Wednesday 27 March 2024

Pinup Noir 3 - edited by Kortnee Bryant - Raconteur Press Anthologies Book 22

Pinup Noir 3
Edited by Kortnee Bryant
Raconteur Press Anthologies Book 22
ISBN 9798880452163

Pinup Noir 3 - edited by Kortnee Bryant - An Anthology Raconteur Press Anthologies Book 22

I enjoy reading anthologies for many reasons. First short form fiction is a very different art form than the novel. The writing needs to be tighter. The intent more purposeful, and the skill and craft needed is very different, at least for good short stories. Second I read a few anthologies a year to get introduced to new authors. In this case I was only familiar with one author prior to picking up the volume. I also love seeing short works by authors who series I have already read. I have picked up most of the anthologies from Raconteur Press, but have to date only read one of them. Once I found out that Declan Finn had a story in this volume I was immediately interested and when I found out it was a Saint Tommy, NYPD story I read it first and again as I read the book from front to back. 

I was intrigued by the collection, and the two previous volumes. I already had Volume I but had not read it and when about half way through this one I picked up Volume II. The description of this volume states:

“To mangle a quote, every now and then, in order for there to be justice, a being must walk down the mean streets who is not, themselves, mean. Whether those streets are hard-packed dirt, the metal of a space station corridor, or the slick cobblestones of an alternate San Francisco doesn't matter. And sometimes, the Dangerous Dames can do it themselves.

Join 10 authors as they explore what Noir looks like in the past, present, and future.”

The contributors are:

Samuel Nettles
Paul Williams
Michael A. Hooten
Robert McDonald
Seth Taylor
John D. Martin
Andrew Milbourne
Kimber Lin
Declan Finn
Lee Allred

The stories are:

1. Takeout 
2. Behind Every Successful Man 
3. Blonde and Blue 
4. In The Kudzu 
5. Hot Time in Tomato Town 
6. Jared Thorne and the Tech Smuggles Son 
7. Lady Killer 
8. A Lady of Means 
9. Succubus Blues 
10. The Doll with the Peekaboo Bangs 
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In the introduction we are informed that:

“The Pinup Noir series of anthologies is one of the best examples of how we work at Raconteur Press. The prompt was a picture with a style and mood that inspired everyone at the company. A dark street at night, various lights highlighting a beautiful blonde in a Marilyn Monroe-style dress, a gun in her stocking, and a gust of wind showing more than she probably intended. It was a picture which evoked a story, and we told our writers to tell us that story.”

And that:

“Our cover artist, the lovely and talented Cedar Sanderson, took some inspiration from a few sources closer to home and modeled the Pinup covers off the Three Moms of the Apocalypse.”

If you are not aware who the three moms are you should check out their livestreams, and or their own writings. The Three Mons of the Apocalypse and their BroadCast. I have not read the other two yet but am a huge fan of Sanderson (no matter which name she is writing under). 

The stories are well written. A few were exceptional. Unlike most anthologies There was not really a weak link in this collection. It is usually easy to pull your top two or three stories, and usually 1 or 2 that are maybe duds. I can not think of a story in this collection that was not worth the price of the collection as a whole. There are several great stories in this collection, and I look forward to checking out some of the authors I had not encountered previously. I seldom highlight when reading fiction but I did highlight 2 passages in this volume, they were:

“I waved the cigarette away. Sure, all the doctors were telling us how healthy they were, but they used to say that about laudanum, too.”


“"Never get involved in any case that leads to finding the body of a child,” I said, repeating the words of Bendigo Strange, one of my mentors in the dark arts of private investigation. It was a rule I had always followed, but the promise I had made to the woman who blew a man's spinal column out through his chest with a twelve-gauge before he could park a .45 slug in my brainpan was making me break it.”

Some of the shows I remember watching with my father when growing up were Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, Columbo (which I am currently re-watching now) Spencer for Hire. In the last year and a bit I have gotten back into the genera and the stories in this collection bring back strong sense of nostalgia and also a looking forward to more great reads. As mentioned this is volume 22 currently in the Raconteur Press Anthologies Series and the third Pinup Noir.

I really enjoyed the playfulness in Takeout by Samuel Nettles. The surprising twists in Behind Every Successful Man by Paul Williams was great fun. The rescuing of a damsel in distress even from  herself in Blonde and Blue Michael A. Hooten was a deeply moving story. And of course the amazing story by Declan Finn Succubus Blues reading a new Saint Tommy, NYPD story was like a visit with an old friend. One I had not realized I missed so much. 

The stories are in a wide range of interpretations on the Pinup and a surprising mix of roles in the stories. If you have not read the first two volumes it will leave you wanting to pick them up right away. I enjoyed each story, and can easily recommend the anthology. It was a great collection to read. And I am looking to track down other works from a couple of the contributors. This is a collection that I certain have something for almost every readers, and it is one guaranteed to entertain.

For reviews of other volumes by Declan Finn click here.

Raconteur Press Anthologies Pinup Noir 1-3

Raconteur Press Anthologies Series:
Knights of Malta
Saints of Malta
Space Cowboys
Space Cowboys 2: Electric Rodeo
Space Marines
Falcons of Malta
Pinup Noir
Space Marines 2
Moggies In Space
Your Honor, I Can Explain
Space Cowboys 3: Return of the Bookaroo
Or All Will Burn
Moggies Back in Space
PinUp Noir 2
You See, What Happened Was...
Space Cowboys 404: Cow Not Found
He Was Dead When I Got There
Or All Will Burn: Fierce Love
Full Steam Ahead!
Giant! Freakin'! Robots!
Space Marines III

Raconteur Press Postcard Stories:
Postcards From Mars
Steam-Powered Postcards
Fanta-Fly Postcards
Postcards from Foolz
Single Servings of Liberty 
Imagine THAT! 
Last Call

Raconteur Press Anthologies 1-23

Raconteur Press Postcards Series 1-7

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