This original anthology of noir fiction set in Maryland’s Charm City includes new stories by David Simon, Laura Lippman, Jim Fusilli, and more.
As fans of the HBO series The Wire have known for years, Baltimore is home to a rich and diverse underworld that is matched by an equally rich and diverse literary tradition. This is the city where Dashiell Hammett worked as a Pinkerton agent. It’s also where Zelda Fitzgerald came for psychiatric treatment. In this sterling collection of noir fiction, some of Baltimore’s best authors “confront the full irony that is Charm City, a place where you can go from the leafy beauty of the North Side neighborhoods to the gutted ghettos of the West Side in less than twenty minutes, then find your way to the revamped Inner Harbor in another ten” (Laura Lippman, from the introduction).
Baltimore Noir includes brand-new stories by David Simon, Laura Lippman, Tim Cockey, Rob Hiaasen, Robert Ward, Sujata Massey, Jack Bludis, Rafael Alvarez, Marcia Talley, Joseph Wallace, Lisa Respers France, Charlie Stella, Sarah Weinman, Dan Fesperman, Jim Fusilli, and Ben Neihart.
Mystery fans should relish this taste of Baltimore's seamier side, the eighth volume in Akashic's series showcasing dark tales of crime and place (Brooklyn Noir , etc.). Editor Lippman offers both a fine introduction and the lead story ("Easy as A-B-C"), which is one of the anthology's best. Half of the 16 contributors have connections to theBaltimore Sun , including David Simon ofHomicide fame, whose "Stainless Steel" is a noir gem. Baltimore (aka "Bulletmore, Murderland") is a diverse city, and the stories reflect everything from its old row houses and suburban mansions to its beloved Orioles and harbor areas. There's dark humor in Dan Fesperman's "As Seen on TV," as well as in Tim Cockey's noir ghost story, "The Haunting of Slink Ridgely." Charlie Stella's mob story, "Ode to the O's," is brutally direct, while Ben Neihart's "Frog Cycle" offers a futuristic take on the high-tech industries springing up in place of factories. Other contributors include Marcia Talley, Jim Fusilli and Sujata Massey.