It’s a wrap: Noir at the Bar-Twin Cities

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The chocolate milk stout was the crowd favorite.

Thursday, January 23,  was the third Noir at the Bar: Twin Cities. To say it was a beer-filled, crime infused success would be an understatement. With an attendance of fifty crime/mystery fans hanging off their every word, Kristi Belcamino, Matthew Clemens, and Dan O’Shea wove their twisted tales of serial killers, captured DEA agents, and soldiers of fortune in Darfur. Dangerous Man Brewing Co. proved to be gracious hosts, offering to block off even more of their space when we quickly overran our agreed upon reserved tables.

Reading from her upcoming debut from HarperCollins, BELESSED ARE THE DEAD, Belcamino kicked off the reading like a seasoned pro. The chilling account of her heroine interviewing a serial killer in prison served notice that the weather wasn’t the only thing that would be chilling the attendees that night.

Clemens was next up with his short story “A Little Faith”, co-written with his writing partner Max Allan Collins. Originally appearing in the short story anthology DARK FAITH INVOCATIONS from Apex Publications, the story is about a DEA agent who comes off  “… a bit more Clark Kent.” Captured by the cartel, the agent spends the bulk of the story straining against his piano wire bonds while being water boarded. (Side note: It is revealed in the story that the agent is married to a shiksa named Kate. So he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.)

Our final reader of the evening was Dan O’Shea. Reading from his new novel GREED from Exhibit A, O’Shea introduced the crowd to Ex-Marine Nick Hardin. A master of establishing setting and backstory, O’Shea quickly set the tone of the story, as Hardin is the resident “go-to-fixer” in Darfur. He’s doing his best to grease the wheels of local criminal organizations while helping to set up the Dollars for Darfur charity event. But then stupid drunk actor Seamus Fenn gets his nose out of joint, and Hardin is forced to break it. Setting the stage for Hardin’s return to Chicago with a fortune in stolen diamonds, the opening chapter of GREED had the crowd wanting more.

The evening was capped when the readers turned mutinous against their MC by grabbing the mic and leading the crowd in a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Despite this humiliating (but much appreciated) turn of events, the evening was a success, with guests staying until bar-close*.

 

*Clarification: Weekday bar-close for Dangerous Man Brewing Co. is 10:00pm, per their liquor license. This is a bar close that is perfect for your humble MC and his shiksa wife.

Dan Malmon

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(from l to r) Your bumbling MC, Kristi Belcamino, Dan O’Shea, and Matthew Clemens