Name that tune

By Sally Carpenter

In my mysteries I use song titles as my chapter headers. The protagonist in my cozies is a former teen idol, so the stories slanty heavy into music. And just saying “chapter one, “chapter two,” etc. is boring.

The chapter title makes some reference to what’s going on in that section so I can keep track of how the action progresses throughout the book. And I like the challenge and fun of finding songs to fit. It amuses me.

And no, quoting song titles in a book does not violate copyright law. If it did, writers would be in trouble every time they used phrases like “she loves you” or “I feel fine” or “I want to know” or even the word “misery.”

 Below are the chapter titles to my upcoming cozy. “The Quirky Quiz Show Caper.” See if you know the artist who recorded the song.

1. Monday, Monday

2. I Want To Know

3. We Just Disagree

4. Carry On Wayward Son

5. Be True to Your School

6. Stiletto

7. (It’s a) Family Affair

8. If You’ve Got Trouble

9. Call Me

10. Games People Play

11. Xanadu

12. Listen to the Band

13. Sometimes She’s a Little Girl

14. Saturday in the Park.

15. Up, Up and Away

16. We Can Work It Out

17. FM (No Static at All)

18. (I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden

19 You Won’t See Me

20. Diary

21. Your Lying Eyes

22. Mr. Success

23. Thanks for the Pepperoni

24. I Can’t Get Her Off My Mind

26. Garden Party

26. Live and Let Die

27. Last Dance


1. The Mamas and The Papas

2. Eric Clapton and The Powerhouse

3. Dave Mason

4. Kansas

5. The Beach Boys

6. Billy Joel

7. Sly and the Family Stone

8. Beatles, but didn’t appear until “Anthology”

9. Blondie

10. The Spinners

11. Olivia Newton-John from the movie soundtrack

12. The Monkees

13. Boyce and Hart

15. Fifth Dimension

16. Beatles again

17. Steely Dan

18. Lynn Anderson

19. Beatles one more time

20. Bread on the original version but Micky Dolenz recorded it years later

21. The Eagles

22. First recorded by Frank Sinatra but I have a version by Bobby Sherman

23. Extra points as this one’s obscure. An instrumental jam on the third disc of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” opus.

24. Monkees once more

25. Ricky Nelson

26. Paul McCartney and Wings

27. Donna Summers

 Cross posted in The Cozy Cat Chronicles


Hello, good evening and welcome to our blog!

By Sally Carpenter

Greetings! We’re an eclectic group of mystery authors talking about the craft of writing and the clues of detection. Sharing our thoughts over the Internet might be criminal!

We’ll begin with introductions. I’m a native Hoosier now ensconced in Southern California. I grew up in a small rural Midwest town where reading books was the only recreation. I was storyteller at a young age. While my mother washed dishes and I dried, to pass the time I made up stories.

During summers, mom dropped me off at the library in town while she went shopping; easier than getting a babysitter. In eight grade I won the library’s summer reading contest by devouring the most books.

My first published piece was a puppet play. My high school had a working TV studio and the seniors produced shows to air to the elementary schools. As “Sesame Street” had just burst on the airwaves, our shows used puppets too and I wrote a silly skit that the puppet company put in its newsletter.

During a midlife crises, I returned to college to pursue the theater degree I always wanted but didn’t get because, as my parents said, “you’d never get a job in it,” despite the fact my first real job out of college was with a traveling drama troupe.

In college I focused on playwrighting. Two plays that I wrote in the playwrighting class were finalists in a multi-state college theater competition. One of the scripts also received a college drama prize and the other was produced in New York City.

One of these plays was about an aging teen idol and one of his grown-up fans. A professor said, “I see a bigger story for these characters.” We’ll get back to them later.

After college, in a fit of madness I moved to So Cal. Eventually I ended up in my present day job at a community newspaper. One day a press release came across my desk at work; a local library was hosting a Sisters in Crime panel discussion. A voice in my head said, “You need to go to this.” At the event, as the various authors described the mysteries they wrote, I thought, “I can do this!”

I used the characters from my college play to create a cozy series with a former teen idol named Sandy Fairfax, although at the time I didn’t know a cozy from a thriller. But thanks to the support and guidance of the mystery authors I’ve met since, I’ve published three books and four short stories. I have a WIP (work in progress) and plans for a second cozy series.

PS. I’m also “mom” to a few black cats.

Enough about me. Let’s hear from the other ladies of mystery!