Saturday 30 September 2017



The Fast Women and Neon Lights anthology is a wild criminal romp inspired by eighties crime movies and television shows, as well as the wacky, over-the-top eighties style and aesthetic. 

These eighteen hard-hitting, emotional, and often-hilarious stories written by some of today's top neo-noir authors will disturb you, make you laugh, and most of all, keep you highly entertained from cover to cover! Car thieves, down-on-their-luck Karate guys, out-of-control valley girls, Air Jordan-obsessed clutz robbers, professional opponent wrestlers, aspiring female wrestlers, Oingo Boingo-obsessed cocaine fiends, vice cop mashups, high-stakes gamblers, and heroin-addicted punk rock managers are just a taste of what you'll find in these dark pages!

An impressive collection of 80s themed short stories which were enjoyed over the course of the past couple of months, rather than binge reading them.

There’s 18 stories in the collection as well as an enjoyable foreward by Will Viharo. I wonder how many people can drop the bomb “Mickey Rourke bought me my first car” into a conversation.

I’ve enjoyed longer works by just under half the contributors to the anthology, so my expectations were high

VALLEY GIRL by Kat Richardson …… reminded me of Little Britain’s Vicky Pollard. I’m not sure if that’s the voice Richardson was striving for, but she nailed it if it was.

ALONE NOW by Patrick Cooper ….trainer (or sneaker) crime

BIG SHOTS by S.W. Lauden …music scene, drugs, crime, consequences

THE DEEP END by Dietrich Kalteis …. insurance investigator turns rogue and gets the girl

PARTS UNKNOWN by Sam Wiebe … wrestling, bright lights and pain

BESTIES & BLOW by Sarah M. Chen ….BFF as long as the drugs don’t run out

IT’S MORNING AGAIN IN LAKE CASTOR by Eryk Pruitt …… revisiting the scene of Pruitt’s Dirtbags

WIDOWMAN by Matthew J. Hockey ….vengeance in Tokyo

THE ENVELOPE by Linda L. Richards …… hard choices – head or heart?

MEANTIME by Will Viharo … Miami Vice revisited

BIG HAIR, BANANA CLIPS, AND THE FIGURE-FOUR LEGLOCK by Nina Mansfield …. wrestling dreams and a bout with a predator

DUTCH by C.S. DeWildt … a cross and double-cross, falling for the wrong girl

IN THE SWIMMING POOL by Jen Conley … Grandpa puts a bully in his place

GETTING SECONDS by Greg Barth … robbery and a ruined life, back for seconds and some fixing getting done

CAUGHT ON VIDEO by Brian Leopold … cameras, sex tapes, blackmail and a sting

FLECKMAN’S FIX by Preston Lang … gambling and some sore losers

LAST DANCE AT THE GLIMMER LOUNGE by S.A. Cosby … a drug deal, a rip-off and getting played by the girl

NIGHT THIEF by Michael Pool … a professional car thief and his last job, things don’t quite go to plan

A top class collection with each story delivering on the 80s theme. 

Favourites were Jen Conley's In the Swimming Pool and The Envelope by Linda L. Richards. Not a dud in the collection.
4.5 from 5

Michael Pool (editor) also puts out the Crime Syndicate Magazine, the 3rd issue just went live this weekend. His website is here.

His short novella - Midnight at the San Franciscan was recently enjoyed - thoughts here.

Read in September, 2017
Published – 2016
Page count – 222
Source – review copy from the editor
Format - Kindle


  1. Oh, this does sound good, Col. This collection has an interesting theme, too. And sometimes, a short story collection is just the thing.

    1. Margot I really liked the stories here. Nice to take a stroll back to when I was a young man!

  2. Sounds fun! And a welcome reminder, struggling as I am through the current swamp of book work, that once I finally get out of it there's a couple of noirish stories I want to write. Easy to forget such promises-to-self when engulfed in deadlines. So you've cheered me up!

    I might even buy the antho by way of thanks . . .

  3. Oops: forgot to tick the little "Notify Me" box . . .

    1. John, hopefully you emerge from the quagmire soon! This one might be a good pick-me-up as a diversion. I hope the story writing goes well once you get there.

  4. This does sound like a good collection. I have read one book by Linda L. Richards and have a few more. I noticed that some of the authors are Canadian. Are all of them from there?

    1. I never really considered the nationalities of the line-up. Dietrich Kalteis and Sam Wiebe are Canadian. I'm fairly sure Michael Pool is Texan and Sarah Chen from California. Eryk Pruitt and Preston Lang I think are US also. I'm intrigued now and am going to have to check them out. Is Linda L. Richards Canadian then?

    2. Yes she is. I don't know if she has written anything set in Canada, though.

    3. 3 out of 18 so far. Not had time to do any digging on the others.

  5. Col – This is one I need to buy. I’ve read a few of the authors and I’ve heard good things about the others. Thanks.

    1. I think it's a really strong collection.