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Seattle Noir (Akashic Noir)

2.98 of 5 stars 2.98  ·  rating details  ·  140 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Brand new stories by: G.M. Ford, Skye Moody, R. Barri Flowers, Thomas P. Hopp, Patricia Harrington, Bharti Kirchner, Kathleen Alcalá, Simon Wood, Brian Thornton, Lou Kemp, Curt Colbert, Robert Lopresti, Paul S. Piper, and Stephan Magcosta.
Early Seattle was a hardscrabble seaport filled with merchant sailors, longshoremen, lumberjacks, rowdy saloons, and a rough-and-tumble
Paperback, 300 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Akashic Books (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

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As with any short story collection, some are better than others in this collection that takes readers on a tour of the seamy underbelly of several of Seattle's neighborhoods. The writing in a few seems forced, but there are a few that took some wonderful surprise twists and one that made me laugh out loud at the end. My favorites were the stories by Simon Wood and Curt Colbert--if all the stories were on that level I would have given the book an extra star. A good, quick, fun read overall.
Christina Mitchell
Saw this little gem of a book at Metsker Maps in the SEA-TAC airport. I am participating in Turner Classic Movie's Summer of Darkness film noir study (Summer 2014) and had to have the book when I saw it. This book of short stories by Seattle writers brings Seattle old and new alive as a place of shadowy nooks and crannies exuding questionable morals - and, really, isn't that just Seattle? The various protagonists may not always have a happy ending, but that's the point of noir. One story even br ...more
I have probably spent more time in Seattle than any other city outside the Twin Cities, and I definitely regard it fondly and look forward to any chance to visit. While the Pacific Northwest shares some cultural traits with my home in the Upper Midwest, the coast and the mountains give it an entirely different feel. There is a grittiness along the steep, mist drenched streets of Seattle that can not be found in Minneapolis-St. Paul, though perhaps may be found a bit in Duluth. In any case, there ...more
Donna Davis
No doubt, as many others have observed, it would be fairer to rate each writer individually here, because this is a very mixed bag. I enjoyed the anchor pieces that began and ended the collection, and it was the presence of a relatively brief piece by GM Ford that made me go looking for it. I liked the story set in Chinatown, as well as the lampoon of the very-elite Magnolia by new-to-me writer Skye Moody. I understand that the writer with the Nordstrom-this and Nordstrom-that is an award winner ...more
A collection I wish would've been better. A handful of good stories -- Bharti Kirchner's "Promised Tulips", "The Best View in Town" by Paul S. Piper and Robert Lopresti's "The Center of the Universe" -- get practically buried in among a lot of mediocre stories that veer between sacrificing Seattle in the name of noir or vice versa.

You have to hang on til the bitter end to catch the anthology's two really outstanding stories, "The Magnolia Bluff" by Skye Moody and GM Ford's "Food for Thought", b
Hans Schettler
I enjoyed the diversity of time and style of the stories. Everything from classic 50s style detective stories to old west to modern thriller. Worth a read especially of you live in Seattle.
The rain doesn't even factor in these stories-merely a minor mention. So much for the omnipresent rain of Seattle. However, there are some good stories in this volume that are the typical noir types you would find in any city: married couple hiring a PI to protect each of them from the other partner who is going to kill them; dirty cops setting up a punk; affair for murder of the husband and then the set-up. Some news ones though with a red tide poison from the Puget Sound Native Americans and t ...more
Mystery short stories are hard.

There's not enough room to really develop characters or do an interesting plot, so they mostly end up being a 10 page setup for a twist ending that becomes pretty easy to guess after the second page.

There might be good mystery short stories out there, but these ain't them.

They do take place in Seattle, and I love reading stuff that takes place in Seattle, so it gets the second star from me. Not recommended.
This book is a series of stories set in Seattle that are at least moderately dark and by local-ish authors I'd never heard of. The stories weren't really cohesive. They were divided into 4 parts, but I didn't really understand what the stories in a part had to do with one another either.

