"Better Days" has been named a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best Short Story.


“Both Sides Now”

In our first literary collaboration, my wife Tara Laskowski and I played with alternating perspectives and a epistolary structure in a tale based on one of Joni Mitchell’s most popular songs—part of a full anthology of crime fiction inspired by her career.

The Beat of Black Wings was edited by Josh Pachter and features 28 contributors, covering highlights from each of Mitchell’s 17 albums. Those stories and authors, broken down by album, include:

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

 

 

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Book categories: Anthologies