What kind of music do your characters listen to? Novelist Michael Connelly has created a dark and inspiring soundtrack over the course of his career.
At a Sony Readers Book Club event in Los Angeles, Connelly explained that he was inspired by musicians “who had a difficult time making music.” As an example, he mentioned how his long-time character Harry Bosch listened to Art Pepper, a great jazz saxophonist who struggled with drug addiction and a troubled family history.

If you want to sample his writing music playlist, we’ve included a free Spotify playlist below of Connelly’s literary soundtrack. Connelly concluded: “Music is one of the things that helps me. If there is music playing in my book, that music was playing when I wrote it.”

Michael Connelly Spotify Playlist
John Coltrane Quartet – Soul Eyes
Wayne Shorter – 502 Blues (Drinkin’ And Drivin’)
Frank Morgan – Lullaby
Billy Strayhorn – Lush LIfe
Clifford Brown – Willow Weep For Me
Louis Armstrong – What A Wonderful World
Art Pepper – Straight LIfe
Art Pepper – You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
Chet Baker – My Funny Valentine
Miles Davis – Freddie Freeloader
Thelonious Monk Quartet – Evidence (Live At Carnegie Hall)
Miles Davis – All Blues
Ron Carter – Seven Steps To Heaven
George Cables – Helen’s song
Art Pepper – Patricia
Art Pepper – Over The Rainbow
Danny Grissett – Let’s Face the Music and Dance