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New Orleans Noir

Edited by:

Beneath the glitter of Mardi Gras lies the sleaze of Bourbon Street; under the celestial sounds of JazzFest, the nightmare screams of a city traumatized long before the storm.

$15.95 $11.96

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What people are saying…

New Orleans Noir explores the dark corners of our city in eighteen stories, set both pre- and post-Katrina . . . In Julie Smith, Temple found a perfect editor for the New Orleans volume, for she is one who knows and loves the city and its writers and knows how to bring out the best in both . . . It’s harrowing reading, to be sure, but it’s pure page-turning pleasure, too.”

New Orleans Noir is a vivid series of impressions of the city in moments that brought out either the best or worst in people. As part of the first wave of fiction to arrive in the wake of the storm, it’s a thrilling read and a harbinger of what should be an interesting stream of works.”
Gambit Weekly

“Don’t expect the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce to put its seal of approval on New Orleans Noir, because these eighteen stories describe a city where serial killers and philosophers live side by side . . . Yet when you’ve waded through these anguished pages, you can begin to understand why—as corrupt as it is, as broken as it is—so many of New Orleans’s refugees still long to go home.”
Mystery Scene

“The excellent twelfth entry in Akashic’s city-specific noir series illustrates the diversity of the chosen locale . . . Appropriately, Smith divides the book into pre- and post- Katrina sections, and many of the more powerful tales describe the disaster’s hellish aftermath.”
Publishers Weekly

“Alongside San Francisco and Las Vegas, few American cities are simultaneously beloved and loathed by so many, which makes New Orleans a particularly promising and logical addition to Akashic’s noir series . . . this is a strong and extremely entertaining collection that leaves you satisfied in a straight-up-Jameson, unfiltered-cigarette, pretty-gal-on-the-arm kind of way.”
L. Magazine

New Orleans Noir digs below the surface and into the social fabric of a city that had its troubles long before Hurricane Katrina . . . Despite the fact that this collection is gritty, often bloody and frequently depressing, it’s a fascinating portrayal of a city that has always had social troubles ignored by the rest of the country. In that it is a call to action.”
Feminist Review


Read “Redneck Riviera,” Julie Smith’s contribution to Akashic’s Mondays Are Murder series.

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: Ace Atkins, Laura Lippman, Patty Friedmann, Barbara Hambly, Tim McLoughlin, Olympia Vernon, David Fulmer, Jervey Tervalon, James Nolan, Kalamu ya Salaam, Maureen Tan, Thomas Adcock, Jeri Cain Rossi, Christine Wiltz, Greg Herren, Julie Smith, Eric Overmyer, and Ted O’Brien.

[A portion of the profits from New Orleans Noir will be donated to Katrina KARES, a hurricane relief program sponsored by the New Orleans Institute that awards grants to writers affected by the hurricane.]

New Orleans is a third world country in itself, a Latin, African, European (and often amoral) culture trapped in a Puritan nation. It’s everyone’s seamy underside, the city where respectable citizens go to get drunk, puke in the gutter, dance on tabletops, and go home with strangers, all without guilt. It’s the metropolitan equivalent of eating standing up—if it happened in New Orleans, it doesn’t count.

The city was always the home of the lovable rogue, the poison magnolia, the bent politico, the sociopathic street thug, and, especially, the heartless con artist—but in post-Katrina times it struggles against . . . well, the same old problems, just writ large and with a new breed of carpetbagger thrown in. Combine all that with a brilliant literary tradition and you have New Orleans Noir, a sparkling collection of tales exploring the city’s wasted, gutted neighborhoods, its outwardly gleaming “sliver by the river,” its still-raunchy French Quarter, and other hoods so far from the Quarter they might as well be on another continent. It also looks back into the past, from that recent innocent time known in contemporary New Orleans as “pre-K,” to the mid-nineteenth century, the other time the city was mostly swampland.

Table of Contents


Part I: Before the Levees Broke
“What’s the Score?” by Ted O’Brien (Mid-City)
“Two-Story Brick Houses” by Patty Friedmann (Uptown)
“Scared Rabbit” by Tim McLoughlin (Irish Channel)
“Schevoski” by Olympia Vernon (University District)
“Algiers” by David Fulmer (Algiers)
“Pony Girl” by Laura Lippman (Tremé)
“The Battling Priests of Corpus Christi” by Jervey Tervalon (Seventh Ward)
“Open Mike” by James Nolan (French Quarter)
“All I Could Was Cry” by Kalamu ya Salaam (Lower Ninth Ward)
“There Shall Your Heart Be Also” by Barbara Hambly (The Swamp)

Part II: Life in Atlantis
“Muddy Pond” by Maureen Tan (Village de l’Est)
“Lawyers’ Tongues” by Thomas Adcock (Gentilly)
“And Hell Walked In” by Jeri Cain Rossi (Bywater)
“Night Taxi” by Christine Wiltz (Lakeview)
“Annunciation Shotgun” by Greg Herren (Lower Garden District)
“Loot” by Julie Smith (Garden District)
“Angola South” by Ace Atkins (Loyola Avenue)
“Marigny Triangle” by Eric Overmyer (Faubourg Marigny)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Published: 4/1/07
  • IBSN: 9781933354248
  • e-IBSN: 9781936070398


JULIE SMITH is an Edgar Award winner for best novel, and the author of four mystery series set in New Orleans and San Francisco. A former journalist, she has worked for newspapers in both those cities and now lives in New Orleans. She is the owner of booksBnimble, which publishes mysteries and other quality works digitally. In 2007 Smith edited the best-selling anthology New Orleans Noir for Akashic Books. She is also the editor of New Orleans Noir: The Classics.

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