This original anthology of noir fiction set in Maryland’s Charm City includes new stories by David Simon, Laura Lippman, Jim Fusilli, and more.
As fans of the HBO series The Wire have known for years, Baltimore is home to a rich and diverse underworld that is matched by an equally rich and diverse literary tradition. This is the city where Dashiell Hammett worked as a Pinkerton agent. It’s also where Zelda Fitzgerald came for psychiatric treatment. In this sterling collection of noir fiction, some of Baltimore’s best authors “confront the full irony that is Charm City, a place where you can go from the leafy beauty of the North Side neighborhoods to the gutted ghettos of the West Side in less than twenty minutes, then find your way to the revamped Inner Harbor in another ten” (Laura Lippman, from the introduction).Baltimore Noir includes brand-new stories by David Simon, Laura Lippman, Tim Cockey, Rob Hiaasen, Robert Ward, Sujata Massey, Jack Bludis, Rafael Alvarez, Marcia Talley, Joseph Wallace, Lisa Respers France, Charlie Stella, Sarah Weinman, Dan Fesperman, Jim Fusilli, and Ben Neihart.
About the Author
Laura Lippman has lived in Baltimore most of her life and she would have spent even more time here if the editors of the Sun had agreed to hire her earlier. She attended public schools and has lived in several of the city’s distinctive neighborhoods, including Dickeyville, Tuscany-Canterbury, Evergreen, and South Federal Hill. She is the author of ten books, including the Baltimore-centric Tess Monaghan novels.
Rafael Alvarez is the son of a Baltimore tugboat engineer.The author of numerous “Orlo&Leini” tales, Alvarez published a people’s history of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2005.
Jack Bludis is a lifetime resident of the Baltimore area who lived his early years in Pigtown. He was a finalist for both the Shamus and Anthony Awards for Best Short Story in 2004, His novel Shadow of the Dahlia was a Shamus Award finalist in 2005.
Tim Cockey spent his wonder years in Baltimore, living in the Cockeysville, Garrison Forest, and Roland Park neighborhoods. He has published five novels featuring Fell’s Point undertaker Hitchcock Sewell—the infamous “Hearse” books. He now lives in New York City.
Dan Fesperman has lived in Baltimore for more than twenty years, with detours to Berlin and other points abroad as a foreign correspondent for the Baltimore Sun. He is the author of The Warlord’s Son and three other novels, two of which have won Dagger Awards from the British Crime Writers Association.
Lisa Respers France is a native “Baltimoron” who owes her love of the written word to her parents, Gary and Patricia, for tirelessly shuttling her back and forth to the Enoch Pratt and Baltimore County public libraries during her early years. A former reporter at the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun, she is currently a writer and editor in New York City and can often be found hauling a cooler filled with Maryland crab meat up Interstate 95.
Jim Fusilli is the author of the award-winning Terry Orr series, which includes Hard, Hard City, winner of the Gumshoe Award for Best Novel of 2004, as well as Closing Time, A Well-Known Secret, and Tribeca Blues. He also writes for the Wall Street Journal and is a contributor to National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.
Rob Hiaasen is a native Floridian who moved to Baltimore in 1993 to become a staff writer for the Sun. When hungry for stories or mussel chowder, Hiaasen drifts into Fell’s Point, which may or may not have an apostrophe.
Sujata Massey graduated from Johns Hopkins University and worked as a reporter at the late but great Baltimore Evening Sun before turning to a life of crime fiction. She is the author of nine novels, most recently The Typhoon Lover. She enjoys living in Roland Park, though she has pledged never to take up gardening or drive a Humvee.
Ben Neihart lived in the “landmark” Marylander apartment building in the Charles Village neighborhood of Baltimore for three years during the mid-1990s. He is the author of the books Hey Joe, Burning Girl, and iRough Amusements, and his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Travel&Leisure, and the Baltimore Sun. He currently lives in New York.
David Simon is a former crime reporter with the Baltimore Sun, and the author of Homicide and The Corner, two works of narrative nonfiction. He is also a writer and executive producer of HBO’s The Wire.
Charlie Stella played Strat-O-Matic baseball as a kid, until his father put him on a twelve-step program to rein in his addiction. In Stella’s world (Strat-O-Matic), the Orioles beat his Mets in seven back in ’69 (when he was thirteen).
Marcia Talley is the Agatha and Anthony Award– winning author of six novels featuring amateur sleuth Hannah Ives, set in Annapolis, Baltimore, and other locales around Maryland’s scenic Chesapeake Bay. She is author/ editor of two star-studded collaborative serial novels, Naked Came the Phoenix and I’d Kill For That, and her short stories have appeared in more than a dozen collections.
Joseph Wallace has written more than fifteen books and dozens of articles on topics as diverse as baseball, natural history, medicine, and the invention of the light bulb. “Liminal” is his first piece of published noir. He’s grateful to Laura Lippman for requesting it, especially since he’s a lifelong New York Mets fan with vivid memories of the 1969 World Series.
Robert Ward was born and raised in Baltimore and now lives in Los Angeles, where he writes fiction, screenplays, and television dramas. He is the author of six novels, including Red Baker, winner of the Pen West Award for Best Novel. “Fat Chance” is about the pull of Charm City, with its neighborhoods and personal history, versus “success” in Los Angeles.
Sarah Weinman is the crime-fiction columnist for the Baltimore Sun and the proprietor of the literary blog “Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind” (at www.sarahweinman.com). Her stories have appeared in several print and online publications, including Dublin Noir. She lives in Manhattan, only a Metroliner away from Baltimore.