"I Don't Like Mondays"

Around 2021, I jokingly promised in a post to the Short Mystery Fiction Society's listserv that I wouldn't follow up my first couple of anthologies inspired by the songs of various singer/songwriters with a book of stories inspired by one-hit wonders. Jay Hartman, who at the time was running Untreed Reads -- the folks who published my Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel, and Marx Brothers books -- read the post and commented that he thought it was a great idea ... and asked, if I wasn't going to edit such a volume, would it be okay with me if he did?

I said sure, and Jay invited me to write a story for the book, which I agreed to do. The result was "I Don't Like Mondays," inspired by the Boomtown Rats' only American hit. I was pretty happy with the story, which deals with a private investigator in Erie, PA, who is hired to provide extra security at an elementary school on the anniversary of the day a sixteen-year-old girl in California committed the mass shooting that inspired the Rats's song.

For a variety of reasons, the anthology kept being delayed, and when the ownership of Untreed Reads changed hands at the end of 2022, the new owner -- who isn't interested in books of short stories -- cancelled the project. I submitted the story to Mystery Magazine, and editor Kerry Carter ran it in her July 2023 issue, my eleventh contribution to MM (including those that appeared under its previous title, Mystery Weekly Magazine), and the first time they ran two of mine in consecutive issues.

(Jay subsequently revived the one-hit wonder book for a different publisher, and I wrote a new story for it, this time inspired by the Jaggerz' "The Rapper.").

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