The February 16 Alibi: Noir At The Bar Round-Up

Our February 16th Noir At The Bar brought out many of Austin’s literati. In the audience were Elizabeth Crook, Stephen Harrigan, and Meg Gardiner. Since we had heavy hitters reading, everyone was right at home.

noir at the bar book spread

Jesse Sublett and myself (the only questionable author) opened the show. I read from my short story, “Red’s White F-150 Blues” that will be appearing in the upcoming Murder On Wheels anthology, featuring a tribute to Robert E. Howard and a beheading. Jesse really kicked the show into high gear by ripping into the cover of a low down and dirty Cab Calloway cover, followed by an original.

Our first guest author was Trey Barker. Trey writes Texas noir that evokes dangerous blues and greasy barbecue. He proved it by reading from Death Is Not Forever, his book that was released that day. The tale featured a crooked judge and his minions dealing with a burning dope stash.

lou berney

Bill Loehfelm was kind enough to give up his Mardi Gras to join us. Like his series character, Maureen Coughlin, a cocktail waitress-turned-cop, he’s a New Orleans transplant from Staten Island. He put us in in the shoes of Mareen’s patrolman shoes from the opening of his latest, Doing The Devil’s Work, showing how an officer can be relieved to find a dead body.

Lou Berney was our last guest author. He read from February’s MysteryPeople Pick Of The Month, The Long And Faraway Gone. It’s an ambitious book, delivering a gamut of emotions. His reading style complemented his skillful writing; he picked a passage that was an amusing look at teenagers working in a movie theater than moved into a somber poignant tone that only a master craftsman can pull off.

noir at the bar round up

Jesse Sublett wrapped up the show with the same pizzazz he showed earlier in opening it, discussing his upcoming true crime book, 1960s Austin Gangsters: Organized Crime That Rocked The Capital (release date scheduled for March 1) that looks at the Overton Gang. He talked about how one member endured the Texas Ranger version of water boarding. Look out for the book this March. Pre-order a copy early. 

We then mingled, the authors signed books for fans, and we all had one for the road. There was also a discussion about margin sizes that got lewd. Look out for the next time we’ll be at Opal Divine’s.


Thanks to all who came, and sorry to all those who couldn’t make it – you missed a wonderful evening! Noir at the Bar combines three of our favorite things – books, booze, and the powerful prose of crime fiction read aloud. Keep a look-out for more great MysteryPeople events!

Noir at the Bar on February 16, with Trey Barker, Bill Loehfelm, Lou Berney, & Jesse Sublett

Post by Scott M.

On Monday, February 16th, starting at 7 pm at Opal Divine’s, we are back for our first Austin Noir At The Bar for 2015. We have a range of talented authors who will be reading from their hard boiled work. Let Jesse Sublett’s murder ballads put you in the mood, endure my reading (indulge me, the 16th is my birthday), then hold on.

trey barkerTrey R. Barker is a Texas native, now working in Illinois law enforcement whenever he isn’t writing high octane noir. His books, examples including Exit Blood and Death Is Not Forever, are greasy, 200 MPH, high body count hard boiled. Also an accomplished horror writer, he borrows from that genre to give a fever dream edge to his crime fiction.

20080813_Loehfelm_Bill Loehfelm migrated to New Orleans from Staten Island. He uses the backdrop of his adopted city for his series featuring Maureen Coughlin, who moves from cocaine-using cocktail waitress to policewoman. His latest novel is Doing The Devil’s Work The books are atmospheric with a street view of police life, corruption, and racial divides. Picture The Wire and Treme blended together.

lou berneyLou Berney is best known for his funny but edgy books, Gutshot Straight and Whiplash River, featuring nice guy wheelman Shake Bouchon. He gets more serious with his latest, our MysteryPeople Pick Of The Month, The Long And Faraway Gone. The book combines two stories, a PI-style investigation and a thriller, that run parallel to each other. As the story begins, a detective gets a case that forces him to come back to his childhood home, where he survived a horrific robbery in his teens. It is an ambitious novel that never loses its pace while delving into deep themes.

jesse sublettJesse Sublett will cap off the night with a reading from his latest, 1960s Austin Gangsters: Organized Crime that Rocked The Capital, a true crime tale of the Overton Gang, one of our town’s more colorful robbers and vice lords. You can then purchase a book and mingle with the authors. Release date March 9 – pre-order now.


The party starts at 7PM at the Opal Divine’s at 3601 South Congress. Books from each author will be available for purchase to be signed at the event. Booze. Books. Crime Fiction.