Occasionally I’ll see authors post about their playlists, usually naming bands I’ve never heard of. After some deep Google searching, I discovered that my Amazon app has a feature where you can curate your own lists of songs. Who knew! I have one for Hallowe’en, another for New Orleans, another for  San Francisco.  Mostly when I write, I listen to classical music because otherwise the words distract me. So here’s the playlist I created for my last book, a domestic suspense/courtroom thriller with lots of bass notes, metaphorically speaking.

Adagio in G Minor by Albinoni.

If you weren’t depressed before you listened to this song, you will be now.

Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. This performance was broadcasted on BBC in memory of 9/11.

Gymnopedies by Erik Satie.

I read somewhere he made up the words he used for titles. Here’s a nice guitar performance.

Zadok the Priest.

I first noticed this song on Agatha Christie’s Marple: Body in the Library (2004).  It’s a British coronation anthem. Here’s a fun video from The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The crowd goes wild.

Do you have a playlist?

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Keenan Powell


Keenan Powell is the Agatha, Lefty, and Silver Falchion nominated author of the Maeve Malloy Mystery series, Deadly Solution, Hemlock Needle, Hell and High Water.

While still in high school, she was one of the illustrators of the original Dungeons and Dragons. Art seemed an impractical pursuit – not an heiress, wouldn’t marry well, hated teaching – so she went to law school instead. When not writing or practicing law, Keenan can be found oil painting, studying the Irish language, or hanging out with her friends at mystery conventions.

6.            Sales: Is the Publisher Selling Books?


  1. Mary, I went to an opera once because my harp teacher was in it. When I read the story synopsis, I was horrified! Literally, the Halloween series ain’t got nothing on opera writers.

  2. Lovely playlist. I listen to music separately. Especially during COVID and so much distraction. I need to be alone with my thoughts, without spinning off to think about how notes and sheet music were combined, and the brilliance of another writer. I have two favorite instrumentals: Mason Williams. Classical Gas Guitar with an orchestra ensemble, and Herb Albert’s Tia Juana Brass. I listen to those when I walk, and every time I am awed by the talent of combining so many instruments. It’s not always about words. My brain wants to know the story behind the construction. Enjoy your playlist!

  3. I need silence when I write, but music is a huge influence on my level of inspiration. Sometimes I’ll listen to a song or watch a video and then I’m ready to go. But I’m almost entirely a punk and goth person. My son, on the other hand, will blast Shostakovich while doing his chores or homework.

  4. I have a playlist on Spotify for office cleaning and desk organizing. I used to listen to music while writing, but as I got older, I lost my ability to concentrate with noise in the background. Sigh.

    Glad to learn about the Amazon app.

  5. Sigh indeed. I need background noise to cancel my tinnitus so I can think. Mother was right about listening to rock music too loud. Or maybe not since my grandmother had tinnitus and she most assuredly didn’t.

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