Short stories by fourteen leading Czech authors, exploring Prague crimes, mysteries and secrets, continuing the rich tradition of detective and mystery fiction set in this Central European capital.
As editor Pavel Mandys explains in his introduction, writing noir stories set in Prague presents an interesting set of problems: “How to write noir in a city where, until 1990, the profession of private detective hadn’t existed? Where the censors insisted on portraying police in the media and literature in a positive light? Where freelance organized crime hadn’t existed, but where the largest criminal group was the secret police?” The authors featured in Prague Noir use this to their advantage, creating a unique and stylistically varied collection of stories which show the darker side of this popular tourist destination.
Prague Noir is also an unusual guide to traditional and lesser-known sights of Prague. Visit Charles Bridge with Miloš Urban, explore the mysterious world of the Jewish ghetto with Petr Stančík, read Petra Soukupová’s account of an unexplained disappearance in Stromovka park or follow Kateřina Tučková’s investigation into the dark past of an old house on the bank of the Vltava river.
“Murder and mayhem erupt, even in fairy-tale Prague. Editor Mandys maintains that it may be hard to imagine dark doings taking place virtually in the shadow of Prague Castle, yet he manages to harvest 14 artful tales that speak directly to the contrary. Although there are few standard whodunits, Prague’s long history provides fertile ground for evildoers […] Perhaps nowhere but Prague do vice and enchantment live at such close quarters, and Mandys’ collection captures both beautifully. A lovely addition to Akashic’s venerable series.”
“The 14 crime stories set in Prague in this superior entry in Akashic’s noir series offer armored car robbery, kidnapping, murder masked as suicide, and more—not bad for a burg that, as the editor notes in his intro, didn’t even have ‘the profession of private detective’ until 1990 […] In the varied and polished content of this volume, readers will find much to amuse.”
“Prague Noir is a success. Due to its variety and the way it plays with the genre the anthology will appeal to a wide range of readers. The book is also tangible proof that Czech authors are able to construct a good story and fulfil genre expectations.”
— Martin Stručovský, E15
“Prague Noir is an interesting collection […] it offers an excellent cross-section of, and introduction to, contemporary Czech writers.”
— Jarda Konáš, Aktuálně.cz