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Los Angeles Noir (Akashic Noir)

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  328 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
Brand-new stories by: Michael Connelly, Janet Fitch, Susan Straight, Hector Tobar, Patt Morrison, Robert Ferrigno, Gary Phillips, Christopher Rice, Naomi Hirahara, Jim Pascoe, Scott Phillips, Diana Wagman, Lienna Silver, Brian Ascalon Roley, and Denise Hamilton.

Denise Hamilton writes the Eve Diamond series. Her books have been shortlisted for the Edgar, Macavity, Anthony,
Paperback, 348 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Akashic Books
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May 23, 2011 Suzanne rated it liked it
Shelves: l-a, short-story
Given the grand tradition of noir in Los Angeles, I was disappointed in this. As a collection, it’s rather weak and probably just scratched the underbelly of the 3-star range because of good stories by Susan Straight and Janet Fitch. Most of these were just OK or mediocre, and a couple were downright awful. I didn’t even finish “Dangerous Days,” about Leimert Park/Mid-City gangsters (boring) and was completely baffled by “The Kidnapper Bell,” wherein the motivations of the narrator in setting ou ...more
Jan 07, 2009 Leslie rated it liked it
Shelves: essentialla
A diverting anthology, though not exactly groundbreaking. The greatest excitement for me was recognizing the streets and haunts of my hometown (especially since I'm snowbound in Connecticut).

Still... that's the best I can say about it? A majority of the pieces in this collection were competent, dutiful and predictable, honoring the Cain/Chandler legacy in an overly cautious, occasionally perfunctory way. A few writers clearly had fun with their stories - there was an occasional shot of adrenali
Jan 17, 2017 Andrea rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
John Hood
Aug 08, 2010 John Hood rated it it was amazing
Bound: The City of Shady Angels - SunPost Weekly July 15, 2010
John Hood

If cities are chicks – and if a city’s worth anything, it better be a chick – then L.A. is one shady lady. You might also say she’s a chick in heat. Wanton, insatiable, and faithful only as far as the next kiss, she’s the kinda chick a man will fall for, kill for and even die for, even as she’s walking out the door.

L.A. is also a city of deep and often creepy secrets. Like the hot chick, it’ll give you the
May 09, 2017 Stephen rated it it was ok
As I've said before, short story collections are hit or miss. This one is mostly miss. Michael Connelly's is good as are a couple others, but most of the collection is sub-par. This is extremely disappointing because LA is the home of so much great noir. I feel that a great number of the stories weren't even noir.
Apr 04, 2016 Harris rated it liked it
The last entry I’ve read from the Akashic Noir anthology series, I read this one a recent trip to Southern California and mostly had a good time with it. The trip, of course, was awesome. Like others in the series, various local authors tackle stories of the hard boiled and weird exploring the neighborhoods, landmarks, and cultures of Los Angeles. The tone of the stories run from comical to bleak, but all deal with the seedier, more underground aspects of life in the city. The anthology does a d ...more
Jul 11, 2016 Bobby rated it liked it
Begrudgingly rounding up to three-stars. I've read three of the Noir series from Akashic Books (LA, Vegas, OC) and the collections are very up and down. LA is no exception, which is disappointing when you consider how often the city of Angels has proven to be a fine home for many classic noir tales.

There's a lot of hit and miss here, leaning more towards the miss. Without naming names, I suspect some of the stories were selected for the collection based on the author's bio versus the quality of
Mar 29, 2014 Mike rated it liked it
This is a collection of murder/crime investigation short stories by seventeen different authors (many of them are quite well known and established in this genre), all taking places in the greater Los Angeles area. The publisher has an extensive series of such books, each focusing on a specific city (world-wide, not just in the U.S.). I don't often read short stories, and I was surprised at how much overall I enjoyed this set (obviously some of them rose to the top and were better than others). I ...more
Sep 29, 2007 Trin rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, shortstories
The majority of these stories are bleak and nasty and depressing, and, okay: noir, but the best noir contains a hint of hope, a little blanc to contrast with the darkness, right? Okay, maybe not. Maybe I just have more tolerance for bleakness in a 90-minute film than in story after story in a 300-page book. Still! Some of these stories were quite good, especially (and to my surprise) Janet Fitch’s Sunset Boulevard-esque tale. Perhaps White Oleander is worth reading, after all?

