Kansas City Noir

Kansas City Noir

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by Steve Paul
     
 

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"Light Bulb" by Nancy Pickard was selected for inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories 2013, edited by Otto Penzler and Lisa Scottoline

"Kansas City, famous for its jazz, its barbecue, and its shady history, provides the venue for this solid addition to Akashic's acclaimed noir anthology series."
--Publishers

Overview

"Light Bulb" by Nancy Pickard was selected for inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories 2013, edited by Otto Penzler and Lisa Scottoline

"Kansas City, famous for its jazz, its barbecue, and its shady history, provides the venue for this solid addition to Akashic's acclaimed noir anthology series."
--Publishers Weekly

"Hard-used heroes and heroines seem to live a lifetime in the stories...Each one seems almost novelistic in scope. Half novels-in-waiting, half journalistic anecdotes that are equally likely to appeal to Kansas City boosters and strangers."
--Kirkus Reviews

“Travel has many unexpected benefits, so even if you’ve never had a reason to visit the city itself, you’ll find Kansas City Noir surprisingly well worth the price of the ticket.”
--Bookgasm

"Picture steam rising from a sewer grate on a rain-slicked street. The sound of footsteps comes closer and closer behind you as you walk down a dark, downtown Kansas City alley. If this scenario entices you, then you just might enjoy Kansas City Noir."
--Kansas City Public Television

"What we heard was REALLY GOOD. So good in fact that we picked up a copy. Now we're... getting ready to read it in one sitting."
--Tony's Kansas City

Brand-new stories from: J. Malcolm Garcia, Grace Suh, Daniel Woodrell, Kevin Prufer, Matthew Eck, Philip Stephens, Catherine Browder, John Lutz, Nancy Pickard, Linda Rodriguez, Andrés Rodríguez, Mitch Brian, Nadia Pflaum, and Phong Nguyen.

Steve Paul has been a writer and editor at the The Kansas City Star since 1975. Currently the arts editor, he writes about music, books, architecture, food, and, occasionally, murder. He's the author of Architecture A to Z: An Elemental, Alphabetical Guide to Kansas City's Built Environment. A former bookseller and a native of Boston, he has served as a board member and officer of the National Book Critics Circle.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kansas City, famous for its jazz, its barbecue, and its shady history, provides the venue for this solid addition to Akashic’s acclaimed noir anthology series. Strong entries from some well-known names include John Lutz’s “Thelma and Laverne,” a play on the Thelma and Louise saga that offers both chills and laughs; Nancy Pickard’s “Lightbulb,” in which a guilt-stricken elderly woman, who failed as a girl to make more of an effort to report a child molester back in the ’50s, finally takes action years later; and Daniel Woodrell’s “Come Murder Me Next, Babe,” which captures a marriage with one line: “She was eighteen, said she was twenty, and had every appetite, none of which he could satisfy.” Also notable are Kevin Prufer’s “Cat in a Box,” about a cop nearing the end of the line who tries to crack a serial murder case any way he can, and Mitch Brian’s “Last Night at the Rialto,” in which bittersweet memories haunt the elderly projectionist of an old movie theater that the owner has decided to close down. (Oct.)
Library Journal
For six and a half months in 1917, Ernest Hemingway was a cub reporter at the Kansas City Star. He learned a lot there, both about the underbelly of life and about keeping it laconic. Later, in such stories as "The Killers," he showed his mastery of both. The very best stories in this variable collection do too. In Kevin Prufer's "Cat in a Box" a cop drives compulsively around and around the Country Club Plaza, willing and able to do anything to retire. To have to describe Sharon, the black hole at the heart of Daniel Woodrell's terrific "Come Murder Me Next, Babe," as a "femme fatale" is to demonstrate the poverty of the language. The poor schmuck she's married to dies of boredom—hers, not his—and faster than love, she becomes the obsession of an acolyte. John Lutz's "Thelma and Laverne" has Esther and Jenine reinventing themselves on a road trip to KC where everything is going well until Thelma meets Mr. Right. VERDICT Edited by a longtime Kansas City Star staffer and Hemingway aficionado, this collection would make Papa proud.—Bob Lunn, formerly with Kansas City P.L., MO
Kirkus Reviews
The Akashic noir steamroller, now 56 titles strong, pulls up to Kansas City. What about Kansas City says noir? Half of these 14 new stories leave this question a mystery because they reveal so little about the city. Oddly, it's the shorter stories that are more steeped in local atmosphere. Linda Rodriguez's retired hero crosses a line to protect his South Troost neighborhood from gangs and lives to regret it. Nancy Pickard shows traumatic childhood memories of the Paseo casting a long shadow over a woman in faraway Detroit. Mitch Brian provides a slight but evocative account of the last night before a movie theater goes dark. Daniel Woodrell traces the murderous arc of a female who tears up the city and feasts on the resulting headlines. Phong Nguyen imagines an episode built around a real-life 19th-century political fixer, and Andrés Rodríguez devises a more mysterious end for the famous owner of Milton's Tap Room. In the most routine of the stories, Nadia Pflaum explains why you can't get good Kansas City barbecue anymore. The other entries aren't any less successful, just more indeterminate in their time and place. Matthew Eck's hero and heroine, children of serial killers, meet at a convention in a town that just happens to be Kansas City. John Lutz spins a tart variation on Thelma and Louise that could have followed any mean streets. Same thing with Kevin Prufer's tale of a sick cop on the trail of an even sicker killer, or Catherine Browder's cop accidentally shot during a quarrel with her lesbian live-in. Hard-used heroes and heroines seem to live a lifetime in the stories of J. Malcolm Garcia, Grace Suh and Philip Stephens. What these tales lack in geographic specificity they make up in lived experience; each one seems almost novelistic in scope. Half novels-in-waiting, half journalistic anecdotes that are equally likely to appeal to Kansas City boosters and strangers.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781617751448
Publisher:
Akashic Books
Publication date:
10/02/2012
Series:
Akashic Noir Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
350,794
File size:
711 KB

Meet the Author

Steve Paul: Steve Paul has been a writer and editor at The Kansas City Star since 1975. Currently the arts editor, he writes about music, books, architecture, food and, occasionally, murder. He's the author of "Architecture A to Z: An Elemental, Alphabetical Guide to Kansas City's Built Environment" (2011) and co-editor of and contributor to "War&Ink," a collection of essays about Ernest Hemingway's early work, forthcoming from Kent State University Press. A former bookseller and a native of Boston, he has served as a board member and officer of the National Book Critics Circle.

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Kansas City Noir 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Leaves a bad taste if a fast food you d would eat it after the first smell