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Los Angeles Noir (Akashic Noir)

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  243 ratings  ·  46 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,
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Paperback, 348 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Akashic Books
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The Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerThe Maltese Falcon by Dashiell HammettThe Long Goodbye by Raymond ChandlerFarewell, My Lovely by Raymond ChandlerThe Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
Best Hardboiled PI & Noir
255th out of 465 books — 535 voters
The Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerThe Day of the Locust by Nathanael WestLess Than Zero by Bret Easton EllisWhite Oleander by Janet FitchTo Live and Drink in L.A. by Ben Peller
Los Angeles
130th out of 189 books — 138 voters


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Community Reviews

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Suzanne
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
Leslie
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
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Mike
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
John Hood
Bound: The City of Shady Angels - SunPost Weekly July 15, 2010
http://bit.ly/9k8i3U
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
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Oddmonster
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
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Trin
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
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Matthew
Mar 24, 2008 Matthew rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
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Bill
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
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
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Tina Marie
Most of the stories were pretty good, some were great.
Greg
The anthology has it ups and downs. While the authors are mostly Los Angeles residents, some of them don't seem well versed in noir, and their inclusion is more predicated on them being well established authors of the city. “Dangerous Days” by Emory Holmes II is a nasty tale of cops, ex-cons, drugs, guns, and a femme fatale. “Moroco Junction 90210” by Patt Morrison would have been a fine story for anthology of tame mysteries, but here it lacks the dark edge. “Fish” by Lienna Silver just don't mu ...more
Dale
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!
Diana
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..
Amanda
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.
Lulu
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.
Candace
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.
MJ
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.
Aileen
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.
Carol Bartold
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.
Nikki
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.
Verenize Torrez
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.
Dree
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.
Grant Trevarthen
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.
Gayle
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.
Leenda dela Luna
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.
Nick Karno
Very fun if you're an L.A.-lover. I've become enamored of several new authors I hadn't heard of before, and I've bought their books as a result. Quick, enjoyable, great beach reading....
Michelle
May 12, 2007 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars
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!
Chas Andrews
I love mystery/suspense/thriller stories, and this collection delivers. Check out the Mike Connelly, Patt Morrison, and Robert Ferrigno ones; they won't disappoint.
Mei
Another really good mystery/crime story anthology -- all set in Los Angeles. The stories were so good that I scooped up the Las Vegas Noir collection from this series.
Alberta
Although this was an uneven collection of noir stories which take place in Los Angeles, most of them were absorbing and caught the feeling of this place.
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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
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