One last complain
Nov 13, 2011 Audrey rated it it was ok
Shelves: noir, los-angeles
Basically, a disappointment, start to finish. From the introduction all the way through to the end -- with only two exceptions -- this book failed me. The stories were exceptionally drab and not very noir, while trying desperately to be "L.A. enough".

The two exceptions? Janet Fitch's "The Method", about a reclusive actress and two grifters, kept me guessing and felt the most authentic out of the group. And Scott Phillips' "The Girl Who Kissed Barnaby Jones" was disturbingly fun, but that's only
Oct 19, 2007 Matthew rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
Los Angeles and noir fiction are made for each other but this collection of short stories reads like a prose version of the made-for-television movies I remember from the '70s. The stories are almost universally bland, unimaginative and formulaic. Worse, most of the stories could have been set in any major metropolitan area, obviating the need for a "Los Angeles" edition of the Akashic Press series.

Michael Connelly's story about a traffic cop's head-on collision with the glitterati is self cons
Feb 16, 2008 Bill rated it liked it
LIke most commercial anthologies these days, this one has more misses than hits. I like the Janet Fitch (White Oleanders) story about a young actress who turns out to be more lethal than a stalker, the Robert Ferrigno (Horse Latitudes) piece about a wounded thief limping to his destiny through the sand dunes not far from where I live, and the Denie Hamilton and Michael Connelly stories are sufficiently polished to make them work. But I'm disappointed that there are several tales told in first pe ...more
Laura Leaney
Jul 09, 2010 Laura Leaney rated it liked it
Ho hum. That's pretty much how I feel about his collection of Los Angeles tales. The stories seem much too safe, as if the authors' could not shake off the grip of tradition. I did love the emphasis on the dark nervous undercurrents of L.A. There's a lovely little sense of belonging when you read about your own town.

Janet Fitch's story, a modern re-working of "Sunset Boulevard," is creepy and humorous, but the rest seem perfunctory parodies of the genre. I am surprised I didn't like it more, gi
Feb 10, 2009 Diana rated it really liked it
Some of these little gems are really very well written and fun to read! There's nothing like a little noir to give some mystery and spook to real places right nearby. I thought this was a fine collection of short stories delivering slivers of Los Angeles, and it was a perfect recommendation for someone new to the area (thank you, Daisy!). I especially loved the bits called Mulholland Drive, Over Thirty (Christopher Rice), and The Girl Who Kissed Barnaby Jones..
Nov 15, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing
So far I'm loving this book. Denise Hamilton has chosen a diverse selection of LA writers. The folks in this book update noir from discourse on struggles with masculinity, to struggles with urbanity and "a civilizing" force much more interesting than the traditional castrating bitch from the noir of yore.