If you're really into stories set in Seattle, or northwest authors, this book might be worth a read (check it out from the library, it's not worth buying).
James Eastwood
I've read some of the other collections in this series (at least Brooklyn Noir, if I recall correctly) and have been satisfied with them, but. . . maybe Seattle crime writers just suck? I stopped after five or six stories because not only were they plotted poorly and most of them were written with the facility of a creative writing student, none of the stories I read really captured the blackness of the noir that I was seeking.
After just returning from a road trip to Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula, I found this book quite entertaining. The locations and references to native populations of the area were fresh in my mind, making it easier to picture the situations in these short stories. I'm continuing the Noir series, albeit intermittently and it's interesting to see the difference in the caliber of writing between the authors.
Karen Tripson
Uneven collection. Some of the stories were great, some were not well written or worth telling.
The second in the Jake Rossiter & Miss Jenkins series sees Jake confronting his anti-Japanese sentiment. As in the first book, Jake's racism, and that of his colleagues, isn't thinly veiled, which makes Colbert's writing all the better. The author avoids overt moralising, allowing characters to develop with the story. Three-and-a-half stars.
Just two stars. There were two good stories in this collection. The rest of them were either boring noir stories with only a token nod to Seattle, or with horrible writing mechanics, or just bad story-telling. The two good stories were tightly written, actually used Seattle appropriately, and had good plotting.
Michael Smith
Overall more good stories then bad, thought the first story did kind of hit an off key note for me. All the others range from fine to great. With this and others in the line of these noir anthologies, it helps if the reader brings a little familiarity of the geography with them.
Leah Wener-Fligner
Nice mix of noirs. Some classic '40s lingo, some modern as hell, some funny, some creepy, some great, some ok. And I learned a thing or two about Cap. Vancouver's botany skills from the delightfully punned "Magnolia Bluff".
I would say I enjoyed 3/4 of the stories. Some were great and others were so lame a junior high school could have written a better tale. But enjoyable overall. Made me look over my shoulder for sure.
We met the editor and a few of the writers for this collection of short stories about Seattle. They seem like an interesting group, but this collection of short stories was just okay.
I used to live jumped out at the library, plus I love suspense/mystery books. Which it was...not so much so for "Paris Noir" which I'm currently reading.
I picked this up because of the title and then the introduction was compelling. Sadly the quality of the stories was pretty inconsistent. Oh well.
Bonnie Gayle
The spine was too badly damaged, so I had to send it to mending before I could read it. I'll read it later.
I read Sayonaraville which takes place in Seattle while in Seattle. It is a quick pace PI book.
Fun short stories
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Thoughts From One of the Authors 2 9 Feb 07, 2014 01:45PM  
  • San Francisco Noir
  • Manhattan Noir
  • Istanbul Noir
  • Bronx Noir
  • Moscow Noir
  • Phoenix Noir
  • Dublin Noir: The Celtic Tiger vs. The Ugly American
  • Richmond Noir
  • Las Vegas Noir
  • Havana Noir
  • Los Angeles Noir
  • Pittsburgh Noir
  • London Noir
  • Portland Noir
  • Mumbai Noir
  • Toronto Noir
  • Delhi Noir (Akashic Noir)
  • Brooklyn Noir
Author of the Jake Rossiter and Miss Jenkins Mystery series set in 1940s Seattle.
More about Curt Colbert...

Other Books in the Series

Akashic Noir (1 - 10 of 69 books)
  • Baltimore Noir
  • Bangkok Noir
  • Barcelona Noir
  • Belfast Noir
  • Boston Noir
  • Boston Noir 2: The Classics
  • Bronx Noir
  • Brooklyn Noir
  • Brooklyn Noir 2: The Classics (Akashic Noir)
  • Brooklyn Noir 3: Nothing But the Truth (Akashic Noir)

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