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Pittsburgh Noir

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Pittsburgh Noir roars forth, presenting the true underbelly of “the most livable city in America.”

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

  • iTunes Store
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Barnes & Noble Nook
  • Kobo

What people are saying…

“Despite Pittsburgh being labeled the country’s most livable city, the fictional citizens populating the 14 high quality stories in Akashic’s noir anthology centered on the Steel City have the same dreams, frustrations, passions, and vices as anyone else.”
Publishers Weekly

“Perfect for adventurous book groups and for travelers seeking the less rosy side of the cities they’re planning to visit.”
Library Journal

“Pittsburgh hasn’t inspired many crime novelists to use its haunts for settings in the way that Boston, Baltimore, Seattle and even Cleveland have. Now that’s changed with the publication of Pittsburgh Noir, an anthology of short stories by writers who draw on the cityscape to ground their tales.”
Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Pittsburgh Noir [is] a set of varied and novel approaches to dark fiction that give a taste of a specific place in Pittsburgh, without trying too hard to pander or take advantage of ages-old Pittsburgh media tropes.”
Pittsburgh City Paper

“Whether searching for sheer entertainment or ugly truths, you will find what you are looking for in this substantial selection.”


Launched with the summer ’04 award-winning best-seller Brooklyn Noir, Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Featuring brand-new stories by: Stewart O’Nan, Hilary Masters, Lila Shaara, Rebecca Drake, Kathleen George, Paul Lee, K. C. Constantine, Nancy Martin, Kathryn Miller Haines, Terrance Hayes, Carlos Delgado, Aubrey Hirsch, Tom Lipinski, and Reginald McKnight.

Pittsburgh has recently (and more than once) been called the most livable city in America; yet the old image of smoky skies and steel mills spewing forth grit has never quite disappeared. Its history as a dirty industrial center is a part of its residents, a part of their toughness. The people of the steel city fight.

From the introduction:

“What is Pittsburgh to noir and noir to Pittsburgh? We certainly have our rough streets and grisly murders. But dark crime stories depend on something in addition to killing. The best examples of the genre revolve around private moralities and private law; they are the stories of people pushing against real or imagined oppression. In Pittsburgh Noir, as in most of the novels and films that gave the genre its name, the real story is the dark underbelly of existence, the fear and guilt and rebellion and denial in regular people: the woman buying groceries, the man grilling hot dogs. Their secret lives . . .

I’ve snagged a story from the legendary (and anonymous, Pynchon-style) K.C. Constantine, as well as from Shamus Award winner Tom Lipinski and the multiple award-winning poet Terrance Hayes, who shows he can do fiction too. I invited esteemed fiction writers Stewart O’Nan, Hilary Masters, and Reginald McKnight to turn to crime, and they did so with distinctive voices and dark humor. No Pittsburgh collection would be complete without Lila Shaara, Rebecca Drake, Nancy Martin, and Kathryn Miller Haines, all publishing mysteries regularly to critical acclaim. Three stories come from exciting new voices who push the boundaries of the genre: Paul Lee, Carlos Antonio Delgado, and Aubrey Hirsch.

We’ll take you to Bloomfield, the Mexican War Streets, Forest Hills, Fox Chapel, Schenley Farms, Carrick, McKees Rocks, Highland Park (a little-known unofficial marina), Wilkinsburg, East Liberty, Morningside, Squirrel Hill, Lawrenceville, and Homewood.

Here’s to the black and gold, the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio, Jonas Salk, Thomas Starzel, to Primanti’s sandwiches and churches that sell pierogies, to all and everything that makes up the ‘burgh.”

Table of Contents


Part I: Prime Real Estate
“Atom Smasher” by Lila Shaara (Forest Hills)
“Still Air” by Terrance Hayes (East Liberty)
“Duplex” by Steward O’Nan (Bloomfield)

Part II: Three Rivers
“Pray for Rain” by Nancy Martin (Highland Park)
“A Minor Extinction” by Paul Lee (Carrick)
“When Johnny Came Shuffling Home” by K.C. Constantine (McKees Rocks)

Part III: Universities, Park, Recreation
“Intruder” by Kathleen George (Schenley Farms)
“Loaded” by Rebecca Drake (Fox Chapel)
“Far Beneath” by Carlos Antonio Delgado (Morningside)

Part IV: Neighbors Who Care
“At the Buena Vista” by Hilary Masters (Mexican War Streets)
“Homecoming” by Kathryn Miller Haines (Wilkinsburg)
“Cheater” by Aubrey Hirsch (Squirrel Hill)
“Key Drop” by Tom Lipinski (Lawrenceville)
“Overheard” by Reginald McKnight (Homewood)

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