Help, I need somebody – The Beatles

in I need you

I need you guys. And it would be great if you would tweet and FB this because I really, really need a title for this book.

You know the deal, right? The titles in this series are song titles that have been tweaked. Moonlight in Vermont became Moonlighting in Vermont. California Dreamin’ Became California Schemin, and I was going to call this book New York Kind of Dead, but a smart woman pointed out that not enough of it takes place actually in New York. So now I’m stuck looking for another title. And to make it even harder I think it needs to have a place name in it too. Upper Valley Kind of Dead? Maybe it has to be a state. Vermont kind of Dead? That’s stretching the connection to the song a little far.

We’ve been here before, haven’t we?

Well as I get closer to being actually done, I’m getting more and more desperate. So I’m sending this out into the universe hoping some clever person will take up the challenge, find a song title and adapt it.

Pertinent details? It’s a murder mystery set in Central Vermont. The dead body is found in a hair salon. Hambecker and Bree become reluctant partners in finding the killer.

Okay people, send me your ideas. I don’t care how lame you think they are!

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie July 12, 2012 at 2:02 am

I suck at this. So I tweeted it instead. That’s as helpful as I can get. (Last time you asked I sent Dan over, he was worse than me. I won’t inflict that on you again.)


Scott Ceier July 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Moonlight on a Vermont Murder (Moonlight on Vermont by Captain Beefheart)
Murder by Moonlight in Vermont (Moonlight in Vermont by Blackburn and Seussdorf)
These Grieved Mountains (These Green Mountains, the Vermont State Song)
I Hate Vermont (I Hate Vermont, the Smittens)
I Hate Vermont Murder (I Hate Vermont, the Smittens)


Scott Ceier July 11, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Oh – and another, though not exactly a “song”:
Shave and a Haircut, two bits

Little morbid humour just before bed…


Delia July 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Okay, this might be bad, but it’s the only one I can think of. There’s a song called Long Road to Vermont, so maybe Long Road to Murder?


Lora July 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Ok I’m sleep deprived so don’t judge me.

Don’t You Die Tonight (don’t you cry tonight)
Curl Up & Die (the hair salon thing…)
Walkin’ in Murder (walkin in memphis song)
Death In The Land of Maple Syrup (yes, it’s so bad but I’d pick it up)
Here Comes The Gun (Here comes the sun)
Hot Dead In The City (Hot Child In the City)

I like A Whiter Shade of Dead from JK Mahal’s comment, btw.


Awilda July 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Ok – substitute Vermont instead of the named place

The Night Chicago Died
Georgia on My Mind
All my Exes live in Texas
Memphis Blues
The Tennessee Waltz
Weekend in New England
New York State of Mind
All the Way to Memphis
Please come to Boston
Midnight Train to Georgia
Sweet Home Alabama

Good luck!


Awilda Padro July 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Happiness is a Warm Gun – the Beatles
Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult


Kate July 11, 2012 at 11:35 am

Oh, these are good. Keep ’em coming, folks. I want to hear all your ideas!


Lani July 11, 2012 at 9:52 am

Or “death.” Something that gets across that we’ve got a dead guy.

Okay, I’m done NOT being helpful…


Lani July 11, 2012 at 9:52 am

Make sure the word “Murder” is in the title. That’s one thing that’s missing from the other two; you write cozy mysteries, and the titles don’t get that across very well. The first thing that comes to mind from me is, “Murder Over My Hammy,” (Moon over Miami) and you are NOT allowed to use that one because it’s bad.

Just make sure the word “murder” is in there. 😉


londonmabel July 11, 2012 at 6:16 am

Jane Langton’s mysteries always take place in a different city, and usually a local landmark is woven into the story. So the titles reflect that. Maybe instead of a place name you could take an element of the story and make a play off that instead–keeping your song thing? For example Langton’s book that takes place at Harvard mostly focuses on Memorial Hall, so that’s what’s in the title. (Though I do like In the Still of Vermont.)

Well, here’s Langton’s list if it helps at all.

The Transcendental Murder (1964) aka The Minuteman Murder <– New England
Dark Nantucket Noon (1975) <– Cape Cod
The Memorial Hall Murder (1978) <– Harvard
Natural Enemy (1982)
Emily Dickinson Is Dead (1984) <– emily d museum, Amherst
Good and Dead (1986) <– New England church
Murder at the Gardner (1988) <– museum in Boston
The Dante Game (1991) <–Florence, Italy
God in Concord (1992) <– Thoreauland
Divine Inspiration (1993) <– a church in Boston
The Shortest Day: Murder at the Revels (1995) <– annual Harvard revels
Dead as a Dodo (1996) <– Oxford, England
The Face on the Wall (1998)
The Thief of Venice (1999) <– Italy
Murder at Monticello (2001) <– Virginia
The Escher Twist (2002) <–centers on an Escher display
The Deserter: Murder at Gettysburg (2003)
Steeplechase (2005)


JK Mahal July 11, 2012 at 6:03 am

I came up with a few names, but I don’t know any of the towns involved, so I used variations on murder, death and crime. Hope they help.

Little Murder of Mine (song: Little Darlin’ of Mine)
Ain’t That a Scam (song: Ain’t That a Shame)
Murders are Made of This (song: Memories are Made of This)
In the Still of Vermont (song: In the Still of the Night)
Darling, You Slay Me (song: Darling, You Send Me… the name is actually just You Send Me, but I like the first line)


JK Mahal July 11, 2012 at 11:43 am

More suggestions. I’ve been going with twists on 50s an 60s songs, since the first two are from those eras. The problem with location names is the first two books have state names in them. Unless your third is in another state (which it doesn’t seem to be), I would echo Lani’s suggestion of going with a version of Murder or Dead or Kill… plus it gets across mystery genre better:

In the Dead of the Night
Ain’t too Proud to Kill (song: Ain’t too Proud to Beg)
In the Murder Hour (song: In the Midnight Hour
A Whiter Shade of Dead (song: A Whiter Shade of Pale)
Ain’t No Murder Dead Enough (song: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough)
A Death in the Life (song: A Day in the Life)

Ok, I’ll stop slaying song titles now.


Kim Cz (Sapphire Betty) July 11, 2012 at 5:27 am

Are there any trains in the story? I thought of “Last Train to Clarksville” as I was reading your post. I figured you could change Clarksville to whatever you wanted.

I will keep on thinking of other songs though. 🙂


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