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.

“Relief” by Adeola Adeniyi

On a humid mid-July Thursday evening, a young woman in a cream-colored Macy’s pantsuit went into the small bodega on Nostrand and Lexington Avenue (by the twenty-four-hour Laundromat) and walked to the back refrigerator . . .

“What Are You in the Market For?” by Ruo Ruo Zhao

The moment Elaine walks out of the air-conditioned hospital hallway, she is covered in a sheet of liquid. It is not sweat, but rather condensation from the difference in interior and exterior temperature. A thunderstorm is coming, maybe even a typhoon. The moisture in the air has captured all the smells on the streets. Beneath the pungent aroma of fermented tofu and fish balls, there is the distinct scent of mold from children’s nylon backpacks. Further down the street, there is the body odor of an Indian delivery boy—cumin, the cheap perfume worn by women who disappear into buildings with pink neon lights—green apple, fresh citrus scents from Bergamot oranges and pomelos, and the smell of ocean from the fish stall next door . . .

“The Confession” by Murray Stone

Nothing much happens around Sylvan Lake as a rule—maybe a fight breaks out at the Agricultural Society dance, or the institution of marriage is combined with booze or drugs or guns. So of course the Edmonton and Calgary papers are saying that Lillian’s death is beyond the investigative powers of my rural RCMP detachment and me. Well, maybe so. I don’t know . . .

“Fresh Fish” by Matthew J. Hockey

“Nothing stops the bid,” Uncle Taeng said as he shoveled the squirming baby octopus into his mouth. “Nothing. If we don’t bid, Seoul doesn’t eat . . .”

“The Blackout” by Brandon Dutton

Where the f**k am I?

My eyes snapped open and scanned the inside of a run-down apartment. Brown stains covered the couch like leprosy, and the living room looked like it had been robbed . . .

“The The Cortez” by Brett Finlayson

Tupelo was sipping a Mickey’s in El Cortez when Mac and Porter came in from Fremont—a double endorsement for capital punishment as far as Tupelo was concerned, and the reason he had a glass eye . . .