Karen Keskinen

I love writing Noir fiction. It compels me to explore our shared human nature: what is evil, what is good? How can it be that each of us embraces a measure of both?

California is like other lands enjoying a Mediterranean climate: it’s a borderland.

In Mediterranean Noir, evil coils under a red banana leaf glistening with dew, it drifts with the body of a woman in a sparkling blue sea.

Noir is a fitting literature for us here at the western rim. We live out our lives at a fault line, where rock grinds against rock. This great flux sparks growth and progression. But there’s ample fuel too for deceit and decay.

Karen Keskinen, author of Blood Orange, Black Current, and Dragon Fruit, the three books of the Santa Barbara-based Jaymie Zarlin mystery series, is working on a new series. Also set in the dazzling and romantic Central Coast of California, the first book in the series, HARDBALL, is coming soon.

“As a kid I was often in trouble for talking to strangers. One day at age five I slipped out the back door at ballet class, then skipped across the SP tracks in my black leotard and beginner’s slippers to converse with several gentlemen slumped against a block wall. Interestingly, they were drinking from crumpled paper bags. I also recall the look on my mother’s face when the family car pulled up at the curb.

I’m still curious about people: about how we choose to weave the stories of our lives, selecting fibers of pain and joy. What is used, what’s tossed away—and at what cost?”

Karen Keskinen

“Keskinen is an observant, inventive writer, and she’s given us a page-turning mystery of the west…. Her smart, tough protagonist specializes in tracking down the missing, but finds instead a town’s ugly and tangled secrets.”

Books by Karen Keskinen

Black Current private eye fiction by author Karen Keskinen book cover
Blood Orange private eye fiction by author Karen Keskinen book cover
Dragon Fruit private eye fiction by author Karen Keskinen book cover