Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Category: Mondays Are Murder

Mondays Are Murder: Original Noir Fiction to Get Your Week off to a Dark Start

Launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir, our award-winning city-based Noir Series now has over 60 volumes in print, with many more to come. Each volume is overseen by an editor with intimate knowledge of the title city; each story is brand new from a local author, and each is set within a distinct neighborhood or location.

While we’ve been thrilled to publish the original works of over 800 authors in the series, we still long for more. And while we are constantly seeking homegrown editors with native knowledge of national and international cities not yet visited by the series, we’re eager to dig deeper.

Mondays Are Murder allows us to offer a glimpse of cities not yet seen, neighborhoods or hidden corners not yet explored in previous volumes, and, we hope, writers not yet exposed to our company. Contributions to the Akashic Noir Series are bound by mood: our authors are challenged to capture the sometimes intangible moods of “noir” and of “place”. The stories run the gamut from darkly-toned literary glimpses to straight-up crime fiction, while similarly capturing the unique aura of the story’s location.

Our web model for the series has one further dimension: A 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays.

“Death at a Farmer’s Market” by Adam Rosen

“How much is this?” the middle-aged man asked, irritated. He pointed a finger at a bunch of lacinato kale—fresh in, a chalk-marked sign indicated, from a farm outside Hickory. He had been waiting at the stand for five minutes, and was not about to wait a minute longer.

“Four-fifty,” said the man behind the table. He looked too old to still be farming, and he spoke softly. It was hard to hear him over the banjo playing nearby. The upright bass didn’t make it any easier. “That’s fresh in from Hick’ry.”

“That’s what the sign says!” replied the man as he stuffed two bunches into his tote. The WNCW logo covered the canvas bag in big blue letters that nobody could miss. “I usually do rainbow chard, but it’s disgusting this week. It looks like it’s from the SuperSaver.”

“Well, we’re the freshest,” said the farmer, smiling sweetly . . .

“Crab and Dumpling” by Lisa Allen-Agostini

Miss Jo ladled an extra spoonful of golden brown stew over the fat, long dumplings in the bowl before sliding it across the counter to George. His mouth watered at the sight of the red crab legs glistening in the curry. “You fix me well nice,” he said, beaming at the food.

Miss Jo beamed back at him. Her gold tooth with its tiny diamond winked at him from between her full, brown lips. “You know you does get it special,” she said. She leaned her heavy, middle-aged bust over the counter. “I go get my special later?” she whispered . . .

“Law of the Primal Age” by Justin Kassab

Peter stood over the bathroom sink, checking in the mirror to be sure that the lines of his suit were straight. Assuring himself he looked as good as circumstances permitted, he leaned over the sink and rubbed a smooth beach stone between his hands. Seventy-three days ago he would have used water, but now their community had strict water usage policies . . .

“Plowed” by Stephen D. Rogers

The wipers groaned as the snow fell wet and heavy, slushballs exploding on the windshield like multiple exit wounds.

The day couldn’t be more perfect.

Hunched over the wheel, Michael squinted through the chaos to the road ahead, adjusting his course to follow the trenches dug by larger vehicles.

He would finally see his father. His father would finally see him . . .

“Blood Suckers” by Laurie Loewenstein

Tami didn’t even count her night’s tips before she shoved the wad of coins and damp bills into her purse and went out the back door of Chevy’s Pub just minutes after closing. She gunned the Fiesta past her apartment, past the Sidney city limits, heading straight for the used RV she kept down by the river. She knew she’d find Dale with that slut who had been hanging on him all night . . .

“Falconer” by S.J. Rozan

Tuguldur didn’t like the city.

His father had never come, nor his father’s father. Nothing called them. They drove their herds to the ridges, within sight of the distant towers and haze, and sold them to middlemen. They turned their horses when the business was done and rode back to the steppe, to the autumn camps and their families and the young, strong animals that would survive the howling winter and fatten in the spring . . .

“The Calling” by Gary Phillips

Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays. This week, Gary Phillips (editor of […]

“The Hostage” by Timothy Ready

Matty saw the asshole as soon as he climbed over the fence from Volunteer Park into Lakeview Cemetery. Butchie was waving, like an idiot, right where he had told Matty to meet him: Bruce Lee’s grave at two a.m. Like he had to wave, like there’d be anybody else but Butchie the Rat by Bruce Lee’s grave at two a.m.

He walked over to the asshole. “Where’s my cat, Butchie?”


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