Watch out for this collection of crime-based short stories that features the works of former, longtime Bahrain residents.

The Middle East is rightly dubbed the birthplace of storytelling. The art of sharing tales is intricately woven in Arab culture. In keeping with this legacy, the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA): Gulf Chapter has announced that it will release a short story anthology of crime writing talent, which is set to be showcased at the Emirates Literature Festival 2024. This is the first time, regionally and globally, that members of a CWA chapter are producing a book.

Tentatively titled Arabian Noir, it’s curated and edited by Michael Lynes, historical crime author, Emirates Literature Festival winner and CWA Gulf Chapter convenor, and Alex Shaw, best-selling author of the Jack Tate, Aidan Snow & Sophie Racine thrillers and member of The International Thriller Writers organisation and the CWA. Long-time admirers of the Middle East, previously based in Doha and now in Dubai, both are keen to support and promote writing in the region.

A unique platform for emerging and established writers to connect with readers through one of the world’s favourite genres, this compendium of crime showcases the works of authors from the Middle East, including Bahrain. Rohini Sunderam, a semi-retired advertising copywriter, moved to Canada earlier this year but is still in touch with the local writing scene. In addition to publishing five books, her poems and short stories have appeared in other popular journals. Speaking about her contribution, she said: “The main character is Fatima, a Bahraini woman married to a Saudi man. The crime occurs when they travel from Bahrain to Najran via Hofuf. I don’t want to say too much about it but there are djinns and ghouls involved, as well as a very astute woman Detective Sergeant.”

Glen Stansfield, who has published two crime novels and a cookbook and is currently seeking a publisher for a third crime novel, also appears in the anthology. He moved to Panama earlier this year but, like Rohini, continues to be an active part of Bahrain’s circle of writers. His contribution revolves around a rural farming community in mid-twentieth century United States that’s rocked by the murder of a potato farmer. He said: “The story gives an insight into life in rural Montana through the Great Depression and into the post-war years.”✤