by Cynthia Chow
Details on how to enter to win a copy of this anthology at the end of this review, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL.
While the term “cozy-noir” may seem contradictory, it does make perfect sense in this collection of thirteen stories that embrace the mix of dark moodiness within familiar suburban settings. While the stories often take place in the small communities familiar to most cozy mysteries, often simmering just beneath the surface is a sense of menace and betrayal that edges them over to the noir side of fiction.
The anthology opens with Robert Lopresti’s delightful “The Roseville Way,” where a friendly neighborhood pizza café provides as much protection to a retired mobster as any gangster’s den. Food and good cooking are the hallmarks of many cozier mysteries, and both of these traits can be found in “Sweet Murder” by Magdalena Jones, and Wenda Morrone’s “Little J’s Sweet Potato Pie.” Two stories that come closest to the traditional noir genre are “Bravisimo,” by David Himmel, and “Dead Dames Don’t Wear Diamonds,” by Bobbi A. Chukran. In both, patsies are led astray by their hormones and they find themselves in over their heads through circumstances and a femme fatale or two. The anthology closes out, appropriately enough, with John Haas’s “The Last Supper,” where a wealthy man with a fatal disease wields out justice through an ironic meal that has everyone eating their just desserts.
Included among this collection are stories and tales diverse enough to please fans of both noir and cozy mysteries. As with traditional noir, criminals in these stories occasionally go free and justice may be wielded out in distinctly unique manners. What nudges these tales towards a cozier side is that these crimes are committed by friends, family members, and coworkers under a veneer of safe comforts. The dinner table, a county fair, a local pub; all of these locations simmer with the possibility of violence. This collection, by both debuting and practiced authors, presents a subgenre capable of evolving and ensuring that noir never goes out of style. Dark twists, sly humor, and snappy dialogue abound in this anthology showcasing the short works of very promising authors.
To enter to win a copy of The Anthology of Cozy-Noir, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Noir,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 29, 2014. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL!