The Akashic Noir Series

Ex-punk rocker Johnny Temple's feisty and defiantly political little imprint struck gold of the blackest hue with this string of regionalized collections of noir. Staerting way back in 2004 with the publication of Brooklyn Noir (edited by Pete Hamill), the series has become a crime fiction juggernaut, spreading its noirish tentacles all over the world, with collections originating from around the globe.

And while the definition of noir may be stretched to the breaking point at times, there's no denying how potent and powerful so many of the stories in these collections have proven to be. They've been written by writers you've never heard of, and writers you know and love, including Ken Bruen, Michael Connelly, Robert Ferrigno, Harry Stephen Keeler, Sherwood Anderson, Max Allan Collins, Richard Wright, Nelson Algren, Fredric Brown, Patricia Highsmith, Barry Gifford, Stuart M. Kaminsky, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Sara Paretsky, Percy Spurlark Parker,.Gary Phillips, Lawrence Block, S.J. Rozan, Steven Torres, Joyce Carol Oates, Loren D. Estleman, P.J. Parrish, Craig Holden, Megan Abbott, James W. Hall, Jim Pascoe, Scott Phillips, Laura Lippman, Reed Farrel Coleman and about a zillion more.

Now, not all these stories feature private eyes -- in fact, very few do. But that in no way diminishes how the deliciously dark these stories are.

(By the way, this mouth-breather notion that a private eye story can't be noir is just silly, and only goes to how blindered some of these modern-day, dick-obsessed noiristas have become, and how poorly read they are in the very genre they claim to champion.)


List respectfully compiled by Kevin Burton Smith.


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