52Books: Needle: A Magazine Of Noir – Spring Edition 2010

I’ve got a backlog of reviews, I know. I’m current on top my weekly reading but that sure hasn’t translated over to reviews. Though I’ve got other books in the queue to review I thought I’d start back with a review of what I had read this last week, Needle: A Magazine of Noir edited by Steven Weddle.

Whoa there! I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I’m cheating because this is a magazine? In name, technically it is. But it reads and feels like an anthology. An anthology of the best short crime fiction I’ve read. Granted there aren’t a lot of venues dedicated to crime, especially the gritty kind. At least not ones that show case the stories alone. Most are set along side more magazine like elements such as reviews, articles and inteviews. Needle is unencumbered by such. No ads either.

See why I’m treating it like a book? You know the duck analogy, right? Well, there you go.

Needle is a sharp collection of crime fiction by a rogue’s gallery of writers who I have no doubt will cut, stab and shoot their way to the top of future book lists. Several are gunning for it already.

The given nature of anthologies it’s hard to review each story, that is without giving away too much. I found each story a unique experience and deserving to be in the book whether it was a three page story about a unfortunate kidnapping or a twenty plus page story about a frugal serial killer.

Though I don’t like to call favorites, they were all very good. I quite enjoyed Dave Zeltserman’s “‘Til Death Do You Part” about sex and murder. Or was it murder and sex? Hilary Davidson’s “The Black Widow Club” was particularly good. Family traditions always are. Which is why I liked Paul D. Brazill’s “The Sharpest Tool In The Box.

I could easily say nice things about every story, but they are all varied enough that there should be something for for everyone.

With a $7.00 price tag this book, um, magazine is more than worth it and because it’s ad free the more copies sold the more likely future issues will be made and writers get paid.

I have to give props to Steven Weddle for putting the magazine together, and getting these enormously talented folks to contribute.

Goto http://www.needlemag.com to find out where to buy the magazine and how to contribute. They’ve also got a rocking Flash Fiction challenge and a random winner gets rocking Needle Mag T-shirt. I’ll be posting my contribution, “Bagman”, next Monday.

Needle: A Magazine Of Noir – Spring 2010
Published by LuLu
165 pages

Edited by:

Steve Weddle, Senior Editor
Scott D. Parker
Naomi Johnson
Daniel O’Shea
John Hornor Jacobs, Art Director


Kieran Shea
Kent Gowran
Eric Beetner
Hilary Davidson
Cormac Brown
Nathan Singer
Chad Rohrbacher
Keith Rawson
Patti Abbott
Dave Zeltserman
Paul D. Brazill
Sandra Seamans
Christopher Grant
Eric Nusbaum
Jedidiah Ayres