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Palm Springs Noir

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  101 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Palm Springs now joins Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley in California's Noir Series arena.

Included in Publishers Weekly 's Adult 2021 Announcements (Mysteries & Thrillers)

Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each
Published July 6th 2021 by Akashic Books
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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Palm Springs is supposed to be the glamorous movie star Mecca in the Southern California desert. Akashic Noir shows us what's behind the hidden curtain when the desert paradise is the end of the road for some folks, a place they got stuck in and now they are drowning in like quicksand. The desert that surrounds paradise is hot, dry, empty, foreboding. Out beyond the ritzy golf clubs are trailer parks and rundown liquor stores and a huge inland sea so devoid of life that it's even slowly melting ...more
Sep 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I love the Akashic Noir series--short story collections specific to a city, written by people who know these places intimately. To read any of them is to get an unexpected tour of a place you often think you know well. Not all of these Noir stories are written by crime writers--that is not one of the criteria for being asked to submit a story. So these collections are also wonderful introductions to the city/region's writers. I have the first story in this collection, SUNRISE, about a real estat ...more
Patrick Whitehurst
Feb 28, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Noir creeps up on you, let’s you know things may seem bad but they can always be worse. Even in warm, balmy Palm Springs one can find the broken, the desperate, and the deranged. They’re rubbing elbows with the tourists, the rich, and the wannabe famous.

Palm Springs Noir, the book, is exceptional in its storytelling and leaves no corner of the Coachella Valley unbothered. It’s gritty, it’s deadly, and it’s utterly fabulous.

Enjoyed all 14 tales within this shining star of the long-running Akashi
Sam Sattler
Jul 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Palm Springs Noir is one of the latest crime fiction collections in the Akashic Books series that now numbers close to 120 such books. The stories, with a couple of exceptions, in each book are all set in one city or region of the world, and this time around all the action takes place in Palm Springs itself or in places like Joshua Tree National Park, the Coachella Valley Preserve, or Desert Hot Springs which are all nearby. And, as usual, the stories will not disappoint fans of the genre.

The t
Tonstant Weader
Jul 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Palm Springs Noir is the most recent of the Akashic Noir series. Set in the legendary resort city about a hundred miles from Los Angeles. In any resort area, there is always an innate tension between those who visit and those who live there. Usually, the visitors have conspicuous wealth while the townspeople are often living hardscrabble lives in low-paying service jobs that cater to the wealthy who make their homes unaffordable. Palm Springs is no different and that tension infuses several of t ...more
Miriam Downey
Dec 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Read my full review here: http://mimi-cyberlibrarian.blogspot.c...

I was at loose ends on Monday after a busy holiday prep weekend. I picked up Palm Springs Noir, knowing that I would be entertained and enlightened about a city that I had been to several years ago. What I remembered best about the Palm Springs experience were the fields of wind turbines in the valley. Those wind turbines show up frequently in the short stories in the book, but apparently I didn’t have the same kind of Palm Spring
Jul 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads, noir
I received this through Library Thing Early Reads.

I’ve read other books from this Akashic series. They may be noir, but each is different based on its location. This was no exception, but it was very different.

Palm Springs isn’t your typical city setting you’d expect to find noir tales from, but it isn’t exempt from greed, graft, murder and other dark deeds.

Take the tale about the vacation rental. The owner, Randall, works and lives in L.A. and is looking forward to the day he’ll retire to his P
Diane B.
Aug 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“Palm Springs Noir” is a clever collection of modern Noir stories. Each story is set in different desert towns and in the high desert mountains. The characters are contemporary, original, and relatable. Noir, most commonly features hard boiled denizens of the 30s and 40s but here they are present day characters that fit the mold: cynical, fatalistic, morally ambiguous and above all, desperate.

