Crime writer Ian Rankin has teamed up with The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess to release his debut single.

A short story by Rankin, titled A Little Bit Of Powder, has been set to music by Burgess and will be released later this month (26Nov12) on the rocker's label O Genesis.

Actor Craig Parkinson narrates the story on the track, which was inspired by a macabre tale recounted to Rankin by a friend.

The author tells TheQuietus.com, "Tim contacted me a while back with the idea of a spoken word project - me writing a story - to give out to his fans as a little Christmas gift. We met in Edinburgh in August (12) and bounced around a few ideas. I then gathered my thoughts.

"A friend in Glasgow (Scotland) had told me an anecdote some months previously about a local musician who was told to meet another musician in a bar, and take his acoustic guitar with him. When he arrived, a bag of powder was produced - the ashes from a mutual friend and fellow musician - and sprinkled into the sound hole.

"This was apparently a last request from the dying musician - that his ashes be shared out among musician friends. So that was the genesis of the short story."