I met Ehsan Ehsani, the mind behind Mystery Tribune, when he came to an Mystery Writers of America, New York Chapter, meeting several years just after he’d launched his literary crime fiction magazine, and he was looking to meet people in the community. I introduced him around as best I could, I think he bought me a drink, and we’ve been friends ever since (not just because of the drink), hanging out at all the crime fiction fêtes in town. I’d done some articles for him, but for years I struggled for the right story to send to him for MT. “Blackout” was it.
Many readers believe a noir story must involve a private investigator, but that’s not even true in film noir, let alone literary noir or roman noir. But here, just for them, is a private eye story. “Blackout” plays with the cliche trope of the alcoholic p.i., but comes with a heavy pour of schadenfreude, one of the chief ingredients of noir.