overcome all obstacles in his path to becoming a professional musician. But soon, a new obstacle stands in front of him and risks destroying his dream: his violin, an invaluable Stradivarius that belonged to his great-great-grandfather, is stolen shortly before the International Tchaikovsky Competition. In his attempts to get him back, he faces fiddling claims from various sources: his own family and, more infuriatingly, the descendants of the slave trafficker who once enslaved his great-great-grandfather. .

The Case of the Slain Soprano cover by Susan Moore Jordan

The case of the murdered soprano by Susan Moore Jordan (Augusta McKee # 1)

Augusta McKee, former opera singer and current music teacher, is busy rehearsing a production of “The Pirates of Penzance”. After the play’s lead actress is murdered, Augusta discovers information that could help authorities track down the killer. Homicide detective Malcolm Mitchell, however, is not easy to convince.

Cover of Interrupted Aria by Beverle Graves Myers

Aria interrupted by Beverle Graves Myers (Tito Amato # 1)

Set in Venice in 1731, the novel introduces us to Tito Amato, a soprano with a traumatic past who returns to his hometown to play in the opera. When a friend dies of poisoning and another is falsely arrested, Tito must find the real killer before it’s too late.

Sarah Fox's Dead Ringer Cover

Doppleganger by Sarah Fox (Music Lover’s Mystery # 1)

When a cellist is strangled during an orchestral rehearsal, the idyllic life of violinist Midori Bishop becomes a disaster. The maestro of the symphony, who also happens to be Midori’s new boyfriend, is the prime suspect… and her attempts to prove her innocence reveal secrets she wasn’t ready to uncover.

Charlotte Carter's Rhode Island Red Cover

Rhode Island Red by Charlotte Carter (Nanette Hayes Mysteries # 1)

Nanette Hayes didn’t expect her act of kindness to get her in trouble with the police. When the jazz-loving street musician let another street musician stay overnight at her house, she had no idea that a) he was an undercover cop and b) he would be murdered on her kitchen floor. Soon Nanette is on the hunt for a legendary saxophone, now well aware that the road to a heinous assassination is paved with good intentions.

Tiffany D. Jackson Grown Cover

Cultivated by Tiffany D. Jackson

Enchanted Jones’ dream of becoming a professional singer seemed to come true when legendary R&B artist Korey Fields took an interest in her. But her dream quickly turns into a gruesome reality: first, when Korey shows his dark side, and second, when she wakes up one morning to find him dead, his hands stained with blood, and absolutely no memory of the night before. . This novel packs a punch, both in its incredible writing and in its unfortunate cultural relevance.

Morag Joss Funeral Music cover

Funeral music by Morag Joss (Sara Selkirk # 1)

World famous cellist Sara Selkirk runs to Bath to reset. But her trip won’t be the relaxing escape she hoped for: instead, she’ll find herself trying to solve the murder of a museum director in the Roman Baths.


Want more musical novels? Say no more.


Corina C. Butler

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