Tonstant Weader Reviews

Opinionated Book Reviews.


Short Story

Hunter’s Moon by Phil Caputo

Hunter's Moon is a collection of short stories centered on an Upper Peninsula community that is oriented toward hunting and fishing tourism. Characters from one story show up in another, tying them together in a a novelistic anthology. The first... Continue Reading →

This Is Not America by Jordi Puntí

This Is Not America is a collection of nine short stories mostly taking place in Barcelona, but also with Catalans traveling abroad. The first and last stories are the strangest. In the first, "Vertical", a man is waking the 'I'... Continue Reading →

Milwaukee Noir edited by Tim Hennessy

Milwaukee Noir is the latest in the Akashic Noir series that explores the world through noir fiction. As with every edition in the series, a local is chosen to enlist writers in the project and shepherd their work to completion.... Continue Reading →

Berlin Noir by Thomas Wörtche

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... Continue Reading →

Houston Noir by Gwendolyn Zepeda

Houston Noir is a great collection of fourteen noir mysteries in the always reliable, always intriguing Akashic Noir series. This collection was edited by Gwendolyn Zepeda who did a bang-up job of selecting writers and encouraging them to great noir. In fact, her selections were... Continue Reading →

Instructions for a Funeral by David Means

Instructions for a Funeral is an extraordinary collection of fourteen short stories by David Means. In "Fistfight, Sacramento, August 1950", a simple fistfight turns out to be fraught with history and symbolism. In "The Terminal Artist" a grieving family learns their... Continue Reading →

Sydney Noir by John Dale

Sydney Noir is another edition in the fabulous Akashic Noir series of noir stories situated in cities around the world edited by local writers with the homegrown knowledge to curate an excellent collection. This time the city is Sydney, Australia, and is again... Continue Reading →

Amsterdam Noir by René Appel & Josh Pachter

Amsterdam Noir is an excellent addition to the uncommon mystery anthology series Akashic Noir. In this edition, editors René Appel and Josh Pachter selected twenty-two short stories that evoke the noir sensibilities of Amsterdam. They took inspiration from four classic noir films. Out of the... Continue Reading →

Hong Kong Noir by Jason Y. Ng & Susan Blumberg-Kason

Hong Kong Noir continues Akashic Books globe-trotting series of noir anthologies, taking readers on a trip to the noir side of Hong Kong this time. Hong Kong has a unique history as a British colony until 1997 when their lease expired... Continue Reading →

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Friday Black is a collection of short stories that explore the anomie of America's cultural violence, materialism, and racism. There are twelve stories, some fantastical science fiction, some bitter satire, and all too real for comfort. Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah worked... Continue Reading →

The Lonesome Bodybuilder: Stories by Yukiko Motoya

The Lonesome Bodybuilder: Stories is a collection of eleven short stories by Yukiko Motoya that center around the idea of identity, of being oneself and how hard selfhood can be to define and maintain, particularly in relationships with others. The title... Continue Reading →

Vancouver Noir ed. by Sam Wiebe

I like to travel, vicariously, and there is no better way to travel than a deep dive into a city through one of the Akashic Noir series. This time, I went to a city I have been to in reality, staying for... Continue Reading →

Time and Time Again by Robert Silverberg

Time and Time Again is an anthology of sixteen time-travel short stories by Robert Silverberg. That is a completely true statement that fails to capture the vastness of this book at all. Silverberg is a prolific science-fiction writer known for his... Continue Reading →

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

Move over, Annelise Keating, and let Maud show you how to really get away with murder. In Helene Tursten's short story collection An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good, we are introduced to Maud, a singularly self-involved aged woman. Maud does... Continue Reading →

The First Prehistoric Serial Killer and Other Stories by Teresa Solano

The First Prehistoric Serial Killer and Other Stories is a collection of short stories, many of them connected with a noir sensibility. The title story opens the anthology and it is hilarifying. Someone is smashing the heads of tribesmen while they sleep. After the... Continue Reading →

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