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Providence Noir

Edited by:

Following the success of Dennis Lehane’s best-selling Boston Noir, the Akashic Noir Series delves deeper into the underbelly of New England.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

Peter Farrelly’s story “The Saturday Night Before Easter Sunday” has been nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Short Story!

Named a Favorite Book of 2015 by Scott MacKay at Rhode Island Public Radio

“Even Providence’s signature public art has a dark side in Providence Noir (Akashic), which includes a story called ‘WaterFire’s Smell Tonight’ by Pablo Rodriguez. Each tale in this anthology edited by Ann Hood is set in a different part of the city. Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout’s story takes place at Trinity Repertory Company. Thomas Cobb, whose novel Crazy Heart was made into a movie with Jeff Bridges, tees up at Triggs Memorial Golf Course, and Dumb and Dumber co-writer and co-director Peter Farrelly, a graduate of Providence College, sets his story in the Elmhurst neighborhood, near his old college stomping grounds.”
Boston Globe

“Providence, of course, has a history of crime, the mob, corruption and other goodies. In this collection of 15 stories . . . we are given a darkly hued tour of the city in all its nooks and crannies by such excellent writers as Hood herself, John Searles, Bruce DeSilva, Peter Farrelly, Elizabeth Strout, Hester Kaplan and others, each with their own style, tone and sly approach that will keep you reading, waiting for the sudden murder, the end of troubled relationships, the discovery of bones. . . . [A] wonderful collection.”
Providence Journal

“John Searles’s ‘The Pig’ combines a touching examination of pathos and mystery. Robert Leuci’s ‘The Vengeance Taker’ is a powerful and ultimately creepy story of earned revenge. LaShonda Katrice Barnett’s ‘Waltz Me Once Again’ is a compelling story of violence and tragedy. Thomas Cobb performs the remarkable feat of making a simple round of golf into a surprisingly suspenseful tale, ‘$1,000 Nassau.’ And Peter Farrelly’s ‘The Saturday Night Before Easter Sunday’ closes out the volume with a superb—and hilarious—inside look at the world of novelists, phonies, publishers, and schemers.”
Publishers Weekly

“If you like short stories set in Providence, check out Providence Noir, edited by Ann Hood.”
Providence Journal, Bill Reynolds’s column

A Rhode Island Monthly Rhody Reads pick!

“The stories are about as diverse and self-destructive cast of characters throughout Providence of varied classes, race, and educational backgrounds . . . . Peppered throughout the book and sometimes even the driving aspect of a story are complex contemporary hot button topics like gentrification and racial profiling with haunting echoes of some of the dark episodes in the past few years . . . . It’s a reminder that reality can feel as helplessly tangled as noir films and stories.”
New York Daily News

“It’s hard to imagine a better setting for a crime story than Providence . . . . there is no doubt it provides ample backdrop for stories without heroes or happy endings. Thanks to the partnership between Akashic Books, an independent Brooklyn-based publisher, and local writer Ann Hood, we now have Providence Noir—a collection of gritty, hard-boiled short stories that are set within different neighborhoods throughout the city.”
Providence Monthly

Providence Noir is teeming with muscular, gritty, hard-boiled short stories alongside borderline modern-day gothic tales. Damaged characters, flawed plans of bloody retribution, double-crossing ambitions, and pure murder in mind make it a must-read. You won’t find better noir stories this year.”
New York Journal of Books

“This is a perfect summer read. It’s Providence with an edge, written by 15 writers who know how to shape stories that lead us down unexpected paths of a city that we love. Out of towners may see it as make believe tales of suspense. To most of us, it’s just home.”
East Side Monthly

“You get Alzheimer’s, lesbians, Mafia and more as you read along. This is a very good collection of stories that will stay with you after you close the book. They are stories to think about.”
Journey of a Bookseller


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.

Featuring brand-new stories by: John Searles, Elizabeth Strout, Taylor M. Polites, Hester Kaplan, Robert Leuci, Amity Gaige, Peter Farrelly, Pablo Rodriguez, Bruce DeSilva, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Luanne Rice, Dawn Raffel, Thomas Cobb, LaShonda Katrice Barnett, and Ann Hood.

Anyone who has spent time in Providence, Rhode Island, knows that lurking in the shadows are many sinister noir elements and characters. The city is ripe for this volume, and Akashic is proud to have recruited the amazing Ann Hood as editor. The impressive contributor list conveys the caliber of Providence Noir, which joins Cape Cod Noir, Boston Noir, and Boston Noir 2: The Classics in sketching a dark and alternative portrait of these New England locales.

From the introduction by Ann Hood:

“Providence was founded in 1636 by a rogue named Roger Williams. Williams escaped here when Massachusetts was ready to deport him back to England. In the almost four hundred years since, we’ve become infamous for all sorts of crimes and misdemeanors, including serving as home base for the Patriarca crime family for decades. My very own Uncle Eddie—I can hear Mama Rose screaming at me: ‘He wasn’t a blood relative! He was related through marriage!’—was gunned down in the Silver Lake section of town in 1964, just a year after he drove me in his white Cadillac convertible in a parade as the newly crowned Little Miss Natick. The writer Geoffrey Wolff told me that once he went to a barber in Princeton, New Jersey and the barber asked him where he was from. ‘Providence,’ Wolff told him. The barber put down his scissors, raised his hands in the air, and said, ‘Providence? Don’t shoot!’

“I’ve asked fourteen of my favorite writers to contribute short stories to Providence Noir. We have stories to make you shiver, stories to make you think, stories that will show you my beautiful, noirish city in a way it’s never been highlighted before.”

Click here to read a feature on contributor Robert Leuci at the Providence Journal.

Read an interview with Ann Hood at Examiner.com.

Check out a music playlist compiled by Ann Hood and inspired by Providence Noir at Largehearted Boy.

Table of Contents


Part I: Down City
“Gold Leaf” by Luanne Rice (Fox Point)
“The Pig” by John Searles (Arnold Street)
“Under the Shepard Clock” by Ann Hood (Downtown)
“The Vengeance Taker” by Robert Leuci (Olneyville)
“Waltz Me Once Again” by LaShonda Katrice Barnett (Mount Hope)

Part II: What Cheer
“Once, at Trinity Rep” by Elizabeth Strout (Trinity Repertory Company)
“The Autobiographical House” by Amity Gaige (College Hill)
“Femur” by Hester Kaplan (Butler Hospital)
“Missing Sri” by Marie Myung-Ok Lee (Brown University)
“$1,000 Nassau” by Thomas Cobb (Triggs Memorial Golf Course)

Part III: God’s Merciful Providence
“All in the Family” by Bruce DeSilva (Federal Hill)
“Armory Park” by Taylor M. Polites (Armory District)
“Training” by Dawn Raffel (Providence Station)
“WaterFire’s Smell Tonight” by Pablo Rodriguez (WaterFire)
“The Saturday Night Before Easter Sunday” by Peter Farrelly (Elmhurst)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Published: 6/2/15
  • IBSN: 9781617753527
  • e-IBSN: 9781617753657
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617753725


ANN HOOD is the author of the best-selling novels The Obituary Writer, The Knitting Circle, and The Book That Matters Most. Hood was born in West Warwick, Rhode Island, and currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island. She is the editor of Providence Noir, and Now You See the Sky is the debut selection of Hood’s new nonfiction imprint with Akashic, Gracie Belle.

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