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Seattle Noir [Paperback]

Curt Colbert

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Book Description

June 1 2009 Akashic Noir

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 police force not immune to corruption and graft. By the mid-50s, the town had added Boeing to its claim to fame, but was still a mostly blue-collar burg that was infamously described as “a cultural dustbin” by the Seattle Symphony’s first conductor. Present-day Seattle has become a pricey, cosmopolitan center, home to Microsoft and Starbucks. The city is famous as the birthplace of grunge music, and possesses a flourishing art, theatre, and club scene that many would have thought improbable just a few decades ago. But some things never change—crime being one of them. Seattle’s evolution to high-finance and high-tech has simply provided even greater opportunity and reward to those who might be ethically, morally, or economically challenged (crooks, in other words). But most crooks are just ordinary people, not professional thieves or crime bosses—they might be your pleasant neighbor, your wife or lover, your grocer or hairdresser, your minister or banker or lifelong friend—yet even the most upright and honest of them sometimes fall to temptation.


Within the stories of Seattle Noir, you will find: a wealthy couple whose marriage is filled with not-so-quiet desperation; a credit card scam that goes over-limit; femmes fatales and hommes fatales; a delicatessen owner whose case is less than kosher; a famous midget actor whose movie roles begin to shrink when he starts growing taller; an ex-cop who learns too much; a group of mystery writers whose fiction causes friction; a Native American shaman caught in a web of secrets and tribal allegiances; sex, lies, and slippery slopes . . . and a cast of characters that always want more, not less . . . unless . . .


Curt Colbert is the author of the Jake Rossiter & Miss Jenkins mysteries, a series of hard-boiled, private detective novels set in 1940s Seattle. The first book, Rat City, was nominated for a Shamus Award in 2001. A Seattle native, Colbert still resides in his hometown.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (June 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933354801
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933354804
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 13 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,476,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Curt Colbert is the author of the Jake Rossiter & Miss Jenkins mysteries, a series of hardboiled, private detective novels set in 1940s Seattle. The first book, Rat City, was nominated for a Shamus Award in 2001. A Seattle native, Colbert is currently finishing the fourth book in the series, Nowhere Town, as well as working on a present-day novel.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars super Noirs June 6 2009
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
These fourteen Noir entries that focus on Seattle are all well written with most being super. The stories can be divided between historical and recent/current as the city has dramatically changed from a kick butt blue collar port city to a white collar ethnic diverse urban center which is home to giant corporations. For instance, before coffee was king, rum was king. The comparison between the fourteen contributions clearly captures that seemingly radical turn around, but in fact the short stories show the slower pace of change starting with Boeing in the 1950s. Mr. Colbert breaks the book into four segments. "Gone South" contains four tales that look deep into ethnicity. "What Comes Around" includes three entries that focus on modern day moral issues? "Love Is a Four Letter Word" has three tales pf how love can go wrong even in a perfect setting. Finally the last chapter includes four shorts that take the audience "To the Limits" that not everything is kosher. My favorites are the historical entries such as "Paper Son" by Brian Thornton who looks deep at late nineteenth century corruption and the retribution tales of the last section as we all at times want to see someone else get what is coming to them. All of the tales are fun as the city proves a perfect location as the "Center of the Universe" (by Robert Lopresti) for a Noir collection as affirmed by these consistently strong but differing contributions.

Harriet Klausner
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read July 6 2009
By K. Knox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
These short stories are a fun read for anyone who lives in or loves Seattle. The stories span multiple locations in the city and time periods. While these stories may not be as much interest to readers outside of Seattle, each story is well crafted and should delight mystery fans.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Huge disappointment July 2 2010
By Jason Toon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As a big noir fan about to move to Seattle, I was excited to soak up some local flavor from this collection. Denied! Few of the contributors have any background in crime fiction (one is known primarily as a cookbook author). Even fewer have any idea how to build suspense, portray distinctive characters, or craft involving plots that turn on high-stakes moral dilemmas. And if you can't do any of that, you have no business messing with noir.

I can see the thought process now: "Ooh, somebody's looking for submissions for a Seattle crime fiction book? Perfect time to dust off my old manuscript about a sassy yet warm intergenerational group of Native American women! I'll just drop a .45 into the last scene and bingo, it's 'noir'!" Saints preserve us from "literary" wanna-bes "slumming it" with crime fiction.

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