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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Neon Noir: Episode One is a serial hard-boiled detective novella written by Jayme Lee. Dalton’s office was not the polished affair some imagined the natural habitat of a private eye, but it did mostly conform to the reality of an often gritty and danger-filled occupation. For a veteran who was at ease in simple circumstances and comfortable with a solitary existence, his drafty office, perched above the stage of the bar downstairs, suited him perfectly. The rain was teeming outside when steps on the stairs to his office alerted him, followed by a single knock and the swishing sound of a note slipped through his door slot. Opening the door, he saw no one, though his nose detected the sweetness of perfume which permeated the note as well. The contents were brief and cryptic, but his instinctive love of intrigue was roused. He would follow the scent of the mystery which had dropped so unexpectedly into his lap. It had been too long since last he had a case, and he was ready.
Jayme Lee’s Neon Noir: Episode One is rich in atmosphere and steeped in menace and unseen danger -- a perfect prelude to a satisfying noir adventure following a private eye who is no stranger to peril and ever alert to the possibilities to be found on a dark street alone at night. I loved how Lee sets the stage for his story, granting the reader entry into the private realm of the PI, his modest means and solitary existence, easily and fluently. His narrative has the reader seeing what transpires through Dalton’s eyes. And, if you concentrate, you can smell the fragrance of the cigar as the smoke curls lazily through the air, and sense the danger surrounding him as he begins this newest and strangest case. Lee evokes the spirit of classic hard-boiled detective fiction very well indeed. Neon Noir: Episode One is highly recommended.