cover image New Haven Noir

New Haven Noir

Edited by Amy Bloom. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-61775-541-5

Town-gown tensions highlight several of the 15 stories in this stellar Akashic noir anthology set in the Elm City. In “Evening Prayer,” Stephen L. Carter movingly presents the world of white Ivy League privilege as seen through the eyes of an African-American boy whose father alternates between his positions as a respected church deacon and as an obsequious employee at a segregated hotel. Editor Bloom’s “I’ve Never Been to Paris” is a nicely downbeat whodunit centered on the murder of a Yale English professor killed with a bust of Herman Melville. Roxana Robinson demonstrates that violence is not essential to noir in “The Secret Societies,” the lead of which cloisters herself in Yale’s Beinecke Library in a race to finish writing a biography of a reclusive author before a rival does. And an aspiring actress falls for a deli man in Jessica Speart’s “Second Act,” which leaves a nicely nasty aftertaste. In contrast to other recent volumes in this acclaimed series, this entry is particularly strong on established authors, many of whom have impressive credentials outside the genre. (Aug.)