As with all collection stories readers have favorites.
I have two favorite stories: The Water Holds You
Jun 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
PALM SPRINGS NOIR is edited by Barbara DeMarco Barrett.
This anthology series is published by Akashic Books and was launched in 2004. “Each anthology comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct location within the geographical area of the book.”
In PALM SPRINGS NOIR, we experience classic noir stories from South Palm Canyon, Historic Tennis Club, Cathedral City, Little Tuscany, Twin Palms, Wonder Valley, Deepwell, Anza, Bermuda Dunes, Indio, Anza-Borrego, Desert Hot Springs, Joshua Tree
Candi Sary
Sep 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I devoured these stories. They’re so good! Gritty and tragic and moody with a perfect touch of dark humor. Here’s a few favorite quotes:
“I ran my hand over my sweaty neck and his eyes followed. Those long-lashed eyes, the color of pool water, drank from my neck, my mouth.” -Janet Fitch

“We watched the glimmery blue water, listened to the mockingbird that ran through its repertoire of cell phone ringtones, and sipped tequila.” -Barbara DeMarco-Barrett

“The Royal Californian sat on a stretch of Hig
Les Gehman
Jun 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is another great collection of noir from Akashic. Every story is very good, and most of them are excellent. I particularly enjoyed "The Expendables" by Rob Roberge and "The Salt Calls Us Back" by Alex Espinoza. I think editor Barbara DeMarco-Barrett describes noir perfectly when she says "In noir, the main characters might want their lives to improve and may have high asperations and goals but they keep making bad choices, and things go from bad to worse."

[Note: the publisher provided me wi
Jul 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
Gifted read by publisher for honest review. Review published on blog:


I cannot say how much I love this series! The authors being from/or currently living in the area and providing a backdrop that makes you feel like you are there! The authors who highlight different areas and write gripping stories, this is the perfect noir series!

I look forward to reading the rest of the California series asap!!
Jan 04, 2022 rated it really liked it
I can't say there was a bad story in this collection.

I grew up in Palm Springs. Yes, I grew up in Palm Springs. So, I appreciated reading about the various localities. A great diversity of stories and authors. I hope to read other works by these authors.

The book also sparked my interest in reading more short stories.
Jun 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this latest entry in Akashik’s Noir series. You wouldn’t expect Palm Spring and Joshua Tree as the most likely setting for noir, but the stories here play out superbly.
Zach Slone
Aug 20, 2021 rated it liked it
It was best in middle but , ending lacked
Aug 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-fiction
Sep 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I enjoyed the first few stories, but I'm not a huge noir fan, so it was too much noir for me. Fun to see a different side of Palm Springs, though. ...more
Nov 12, 2021 rated it liked it
– Love is love. Friction is friction. – Shane

This collection sticks to what Noir is expected to be and has been, and while that can take away the more exploratory materials that challenge Noir, these stories are good.

They focus on the characters and their circumstances, their need to satisfy themselves at any cost, and the desperate acts of revenge, personal scams, and double crosses.

The characters and their actions are one with the arid landscape in which they exist on the edge of prosperity an
Oct 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Consistently great. This is the first I've read in the series and I've already ordered more. Can't imagine any noir fan being disappointed ...more
It pains me to write this review. I’ve read many Akashic Noir collections, and I've loved the vast majority of them. As with most short story anthologies, the stories are a mixed bag ranging from terrible to amazing, with most falling somewhere in the good to great categories. Out of the typical 14 stories in each collection, there are usually one or two I really dislike, and a handful of gorgeous standouts, while I enjoy the rest. Palm Springs Noir is, sadly, an outlier. To me, the majority of ...more
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I host "Writers on Writing," which airs Wednesdays at 9 a.m. PT on KUCI-FM (www.kuci.org) and streams live. (On iTunes, too, under college radio.) The show is podcast at http://writersonwriting.blogspot.com and penonfire.com. More than 600 shows have been podcast, including goodreads members/authors Cheryl Strayed, Gayle Brandeis, Mary Castillo, Phil Doran and Jim Tomlinson. I teach online through ...more

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