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Phillips, Gary (Editor). South Central Noir (Akashic, $16.95).
The Akashic Noir Series' forensic study of Southern California sharpens its focus on one of Los Angeles's most recognized neighborhoods.Featuring brand-new stories by: Steph Cha, Nikolas Charles, Tananarive Due, Larry Fondation, Gar Anthony Haywood, Naomi Hirahara, Emory Holmes II, Roberto Lovato, Penny Mickelbury, Gary Phillips, Eric Stone, Jervey Tervalon, Jeri Westerson, and Desiree Zamorano.From the Introduction by Gary PhillipsWithin these pages you'll find stories of those walking the straight and narrow-until something untoward happens. Maybe it's someone taking a step out of line, getting caught up in circumstances spiraling out of their control. Maybe they're planning the grift, the grab . . . whatever it is to finally put them over. Other times the steps they take are to get themselves or people they care about out from under. You'll find the offerings in these pages are a rich mix of tone-tales told of hope,survival, revenge, and triumph. Excursions beyond the headlines and the hype.
The settings herein reflect South Central today or chronicle its colorful past, such as the days of the jazz joints along Central Avenue . . . From South Park to East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, from the borderlands of Watts to the one-time Southern Pacific railroad tracks paralleling Slauson Avenue, take a tour of a section of Los Angeles that may be unfamiliar to you but you will get to know, at least a little, by the time you finish reading this entertaining and engaging anthology."
Gary Phillips has published novels, comics, and short stories, and edited numerous anthologies. Violent Spring, first published in 1994, was named one of the essential crime novels of Los Angeles. Culprits, a linked anthology he coedited, has been optioned as a British miniseries, and he was a staff writer on FX’s Snowfall about crack and the CIA in 1980s South Central, where he grew up.
Penny Mickelbury is the author of twelve mystery novels in three different series, two novels of historical fiction, and a collection of short stories. She has also contributed short stories to several anthologies. Her first career was as a journalist, and in 2020 she was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame. The Atlanta native lives in Los Angeles.
Gar Anthony Haywood is the Shamus and Anthony award–winning author of twelve crime novels, including the Aaron Gunner private eye series and the Joe and Dottie Loudermilk mysteries. His short fiction has been included in The Best American Mystery Stories anthologies and Booklist has called him “a writer who has always belonged in the upper echelon of American crime fiction.” Haywood’s spiritual thriller, In Things Unseen, was published by Slant Books in 2020.
Naomi Hirahara is an Edgar Award-winning author of multiple traditional mystery series and noir short stories. Her Mas Arai mysteries, which have been published in Japanese, Korean and French, feature a Los Angeles gardener and Hiroshima survivor who solves crimes. The seventh and final Mas Arai mystery is Hiroshima Boy, which was nominated for an Edgar Award for best paperback original. Her first historical mystery is Clark and Division, which follows a Japanese American family’s move to Chicago in 1944 after being released from a California wartime detention center. Her second Leilani Santiago Hawai‘i mystery, An Eternal Lei, is scheduled to be released in 2022. A former journalist with The Rafu Shimpo newspaper, Naomi has also written numerous non-fiction history books and curated exhibitions. She has also written a middle-grade novel, 1001 Cranes.