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Columbus Noir

Edited by:

The state of Ohio could only escape the Akashic Noir Series for so long.

$15.95 $11.95

What people are saying…

“Honor Guard” by Tom Barlow and “The Dead and the Quiet” by Lauren Bickle are both included in The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2021‘s Other Distinguished Mystery and Suspense of 2020!

“Perfect for fans of crime novels and mysteries. The book tells stories of Columbus’ dark doppelgänger, where greed and pride have run rampant.”
Columbus Monthly Magazine

“Like the rest of the state of Ohio, Columbus has been hit hard by the opioid crisis, and the stories included in Akashic’s ode to the city are as full of misery as the city currently is in real life. Moments of humanity shine through in many of the tales in this collection, and epic takes on pride and greed make many of the stories in this collection go beyond small miseries into the realm of Shakespearian tragedy. Urgent, beautiful, and not to be missed.”
CrimeReads, included in CrimeReads’ Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2020

“When author Andrew Welsh-Huggins started on his latest work, he knew he wanted the stories to be focused in and around Columbus, his adopted hometown of 22 years. But it wasn’t the area’s bustling arts scene, avid sports culture or homey Midwestern feel that the writer and journalist wanted to highlight. Instead, he wanted to focus on the seedy inner workings of the city’s underbelly—at least fictitiously—in Columbus Noir.”
Columbus Dispatch

“[Huggins] says Columbus is the perfect setting for the kind of mayhem that occurs when dreamers become schemers . . . Now he has convinced 13 local writers to join him in investigating Columbus’ dark corners and imagining the kinds of things that can happen when relationships turn vicious and ambition trumps ethics.”
Columbus Monthly, Seven Questions with editor Andrew Welsh-Huggins

“Femmes fatales, shady clubs and antiheroes: all the elements are here in Columbus Noir, a satisfying collection of 14 stories by some of Ohio’s best authors, in a series of more than a hundred books in an award-winning series that includes locales like Baghdad Noir and Wall Street Noir.”
Akron Beacon Journal

“This entry in Akashic’s signature series is solid and brings attention to a growing metropolis that is claiming homegrown crime-fiction talent. Columbus may not be as exotic as Belfast, Havana, or Baghdad, but this collection demonstrates that it is equally as sinister.”
The Rap Sheet, Included in Stephen Miller’s Favorite Crime Fiction of 2020

“Welsh-Huggins did an excellent job of rounding up writers who know how to delve into the depth of the human soul . . . If you enjoy reading James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler, James Ellroy et al, you will not be disappointed by this book.”
Swords Against Boredom

“This superior Akashic noir anthology gathers 14 dark snapshots of Ohio’s capital, a very dangerous place indeed, with heavy drug use and murder touching down everywhere, from the German Village neighborhood to the statehouse . . . Noir fans should be well satisfied.”
Publishers Weekly

“The latest stage in Akashic’s master plan to paint the world black is marked by 14 new stories . . . and the different shades of noir they invoke, from light gray to pitch black.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Very appealing.”
The Cyberlibrarian


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: Lee Martin, Robin Yocum, Kristen Lepionka, Craig McDonald, Chris Bournea, Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Tom Barlow, Mercedes King, Daniel Best, Laura Bickle, Yolonda Tonette Sanders, Julia Keller, Khalid Moalim, and Nancy Zafris.

From the introduction by Andrew Welsh-Huggins:

Today, Columbus is an epicenter of the opioid epidemic, awash in heroin and the even deadlier fentanyl as dealers flood the city with their wares . . .  The wealth gap in the city is growing, and Columbus is now one of the deadliest places in the state for babies trying to make it to their first birthday, even more so if their mothers are African American. These days, Columbus is a place forensic investigators are moving to. Overdoses, homicides, infant mortality: at long last, we’re finally as lethal as any big American city.

In that light (and darkness) I’m pleased to present Columbus Noir, a collection of shadowy tales from the city’s best storytellers set in neighborhoods across the metropolis. Sexual passion drives many of the stories, appropriate for a genre marked by protagonists striving for things out of their reach. Racism makes an appearance or two, as do those twin pillars of noir, greed and pride. Still, a deep appreciation of Columbus runs through the book as forcefully as the swath cut by the Olentangy after a couple of days of hard rain.

Table of Contents


Part I: Sin in Cbus
“The Satin Fox” by Robin Yocum (Victorian Village)
“Gun People” by Kristen Lepionka (Olde Towne East)
“Curb Appeal” by Craig McDonald (German Village)
“My Name Is Not Susan” by Chris Bournea (Eastmoor)

Part II: Capital Offenses
“Going Places” by Andrew Welsh-Huggins (Ohio Statehouse)
“Honor Guard” by Tom Barlow (Clintonville)
“An Agreeable Wife for a Suitable Husband” by Mercedes King (South End)
“Take the Wheel” by Daniel Best (Short North)
“The Dead and the Quiet” by Laura Bickle (Union Cemetery)

Part III: Buckeye Betrayals
“The Luckiest Man Alive” by Lee Martin (San Margherita)
“The Valley” by Yolanda Tonette Sanders (Whitehall)
“All That Burns the Mind” by Julia Keller (Ohio State University)
“Long Ears” by Khalid Moalim (North Side)
“Foreign Study” by Nancy Zafris (West Broad Street)

Watch or listen to Andrew Welsh-Huggins provide a sneak preview of Columbus Noir on All Sides Weekend: Book (WOSU, Columbus, OH NPR).

Read a feature on Columbus Noir at Columbus Dispatch.

Read a “Seven Questions with editor Andrew Welsh-Huggins” interview at Columbus Monthly.

Read a post, “The Latest Installments In The Akashic Noir Series,” which includes a mention of Columbus Noir, at Brooklyn Digest.

Read an essay, “Columbus, Ohio: From Cowtown To Crimetown” by editor Andrew Welsh-Huggins at CrimeReads.

Read a guest piece from editor Andrew Welsh-Huggins at Mystery Readers Journal.

Read a Member Spotlight on Andrew Welsh-Huggins at The Authors Guild

Listen to an interview with editor Andrew Welsh-Huggins at The 6 Pack with DaveMan (610 WTVN AM Columbus, OH):

Book Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Published: 3/3/20
  • IBSN: 9781617757655
  • e-IBSN: 9781617757761
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617759109


ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS, an editor and reporter for the Associated Press in Columbus, is the author of nonfiction books on the death penalty and terrorism, and six novels about private eye Andy Hayes, an ex–Ohio State and Cleveland Browns quarterback turned investigator. Welsh-Huggins’s short story “The Murderous Type” won the 2017 Al Blanchard Award for best New England short crime fiction. Columbus Noir is his latest work.

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