Sunday, November 15, 2015

Lone Star Noir edited by Bobby Byrd and Johnny Byrd (2010)

I picked up this copy of Lone Star Noir edited by Bobby Byrd and Johnny Byrd (2010) on a family trip to San Antonio when we went to check out The Twig bookstore at the old Pearl Brewery (highly recommended!). It seemed like an appropriate souvenir for a fan of crime fiction and Texas.

This book follows the same format as the other "LOCATION Noir" books put out by Akashic Books. An editor from the city, state, or country in question brings together an anthology of contemporary crime fiction (defined pretty broadly) that all takes place in that location, and that is usually written by authors that live there.

I read another title from this series (Helsinki Noir) earlier this year, and maybe I'm just more Texan than Finnish, but I liked the Lone Star Noir anthology quite a bit more.

The Byrds bring together a diverse group of authors (including quite a few women) that set their stories throughout the state. This book gives the reader a combination of traditional hard-boiled crime fiction, unsettling dark stories, and a few pretty disturbing tales. Everything here is really well written and I appreciated the variety in backgrounds and formats.

I'm definitely interested in picking up more books from this series, partly because I just like crime fiction, but also because they give you such a neat look at a place through the lens of a specific genre. You don't have to be from Texas to like this writing -- it's just good writing! -- but living in Texas gives another layer to the collection that I really liked. Plus the title is extremely fun to say.

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