A Merry Band of Murderers is more than a compilation of short mystery stories from some of the genre's finest writers. It is also an exploration of music. Conceived by Claudia Bishop and Don Bruns, the collection is staged in two acts: first, a non-fiction discussion of short stories, mysteries, and music; and second, a compilation of musical short mysteries.
The first act opens with an essay by Bishop explaining the role of the short story in mystery writing and another essay by Bruns discussing writers who play, sing, and compose.
The second act is more whimsical. There are thirteen music-centered stories from authors Mary Anna Evans, Jim Fusilli, Bill Moody, Rupert Holmes, Rhys Bowen, John Lescroart, Nathan Walpow, Peter Robinson, Jeffery Deaver, Tom Corcoran , Val McDermid, and, of course, the editors themselves. Each story is accompanied by a short introduction, song lyrics, and an interview with the writer.
The book is packaged with a music CD with recordings by the authors. A one-of-a-kind collection.