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Dallas Noir

Edited by:

Texas’s ultimate noir town, where nasty surprises lurk around every turn, reveals its unseemly underbelly.

$19.95 $14.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

Part of “Year in Review: Why the Eyes of the Book World were on Texas in 2013,” Dallas News

One of Texas Monthly‘s “5 Things You’ll be Talking about in November”

“Sunday Sentence” selection on Lynne’s Book Notes

“This collection of crime stories takes its inspiration from the darker corners of everyday life in a city that many associate only with a historic assassination—or a glitzy TV show about oil fortunes and family feuds. All of the authors are Dallas natives and have written stories, both contemporary and historical, that run from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the factual to the fantastical.”
CrimeReads, included in Kathleen Kent’s Dallas round-up

“All in all, the stories in Dallas Noir have an unsettling, slightly creepy presence that is not just appropriate but completely necessary for a collection of noir fiction. If you think Dallas is boring or white-bread—well, perhaps you haven’t gotten out much and seen the dark edges of Big D for yourself. And if you haven’t, maybe you don’t even want to.”
Dallas Morning News

“If you want to delve into the creepier sides of Dallas, this is a good start.”
Lakewood/East Dallas Advocate

Dallas Noir is a fiction mosaic, showing a city of class divisions precariously held together by money, land, and false love. It also shows the expanse of noir and it’s power.”
MysteryPeople.com (MysteryPeople Pick of the Month)

“The latest entry in Akashic Books’ award-winning noir anthology series doesn’t disappoint, featuring a Texas-sized serving of writing’s heavy hitters and satisfying short fiction.”
Criminal Class Press

“There are two reasons why you should buy Dallas Noir . . . Reason No. 1: you’ll enjoy reading it. Reason No. 2: the publisher, Akashic Books, has published these noir series all over the country.”
D Magazine/FrontBurner

“November 22 looms, and as the watershed nears, a new anthology of short stories sets out with a noble purpose: to make Dallas known for something more than the place where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.”
Dallas Culture Map

“Where do you go after you’ve sold your house to the president of the United States? Laura and Dan Boeckman sold their previous home to a couple named Laura and George W. Bush and relocated to a pretty swell Cole Smith-designed contemporary on a residential lake in Preston Hollow. And that was where things got all Raymond Chandler-esque at the recent launch party the Boeckmans hosted for the new book Dallas Noir.”
Dallas Morning News (event spotlight)

“We know you have a friend who reads a book faster than you can drink a cup coffee (we all do). She’ll devour this collection of short crime stories, each set in a different Dallas neighborhood, before you can order that skinny vanilla latte.”
DailyCandy (Dallas), part of 2013 Dallas Girls’ Holiday Gift Guide

“Yet, Dallas’ almost-fleeting presence, the glaring contrasts of the stinking rich and the hapless poor, its buxom women and its Texan masculinity teamed with Hispanic folklore, all find their way into each of these 16 short stories.”
The Mercury (UTD Student Newspaper)

“If we are going to commemorate the milestone anniversary of the worst crime ever committed in Big D, why not precede it with a few tales of bad luck, bad choices, and bad timing?”
M. Denise C.

“A great collection of brand new short stories.”
Kick Ass Book Reviews


Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Brand-new stories by: Kathleen Kent, Ben Fountain, James Hime, Harry Hunsicker, Matt Bondurant, Merritt Tierce, Daniel J. Hale, Emma Rathbone, Jonathan Woods, Oscar C. Peña, Clay Reynolds, Lauren Davis, Fran Hillyer, Catherine Cuellar, David Haynes, and J. Suzanne Frank.

From the introduction by David Hale Smith:
My favorite line in my favorite song about Dallas goes like this: Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes / A steel and concrete soul in a warm heart and love disguise . . . The narrator of Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s perfect tune “Dallas” is coming to town as a broke dreamer with the bright lights of the big city on his mind. He’s just seen the Dallas cityscape through the window of his seat on a DC-9 at night. Is he just beginning his quest? Or is he on his way home, flying out of Love Field, reminiscing after seeing the woman who stepped on him when he was down?

In a country with so many interesting cities, Dallas is often overlooked—except on November 22 every year. The heartbreaking anniversary keeps coming back around in a nightmare loop, for all of us. On that day in 1963, Dallas became American noir. A permanent black scar on its history that will never be erased, no matter how many happy business stories and hit television shows arise from here. In a stark ongoing counterweight to the JFK tragedy are those two iterations of the TV show. Dallas is not a TV show. It’s a real city . . . For the past forty years, my capacity to be surprised by it has not diminished one bit. I hope the stories in this collection will surprise you too.

Click here to read a spotlight on Dallas Noir in the Dallas Morning News’s Pop Culture Blog; here to see a spotlight on Dallas Noir at the Texas Book Festival; here to read a spotlight on Dallas Noir in the Texas Observer; here to read a story about editor David Hale Smith in the Kenyon Collegian; here to listen to an interview at KUT Austin; or here to read a feature article on Dallas Noir in the Star-Telegram.

Read features on Matt Bondurant, Clay Reynolds, and Lauren Davis at The Mercury (UTD’s student newspaper).

Table of Contents


Part I: Cowboys
“Hole-Man” by Matt Bondurant (White Rock)
“The Realtor” by Ben Fountain (Swiss Avenue)
“In the Air” by Daniel J. Hale (Deep Ellum)
“The Clearing” by Emma Rathbone (Plano)
“En la Calle Doce (Flaco’s Blues)” by Oscar C. Peña (Oak Cliff)

Part II: Rangers
“The Private Room” by Merritt Tierce (Uptown)
“Night Work” by Clay Reynolds (Old East Dallas)
“Full Moon” by Lauren Davis (Pleasant Grove)
“Like Kissing Your Sister” by James Hime (Irving)
“An Angel from Heaven” by Fran Hillyer (Northpark)

Part III: Mavericks
“Coincidences Can Kill You” by Kathleen Kent (Cleburne)
“Big Things Happening Here” by David Haynes (Oak Lawn)
“The Stickup Girl” by Harry Hunsicker (South Dallas)
“Dog Sitter” by Catherine Cuellar (Love Field)
“Miss Direction” by J. Suzanne Frank (Downtown)
“Swingers Anonymous” by Jonathan Woods (M Streets)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Published: 11/5/13
  • IBSN: 9781617751905
  • e-IBSN: 9781617752025


DAVID HALE SMITH is a literary agent based in Dallas, Texas. Along with fourteen Edgar Award nominations, his clients have won the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, Shamus, Barry, Macavity, Eisner, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He is the editor of Dallas Noir.

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