cover image Buffalo Noir

Buffalo Noir

Edited by Ed Park and Brigid Hughes. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-61775-381-7

Park’s introduction, in effect a true-crime case study, is as gripping as any of the 13 stories set in or around Buffalo, N.Y., in this strong Akashic noir volume, whose contributors include several mystery heavyweights. Lawrence Block’s arresting “The Ehrengraf Settlement” brings his dapper, devious lawyer, the Perry Mason–like Martin Ehrengraf, into a case reminiscent of George Zimmerman’s killing of Trayvon Martin. Joyce Carol Oates’s “Valentine” is a remarkably tense and atmospheric study in emotion and relationships. S.J. Rozan’s “Parkside” is a throat-clutching modern version of the conte cruel. But the greatest surprise is “Falling on Ice” by Lissa Marie Redmond, a Buffalo police detective who specializes in cold-case investigations. Redmond mixes character, emotion, and formal detection into an irresistible amalgam. Among the lesser- known authors, Dmitri Anastasopoulos’s police procedural, “The Bubble Man of Allentown,” stands out. Those curious about the criminal side of the second-biggest city in New York will be rewarded. (Nov.)