Curt Colbert is the author of the Jake Rossiter 1940s private detective series, that has been nominated for a Shamus Award. Jake and Miss Jenkins appearance here in a tale of domestic case has a fitting finale for a double-crossing couple. Skye Moody brings the tale of a dwarf actor, who fears he is growing taller, too tall to keep getting the movie roles that have supported him so far. Kathleen Acala's Blue Sunday has a Iraqi vet, who crosses paths with a bad cop in Seattle's Central District. R. Barri Flower's The Wrong End of a Gun is set in South Lake Union, and has another case of deception, which ends badly for all.
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 was interviewed on Seattle's KUOW NPR station recently.
Kevin Sampsell, a bookstore employee, small press publisher and author of Creamy Bullets has pulled together a stunning collection, befitting the town. Bookstores figure prominently here and Chris A. Boulton uses Powell's City of Books security measures to elude murderous cops in The Red Room. Jess Walter has the story of a newspaper editor's spiral into psychological deception via the horoscope column in Virgo. One of my favorite entries is the graphic novelette, Gone Doggy Gone by Jamie S. Rich and Joelle Jones. Jonathan Selwood's The Wrong House has a small time break-in gone terribly wrong.
I do want to quote the editor for this line, which really made me smirk: "If Portland was once Seattle's kid nephew in the past, these days it's more like Seattle is Portland's creepy old uncle."
Portland Noir is an encompassing literary journey where your tour guides take you to the Shanghai Tunnels, dog parks, dive bars, sex shops, Powell's Books, Voodoo Doughnuts, suspiciously quiet neighborhoods, the pseudo-glitzy Pearl District, Oaks Amusement Park, and a strip club shaped like a jug. Violent crime, petty mischief, and personal tragedy run through these mysterious tales that careen through this cloudy, wet city. Portland Noir is sure to both charm and frighten readers familiar with this northwest hub and intrigue those who have never traveled to this proudly weird city.
You'll have to read both volumes to determine which is the seediest city.
Also: we've finally been able to get the paperback edition of Jeff Sharlett's The Family:The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. We have a couple extra copies, and will be able to order more now. This is a much talked about topic right now, and Sharlett's book is not to be missed.