You’re probably very much aware that culture (including art, music, and the like) have a powerful effect on crime fiction. That makes sense, too. Authors are members of cultures, and those cultures impact how authors think, what they value, and so on.
Interestingly, crime fiction also impacts culture. Culture, of course, has a lot of dimensions, many more than space permits. But even if you look at one of them, music, you see that impact. There are actually mentions of famous crime-fictional characters and authors in a lot of songs.
Here are just a few examples from different sub-genres of music. They may not all be to your taste, but they all show that impact.
Red Krayola – Sherlock Holmes
It’s hard to discuss crime fiction without mentioning Sherlock Holmes. This song puts a sort of experimental, psychedelic-rock twist on the topic…
The Lucksmiths – English Murder Mystery
This Australian indie-pop band pays homage to Agatha Christie and the traditional ‘English village’ murder mystery. Interestingly, there’s also a mention of Peter Falk as Lt. Columbo in the song.
The Toy Dolls – James Bond Lives Down Our Street
Punk rock has its say in this song that pays tribute to Ian Fleming’s iconic spy. There’s even an integration of the famous James Bond theme into the song in a few places.
Tavares – Whodunit
In this R&B/Funk song, the narrator asks several famous sleuths, including Charlie Chan and Ellery Queen, to help find out who stole his girlfriend. Admittedly, it’s more a love-gone-wrong song than a murder mystery, but there are some interesting mentions of iconic sleuths.
The Alan Parsons Project – Tales of Mystery and Imagination
The Alan Parsons Project took the literary reference to a new level with this release. Each song refers to one of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. And, since Poe is largely credited as a founder of the modern detective story, it seemed right to include one of the tracks from this release. This one’s called (The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether
See what I mean? Even if you don’t care for modern/popular music, it’s fascinating to see how crime fiction is woven into it. These are only a few examples. Got any to share?
*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour.