Take murderous tour of boro with ‘Queens Noir’ anthology – QNS.com

Take murderous tour of boro with ‘Queens Noir’ anthology

By Halley Bondy

“Queens Noir,” edited by Jackson Heights resident Robert Knightly, brings old-school intrigue to the city's geographically largest borough. Nineteen New York City writers, many of them Queens residents themselves, contributed stories that span the map from Astoria Park to Shea Stadium. Though the plotlines and neighborhoods vary, the sex, murder and wiseguy staples of the noir diet remain the same throughout. Fans of the classics won't be left in the lurch. Stories like Stephen Solomita's “Crazy Jill Saves the Slinky” and Liz Martinez's “Lights out for Frankie” quench the thirst for cop dramas. Language varies from writer to writer, but no one strays far from the stylistic darkness that put noir on the map. Protagonists unflinchingly describe subway killings, stadium stabbings and .25-caliber Colt automatics. But “Queens Noir” isn't just “The Maltese Falcon” set in JFK airport. The writers have modernized the traditionally white, male detective genre to include Muslim jihadists (in Jillian Abbott's “Jihad Sucks; or, The Conversion of the Jews”), diehard Mets fans (in Joseph Gugliemelli's “Buckner's Error”) and a surprising majority of strong female narrators. In Maggie Estep's “Alice Fantastic,” in which protagonist Alice tries to get an oafish suitor off her back, women prove to be far more aggressive and foul-mouthed than their femme-fatale predecessors. “Queens Noir” marks the 18th anthology in Brooklyn-based Akashic Books' noir series, which includes “Brooklyn Noir,” “Manhattan Noir” and even “Havana Noir.”But the Queens anthology is not a generic tagalong. Robert Knightly is thorough in localizing “Queens Noir,” from his introduction through the final story set in Jamaica. Keen Queensian eyes will find that no mistakes were made in capturing the borough, from its subway lines to its edgy sensibility.If You Go:Contributing authors from “Queens Noir” will be appearing throughout the borough in January and February.¥ Robert Knightly, Kim Sykes, Denis Hamill and others TBAWhen: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m.Where: Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., Jamaica¥ Robert Knightly, Shailly Agnihotri, Joe Guglielmelli and K.J.A.WishniaWhen: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2:30 p.m.Where: Jackson Heights Library, 35-51 81st St.¥ Robert Knightly, Victoria Eng, Jillian Abbott and Liz MartinezWhen: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 6 p.m.Where: Flushing Library, 41-17 Main St.¥ Jillian Abbott, Denis Hamill, Megan Abbott and Alan GordonWhen: Thursday, Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m.Where: Barnes & Noble, 23-80 Bell Blvd.. Bayside¥ Robert Knightly, Megan Abbott, Alan Gordon and others TBAWhen: Saturday, Feb. 9, 2 p.m.Where: Forest Hills Library, 108-19 71st Ave.¥ Robert Knightly and others TBAWhen: Sunday, Feb. 17, 2 p.m.,Where: Barnes & Noble, 176-60 Union Turnpike. Fresh Meadows¥ Robert Knightly, Liz Martinez, Jillian Abbott and Jill EisenstadtWhen: Saturday, Feb. 23, 3 p.m.Where: Woodside Library, 54-22 Skillman Ave.

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