Murder in the Library: The Akashic Noir Series

It’s a Noir World, After All

Ex-punk rocker Johnny Temple’s feisty and defiantly political little imprint struck gold of the blackest hue with this string of regionalized collections of noir. Starting way back in 2004 with the publication of Brooklyn Noir (edited by Pete Hamill), the series has become a crime fiction juggernaut, spreading its noirish tentacles all over the world.

And while the definition of noir may be stretched to the breaking point at times, there’s no denying how potent and powerful so many of these stories are. They’ve been written by writers you’ve never heard of, and writers you know and love, including Ken Bruen, Michael Connelly, Robert Ferrigno, Harry Stephen Keeler, Sherwood Anderson, Max Allan Collins, Richard Wright, Nelson Algren, Fredric Brown, Patricia Highsmith, Barry Gifford, Stuart M. Kaminsky, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Sara Paretsky, Percy Spurlark Parker,. Gary Phillips, Lawrence Block, S.J. Rozan, Steven Torres, Joyce Carol Oates, Loren D. Estleman, P.J. Parrish, Craig Holden, Megan Abbott, James W. Hall, Jim Pascoe, Scott Phillips, Laura Lippman, Reed Farrel Coleman and about a zillion more.

No, not all these stories feature private eyes — in fact, very few do. But that in no way diminishes how the deliciously dark, unsettling and wonderful most of them are.

(By the way, this notion that a private eye story can’t be noir is strictly for mouth-breathers and only goes to show how blindered some of these modern-day noiristas are, and how poorly read they are in the very genre they claim to champion.)


Inspired by the success of their city-based Noir series, Akashic decided where you live wasn’t enough, and unleashed the Drug Chronicles Series in 2005.


  • New York City Noir: The Five Borough Set (2012) | Kindle it!
    Includes Brooklyn Noir, Manhattan Noir, Bronx Noir, Queens Noir andStaten Island Noir.

FORTHCOMING (According to Akashic)

  • Bogotá Noir (Andrea Montejo, editor)
  • Paris Noir: The Suburbs (Hervé Delouche, editor)
  • Austin Noir (to come)
  • Cleveland Noir (to come)


List respectfully compiled by Kevin Burton Smith.



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