Berlin Noir is another edition of the Akashic Noir series. It has thirteen chapters organized in three parts: Stress in the City; Cops and Gangsters; and Berlin Scenes. They range from the heartbreaking story of mental illness fracturing a family in Dora to the disturbing grotesquerie of Valverde, a story that made me put the book down for a few days just to recover.

There are ingenious mysteries such as The Invisible Man where a clever serial killer is too clever by half. I loved Fashion Week, though I hoped for a better ending for our fashion designer. Kaddish for Lazar is a satisfying mystery. The Beauty of Kenilworth Ivy reminds me a bit of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Executioner’s Song” for the best of reasons.

Berlin Noir” is an excellent anthology. I appreciate the writers resisted the temptation to rely on Nazi history for their noir. Even the story that relied most heavily on World War II history takes place in the present. It was an intelligent choice that made an anthology full of unexpected and fresh stories.

I have loved since Brooklyn Noir fifteen years ago. I wonder if Akashic will do something special for the anniversary or wait until the series is twenty. For fifteen years I have eagerly read every edition. When friends were traveling, I would look for an edition for their travel destination. I have gifted Portland Noir a few times, especially to new transplants. Each anthology can stand on its own and “Berlin Noir” is a great introduction.

Berlin Noir” will be published on May 7th. I received an e-galley from the publisher through Edelweiss.