For a long time there has been a tsunami of stories set in the cold, grey, grim, sunless northern countries, where people have to drink dozens of cups of coffee every day to keep warm and sane. Or drink copious amounts of alcohol. It has taken Nordic writers wonderful flights of fantasy to conjure up tales of people shaking off their lethargy to do dastardly deeds that rarely happen in reality.
Writers who set their stories where the blazing sun regularly brings out the worst in people were unhappy by northern invasion. And envious. They thought it strange that there was so much Noir where there was so little sun. After all, the shadows are darkest where the sun is brightest.
It was a Nordic writer who eventually saw the light (perhaps the sun peeked out from behind Eyjafjallajökull for a moment). Yrsa Sigurdardottir wrote a blurb for Michael Stanley’s fifth Kubu mystery that read "Under the African sun, Michael Stanley’s Detective Kubu investigates crimes as dark as the darkest Nordic Noir. Call it Sunshine Noir if you will – a must read."
Sunshine Noir! Yrsa has always had a way with words!
Sunshine Noir – dark stories that take place in the blinding sunshine or withering heat.
About this time last year, Sunshine Noir editors, Annamaria Alfieri and Michael Stanley decided to start a movement, a Sunshine Noir movement, a pushback against those chilly Scandi stories.
They invited seventeen writers who send their protagonists into the scorching sun to join an anthology of hot stories – a Sunshine Noir anthology.
The authors and their settings are: Leye Adenle (Nigeria), Annamaria Alfieri (British East Africa), Colin Cotterill (Thailand), Susan Froetschel (Yemen), Jason Goodwin (Istanbul), Paul Hardisty (Ethiopia), Greg Herren (New Orleans), Tamar Myers (Arizona), Barbara Nadel (Istanbul), Richie Narvaez (Puerto Rico), Kwei Quartey (Ghana), Jeffrey Siger (Mykonos), Michael Stanley (Botswana), Nick Sweet (Spain), Timothy Williams (Guadaloupe), Robert Wilson (the Sahara), Ovidia Yu (Singapore)
Peter James was so taken with the idea that he wrote a preface, saying "A rich collection of hot, dark, and spicy stories – with some very cool writing . . . a whole new movement, spearheaded by Sunshine Noir!"
Sunshine Noir is now available as an e-book in various formats and will come out in paperback in a couple of weeks.