For a long time there has been a tsunami of stories set in the cold, grey, grim, sunless northern countries, where people have to drink dozens of cups of coffee every day to keep warm and sane. Or drink copious amounts of alcohol. It has taken Nordic writers wonderful flights of fantasy to conjure up tales of people shaking off their lethargy to do dastardly deeds that rarely happen in reality.
Those of thus who set our stories where the blazing sun regularly brings out the worst in people were unhappy by northern invasion. And envious. We thought it strange that there was so much Noir where there was so little sun. After all, the shadows are darkest where the sun is brightest.
It was a Murder is Everywhere alumna who eventually saw the light (perhaps the sun peeked out from behind Eyjafjallajökull for a moment). Yrsa wrote a blurb for our fifth Kubu mystery that read "Under the African sun, Michael Stanley's Detective Kubu investigates crimes as dark as the darkest Nordic Noir. Call it Sunshine Noir if you will - a must read."
Sunshine Noir! Yrsa has always had a way with words!
Sunshine Noir! That's what we hotties write - dark stories that take place in the blinding sunshine or withering heat.
About this time last year, Annamaria and I decided to start a movement, a Sunshine Noir movement, a pushback against those chilly Scandi stories.
We invited seventeen writers who send their protagonists into the scorching sun to join us in an anthology of hot stories - a Sunshine Noir anthology.
Peter James was so taken with the idea that he wrote a preface, saying ". . . a whole new movement, spearheaded by Sunshine Noir!"
Tim Hallinan was also moved by the idea and penned a second preface: "Move over, mysteries set in Nordic places. The bright, warm, lush world is a greenhouse for evil." And, of course, he knows, growing up in the Los Angeles basin.
And Peter Rozovsky penned an introduction, which he titled Clime Fiction.
Our authors and their settings are:
Leye Adenle (Nigeria). An assassination with a twist. (And, by the way, I delighted to announce that Leye will be joining the Murder is Everywhere crew as of next Wednesday.)
|New MIE contributor, Leye Adenle|
Annamaria Alfieri (British East Africa). A truly dark tale worthy of the dark continent.
|Editor and writer Annamaria Alfieri|
Colin Cotterill (Thailand). Superstition and revenge.
|Colin Cotterill - no need for insulation where he lives|
Susan Froetschel (Yemen). An NGO worker is kidnapped in Yemen.
Jason Goodwin (Istanbul). Sculduggery in this ancient city.
|Jason Goodwin - scholar and writer|
Paul Hardisty (Ethiopia). A chilling story in the heat of Ethiopia.
|Paul Hardisty - scientist and writer|
Greg Herren (New Orleans). Domestic Noir.
|Greg Herren - not cold in New Orleans|
Tamar Myers (Arizona). A funny and dark story about wannabe writer Delbert Fincter.
|Tamar Myers - one of five of our African-born writers|
Barbara Nadel (Istanbul). An icon of the city dies an unbearable death.
|Barbara Nadel - looking in need of sunshine|
Richie Narvaez (Puerto Rico). The lengths to which ambitious people will go.
|Richie Narvaez - serious about writing about hot places|
Kwei Quartey (Ghana). A Swedish hitman, suffering from cryoglobulinemia, heads to the sun.
Jeffrey Siger (Mykonos). A story only Jeff could dream up, set in the Grecian heat.
|Jeff Siger under a cloud|
Michael Stanley (Botswana). A chilling story in the Kalahari sun.
|Michael Stanley - Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip|
Nick Sweet (Spain). Don't kidnap a policeman's girlfriend!
|Timothy Williams catching up on the news|
Robert Wilson (the Sahara). A naïve Englishman tries to hitchhike to Cape Town.
Ovidia Yu (Singapore). More revenge!
The Sunshine Noir anthology is available today in e-book form. And in two weeks in paperback form.
So pull off your gloves, take off your parka, hang up your ushanka, and put on your sunscreen. These hot stories will go well with a gin and tonic (to ward off malaria, of course) and make you long for a cold shower.