It's also really fun to read about streets, restaurants and even korean saunas that you've been to. I definitely recommend.
May 14, 2013 Dale rated it really liked it
An interesting collection of modern takes on the noir genre. Each story is located within a particular district of Los Angeles (Mulholland Drive, Beverley Hills, etc.), lending a particular local character to each narrative. As with any collection, some writers excel more than others. For me, the stand-out stories here are 'The Method' by Janet Fitch and 'The Golden Gopher' by Susan Straight. A strong sense of contemporary noir throughout. If you like that kind of thing - you'll love this!
Feb 09, 2011 Lulu rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I really liked this book and the LA locations enabled me to picture the stories while reading them. I was surprised when I realized Pat Morrison of public television fame wrote one of them, which I enjoyed very much. I usually don't have a mental picture of the author (especially in a funky hat) when reading. Love the Akashic series, especially Texas Noir, my first of the series. Working my way through the others.
Carol Bartold
Jul 31, 2012 Carol Bartold rated it it was amazing
The pace of each story in this anthology, each one a little different, kept me engaged. Once I started a story I couldn't put it down. Some of my favorite Los Angeles writers - Patt Morrison, Janet Fitch, Michael Connelly, and Denise Hamilton - brought twists, turns, and suspense to the pages. Entertaining from beginning to end.
Mar 08, 2008 Nikki marked it as to-read
So far I've just read one story in this book, Susan Straight's Edgar-nominated The Golden Gopher. It made me wonder why I've never read more of her novels after enjoying I've Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots so much. She has an incredible facility for getting a particular voice right.
Dec 29, 2010 Candace rated it it was amazing
this is a great introduction to some fabulous writers. Each story is set in a different enclave of the greater Los Angeles area and is written in an authenticity that is true to each area. I loved reading about places that were apart of my Los angeles day to day experience. This collection of stories truly embody the definition of noir- not just mysteries, but dark tales.
Verenize Torrez
Feb 07, 2008 Verenize Torrez rated it it was amazing
Having grown up in the Los Angeles area I was able to visualize each setting in the stories, the streets of downtown L.A., the old mansions on Sunset, the boutiques on Los Feliz and the casinos in the city of industry. These stories pull you into their world and don't let go even after the story has ended.
May 23, 2012 Aileen rated it really liked it
I see why this book tends to be a bit more of a hit with the boys. Good little short stories, but the harsh factor is uber harsh. Some of the authors that were very good would have benefited nicely with a tiny bit of editing. Not bad overall. Caveat: DARK DARK stories here. I had bad dreams due to a couple of them. Good job, authors.
Nov 01, 2011 MJ rated it really liked it
This is a collection of Noir style short stories all based in LA, the original home of Noir stories. Arranged by geographic location there are some real page turners. This first collection has more modern writers, where volume 2 has the classic guys (Raymond Chandler, etc.) I enjoyed this one so much I've purchased volume 2 and am ready to get my noir on.
Grant Trevarthen
Dec 17, 2012 Grant Trevarthen rated it liked it
There were some familiar names and a lot of unfamiliar ones. I found the majority of the stories easy to read and some boring. I think as a genre,the older noir writers were better especially Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe stories.
Laurelle Johnson
Apr 25, 2015 Laurelle Johnson rated it really liked it
Delighted to read the various stories in such details of Los Angeles. Whereas NYC has many an author describing their city by street corners, LA's authors never really do that. BUT these do with fantastic stories played out in our great City of Angeles. BRAVO
Leenda dela Luna
Apr 22, 2013 Leenda dela Luna rated it really liked it
A really enjoyable collection. I appreciate that the stories are prefaced with their location and included on a mini-map. Some story "twists" were predictable, due to be included in a "noir" set, but still enjoyable.
Oct 13, 2008 Gayle rated it it was amazing
I really loved this 'mystery sampler' of stories taking place in and around L.A. Perfect reading material for people like me, who typically get to read a few pages here and there while they wait to pick up their kids.
This collection of noir short stories set in LA is quite good. Yes, some stories are stronger (my favorites were those by Connelly, Holmes, Hamilton, Rice, and Pascoe. Every one of them, though, is well written. A variety of twists. And all focus on place.
May 09, 2007 Michelle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Noir fans
Loved it! A couple of the stories are weaker than others, otherwise I would have given it 5 stars. The collection paints a vividly bleak picture of LA. Noir is alive and well, baby!
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Denise Hamilton is a Los Angeles-based writer-journalist whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Wired, Cosmopolitan, Der Spiegel, and New Times. A reporter for the L.A. Times for ten years, she covered not only L.A. stories, but also the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and burgeoning youth movements in Japan. A Fulbright scholar, she taught in t ...more
More about Denise Hamilton...

Other Books in the Series

Akashic Noir (1 - 10 of 71 books)
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