Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Akashic Noir Series

OK, short story lovers out there, and you know who you are, if you still have not discovered the "noir" collection being published by Akashic Books, now is the time to jump on board.  And I do mean jump, because these books are being published at an astonishing pace.  I have just started reading a review copy of the publisher's Long Island Noir (edited by Kaylie Jones), in fact, and there are already ten more of these in the works.

Each of the books in the series collects dark, crime-related short stories set in one particular city or geographical area.  I  reported on Boston Noir and Mexico City Noir  last year - giving each of them mixed reviews for the uneven quality of their stories.  The concept is such a good one, however, that I keep coming back to them, knowing that several high quality stories are sure to be found in each volume, along with some good ones, and two or three clinkers.  Too, the editors have done an extraordinary job on the introductions of the two books I've already read- as has Kaylie Jones (daughter of James Jones, by the way) in this new volume.  What floors me is that Long Island Noir seems to be the 50th book in the series, and less than eighteen months ago I mentioned that Boston Noir was the 34th.

Some of the previously published ones that particularly appeal to me are set in Barcelona, Baltimore, Richmond, Philadelphia, London, and the "Lone Star" state of Texas.  Of the ten planned next, I most look forward to Seoul Noir, Lagos Noir, and Jerusalem Noir.

Have you read any of the 50 books in the current Noir selection?  If so, which are your favorites - and why?  In a series with this many choices, I could definitely use a little help in choosing.


  1. Yes! I've read as many as my library has had. I liked New Orleans and Miami (I think I am remembering properly) in particular.

  2. I just finished Long Island Noir on my lunch hour today and I think it's the best of the three that I've read. It started with two strong stories and finished with the best of the 18 in the book. There were only two clunkers in this one but they were absolutely boring and I don't understand why they are there...more like propaganda pieces against racism and wife abuse. Both very dry with no plot to speak of.