Marseille Noir ed. By Cedric Fabre
For me, this is a solid 4 ½ star read. One of the things I love about the “Noir” series is that selections are edited by individuals from that city so the stories are very representative of that place. The second thing I love is that the stories were originally written in the language of that city and country and then translated into English.
The variety is there: stories by both men and women. Stories from the point of view of natives of both the city and France as well as immigrants to those cities and that country. It is worth noting that Marseille, as a port city on the Mediterranean, has been influenced by Corsicans, Italians, Greek, French, Africans of all persuasions and Middle Easterners.
I loved the stories that showed the “seamy underside” the most. I guess that appeals to my interest in the stories of gangsters and underworld figures. There are plenty of great dark undertones that readers of noir will be expecting.
I had several favorites. My top ones were probably “Extreme Unction” by Francois Thomazeau; “Silence Is Your Best Friend” by Patrick Coulomb; “What Can I Say?” by Rebecca Lighieri; The Problem With the Rotary” by Phillipe Carrese and “Green, Slightly Gray” by Serge Scotto. But in so saying those were my picks, I can say with confidence that every entry was strong.
Loved this edition. Great set of short stories and don’t leave out the forward on any of these books because they are fantastic at setting the scene. Likewise, at the end of each volume is a profile of each writer so that you can seek out those you might like to follow.