"Contrary to popular belief, noir doesn’t require a bleak city street for its setting. Nor water, for that matter. Noir thrives on secrets, lies and lust, all flowing plentifully through the jewel in the Coachella Valley’s fragile crown...For all the playfulness of the genre and the location, the wisecracks and the kidney-shaped pools, there is an unmanageable darkness waiting to seep in, like so much blood in the pool water."
Los Angeles Times
"Conjure up images of Palm Springs and you’ll probably think of pastel-colored pool floaties, midcentury chic architecture, a gigantic Marilyn Monroe that watches over the city like its guardian angel. But you don’t need to scratch deep to find darkness in the desertand even Palm Springs, with its endless well of pools, violently colored cocktails, and impossibly green lawns, is no exception."
Los Angeles Review of Books
"An appealing anthology of 14 stories about life and crime in the Mojave Desert's playground to the stars."
"Palm Springs Noir features a collection of short stories set in a cross-section of desert cities and written primarily by authors with Coachella Valley ties."
Palm Springs Life
"This compilation is a roller coaster ride that's filled with loads of suspense, mystery, and steamy sexiness. Brilliantly conceived, DeMarco-Barrett and the other contributing authors effortlessly transport the reader to the edgy, moody, and sleazier side of one of Southern California's most renowned and iconic locales. A sure thing bestseller and a must-have summer read, Palm Springs Noir unquestionably brings the heat."
New York Journal of Books
Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct location within the geographic area of the book.
Palm Springs Noir features brand-new stories by: T. Jefferson Parker, Janet Fitch, Eric Beetner, Kelly Shire, Tod Goldberg, Michael Craft, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Rob Roberge, J.D. Horn, Eduardo Santiago, Rob Bowman, Chris J. Bahnsen, Ken Layne, and Alex Espinoza.
From the introduction: The best noir writers make us feel the heat of the sun, the touch of a lover. Setting can be gritty but can also be sublime, no longer relegated to urban locales and seedy hotel rooms but also mansions and swimming pools. Hence, Palm Springs, which may seem like an odd setting for a collection of dark short storiesit’s so sunny and bright here. The quality of light is unlike anywhere else, and with an average of three hundred sunny days a year, what could go wrong?...
The stories in this collection come on like the wicked dust storms common to the area. More than half are by writers who live here full-time; all have homes in Southern California. They know this place in ways visitors and outsiders never will. These are not stories you'll read in the glossy coffee-table books that feature Palm Springs's good life. There is indeed a lush life to be found here, but for the characters in these stories, it’s often just out of reach.
About the Author
Table of ContentsIntroduction
PART I: Strangers in the Night
"Sunrise" by Janet Fitch (South Palm Canyon)
"The Guest" by Eric Beetner (Historic Tennis Club)
"A Cold Girl" by Kelly Shire (Cathedral City)
PART II: Little White Lies
"VIP Check-In" by Michael Craft (Little Tuscany)
"The Water Holds You Still" by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett (Twin Palms)
"The Expendables" by Rob Roberge (Wonder Valley)
PART III: Everything Happens to Me
"The Stand-In" by J.D. Horn (Deepwell)
"The Ankle of Anza" by Eduardo Santiago (Anza)
"Everything Drains and Disappears" by Rob Bowman (Bermuda Dunes)
"A Career Spent Disappointing People" by Tod Goldberg (Indio)
PART IV: Ill Wind
"Specters" by T. Jefferson Parker (Anza-Borrego)
"Octagon Girl" by Chris J. Bahnsen (Desert Hot Springs)
"The Loop Trail" by Ken Layne (Joshua Tree)
"The Salt Calls Us Back" by Alex Espinoza (Salton Sea)
About the Contributors