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Noir, A Subgenre Of Crime Fiction

Noir fiction is more about a feeling than a set of defining traits. Unlike the cozy mysteries set in a secluded English mansion, noir (meaning dark in French) fiction is essentially pessimistic. Greed, lust, alienation, and jealousy propel morally flawed characters toward their doom as they pursue a “sure thing”.

The dark world of noir fiction rose in the 1940s after the Depression and World War II, when men returning from the military expressed their anxiety over reclaiming their lives. A more contemporary approach to noir, emerging in the 1970s with cynicism over the Vietnam War, moved its emphasis from white male characters toward a broader focus on gender, class, and race. Nevertheless, the themes are still based on how and why a corrupt soul goes bad. Regardless of the era, this subgenre of crime fiction remains popular because the themes are timeless.

The Deadliest Deceptions, my latest Miriam bat Isaac book, is a collection of novelettes and short stories. Some are cozy, and some are noir. “Believing is Seeing” is a cozy, locked-room murder mystery whereas “The Revenge” is noir. It’s the story of two cousins dying from the same familiar illness. Or were they poisoned instead by the larvae of an exotic beetle? There are seven other stories that fit somewhere in between.

The point is you can save yourself from the winter doldrums and possibly from doom by checking out the stories in The Deadliest Deceptions. Just click here.


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