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Palm Springs Noir

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Palm Springs now joins Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley in California’s Noir Series arena.

Now available for preorder. All preorders will ship on or before July 6, 2021.

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Forthcoming: 7/6/21

$16.95 $12.71

What people are saying…

“As editor DeMarco-Barrett points out, it’s hard to think ‘noir’ in a landscape that offers 300 days of sunshine a year. But unrelenting heat and light can do funny things to your brain . . . An engaging mix of the good, the bad, and the off-kilter.”
Kirkus Reviews

Included in Publishers Weekly’s Adult 2021 Announcements (Mysteries & Thrillers)


Now available for preorder. All preorders will ship on or before July 6, 2021.

Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city.

Brand-new stories by: T. Jefferson Parker, Janet Fitch, Eric Beetner, Kelly Shire, Tod Goldberg, Michael Craft, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Rob Roberge, J.D. Horn, Eduardo Santiago, Rob Bowman, Chris J. Bahnsen, Ken Layne, and Alex Espinoza.

From the introduction by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett:

The best noir writers make us feel the heat of the sun, the touch of a lover. Setting can be gritty but can also be sublime, no longer relegated to urban locales and seedy hotel rooms but also mansions and swimming pools. Hence, Palm Springs, which may seem like an odd setting for a collection of dark short stories—it’s so sunny and bright here. The quality of light is unlike anywhere else, and with an average of three hundred sunny days a year, what could go wrong? . . .

The stories in this collection come on like the wicked dust storms common to the area. More than half are by writers who live here full-time; all have homes in Southern California. They know this place in ways visitors and outsiders never will. These are not stories you’ll read in the glossy coffee-table books that feature Palm Springs’s good life. There is indeed a lush life to be found here, but for the characters in these stories, it’s often just out of reach.

Table of Contents


Part I: Strangers in the Night
“Sunrise” by Janet Fitch (South Palm Canyon)
“The Guest” by Eric Beetner (Historic Tennis Club)
“A Cold Girl” by Kelly Shire (Cathedral City)

Part II: Little White Lies
“VIP Check-In” by Michael Craft (Little Tuscany)
“The Water Holds You Still” by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett (Twin Palms)
“The Expendables” by Rob Roberge (Wonder Valley)

Part III: Everything Happens to Me
“The Stand-In” by J.D. Horn (Deepwell)
“The Ankle of Anza” by Eduardo Santiago (Anza)
“Everything Drains and Disappears” by Rob Bowman (Bermuda Dunes)
“A Career Spent Disappointing People” by Tod Goldberg (Indio)

Part IV: Ill Wind
“Specters” by T. Jefferson Parker (Anza-Borrego)
“Octagon Girl” by Chris J. Bahnsen (Desert Hot Springs)
“The Loop Trail” by Ken Layne (Joshua Tree)
“The Salt Calls Us Back” by Alex Espinoza (Salton Sea)

Listen to an interview with editor Barbara DeMarco-Barrett on Write About Now with Jonathan Small.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Published: 7/6/21
  • IBSN: 9781617759284
  • e-IBSN: 9781617759383


BARBARA DeMARCO-BARRETT spends time in the desert whenever she can. She hosts Writers on Writing on KUCI-FM, and her book Pen on Fire was a Los Angeles Times best seller. Her short story “Crazy for You” was published in USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series. She has also published in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Inlandia, Shotgun Honey, Crossing Borders, and The Literary Hatchet. She is the editor of Palm Springs Noir.

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