The Mysterious Bookshop

Lehane, Dennis, editor, Boston Noir

Publishers Weekly
In the best of the 11 stories in this outstanding entry in Akashic's noir series, characters, plot and setting feed off each other like flames and an arsonist's accelerant. These include Lehane's own “Animal Rescue,” about a killing resulting from a lost and contested pit bull; John Dufresne's “The Cross-Eyed Bear,” in which a pedophile priest is caught between the icy representative of the archdiocese and one of his now adult victims; and Don Lee's “The Oriental Hair Poets,” which charts a literary feud that escalates into a police case. Two populations that define the city for outsiders—the elite WASP “Brahmins” and the hundreds of thousands of college students surging through to earn their degrees—appear only in passing. While Lehane expresses the fear in his introduction that Boston is becoming “beiger,” less tribal and gritty and more gentrified and homogenized, this anthology shows that noir can thrive where Raymond Chandler has never set foot.