About the Book

Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Montana is a state that many Americans know very little about, but its criminal dimensions can sometimes run as deep as anywhere else in the country. Whether the setting is urban (or what passes for urban in Montana) or rural, or somewhere in between, the stories in this volume bring the full state to life . . . or death.

Featuring brand-new stories by: David Abrams, Caroline Patterson, Eric Heidle, Thomas McGuane, Janet Skeslien Charles, Sidner Larson, Yvonne Seng, James Grady, Jamie Ford, Carrie La Seur, Walter Kirn, Gwen Florio, Debra Magpie Earling, and Keir Graff.

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From the Introduction

This anthology is a road trip through the dreams and disasters of the true Montana, stories written by authors with Montana in their blood, tales that circle you around the state through its cities and small towns . . .

No doubt the state’s beauty will still make the very idea of Montana Noir seem incongruous to some. Noir is black-and-white. Streets and alleys. Flashing neon lighting a rain-streaked window. But while noir was definitely an urban invention, it knows no boundaries. Noir is struggle. It’s doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. It’s being trapped. It’s hubris. It’s being defeated yet going on. Sometimes it’s being defeated and not going on.

That’s life everywhere. This is our Montana.


Montana Noir map - click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Table of Contents



“Red, White, and Butte,” by David Abrams (Butte)

“Constellations,” by Caroline Patterson (Helena)

“Ace in the Hole,” by Eric Heidle (Great Falls) 


“Fireweed,” by Janet Skeslien Charles (Farm Country)

“Dark Monument,” by Sidner Larson (Havre)

“All the Damn Stars in the Sky,” by Yvonne Seng (Glasgow)

“The Road You Take,” by James Grady (Shelby)


“The Dive,” by Jamie Ford (Glendive)

“Bad Blood,” by Carrie La Seur (Downtown Billings)

“Oasis,” by Walter Kirn (Billings Heights)

“Motherlode,” by Thomas McGuane (Jordan)


“Trailer Trash,” by Gwen Florio (Missoula)

“Custer’s Last Stand,” by Debra Magpie Earling (Polson)

“Red Skies of Montana,” by Keir Graff (Lolo)

About the Contributors