Monday, November 22, 2021

Noirvember: Kate Malmon's Firsts

Being this is the first time I’ve officially celebrated Noirvember, I decided to spotlight my Noir Firsts.

Frank Sinatra in a Blender - Matthew McBride - I first heard a portion of this book at my first ever Noir at the Bar at my first Bouchercon in 2011. (I think I may have met Jed for the first time at this event, but I was overwhelmed by everything so I’m not certain.) This book was also my first introduction to rural noir. Bad dudes, stolen money, drugs, and a sketchy ex-cop turned PI – what’s not to enjoy?

Queenpin - Megan Abbott - My first exposure to noir was the traditional novels and, let’s be honest, women were never portrayed in the best light. The one that ends with a naked woman being shoved off a roof while she’s engulfed in flames was not a favorite. Then I read Queenpin and found that women could be just as powerful and dastardly as the men. A former mob lady takes a young woman under her wing and shows her how to run with the guys and get the big money. These women are not shrinking violets by any means.

Fargo - Joel Coen, Ethan Coen - I saw this movie for the first time in college and hated it. I was going to school in Minnesota and no one I met at school spoke like that. The Minnesota’s own Coen brothers show us that even if people are nice to your face, there’s a darkness hiding just under the surface or even in a tan Oldsmobile Sierra.

Double Indemnity - Billy Wilder - I’ve been fortunate to see this film multiple times on the big screen. For me, this is the purest example of what noir means to me: desperate people making bad decisions. Sometimes a woman just wants out of her marriage so badly that she’ll do anything to make this desire a reality, even if it means shoving her husband off the back of a moving train.

Stanwyck sure played MacMurray for a sap.

Kate Malmon has been a reviewer for Crimespree Magazine and the Anthony nominated Writer Types podcast. She and her husband Dan edited the Anthony nominated anthology, Killing Malmon, and the follow up anthology, Revenge of the Widow Malmon. All proceeds from both collections go to the Upper Midwest Multiple Sclerosis Society. 

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