Serra Mesa Author Matt Phillips, in ‘A Good Rush of Blood,’ Shifts from Noir to Modern Whodunit

San Diego authors crime novels
Matt Phillips. Photo credit: Courtesy of the author

Serra Mesa resident Matt Phillips embraces American noir, but he’s hoping his new release opens him up to new readers too.

A Good Rush of Blood, his latest novel, came out Nov. 1 and it unwraps a present-day criminal conspiracy in Palm Springs.

The book, published by Run Amok Crime, follows sleuth Creeley Nash to the desert as she unravels the mystery of her estranged mother’s wrongful murder conviction.

“I’ve written a number of crime novels, mostly in the noir sub-genre,” Phillips said. “But this novel is a modern whodunit featuring a strong female sleuth. I’m confident this book appeals to a wider audience than my previous work, while still working within the heritage of American noir.”

Phillips has lived locally for more than 15 years, while working for several of them as a bartender and waiter at a chain restaurant.

His path to becoming a published writer included numerous manuscripts that he abandoned and archived, while also attempting to complete a college degree.

He eventually completed a bachelor’s in journalism at N.C. Central University in Durham, N.C. and later a master’s of fine arts in writing at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Phillips is an avid surfer and is involved in his community as he parents his young son. In 2016, he won the Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize for a poem called “Crossing Coronado Bridge.” His other novels include San Diego-set crime capers Know Me from SmokeCountdownTo Bring My Shadow and Three Kinds of Fool, and also, You Must Have a Death Wish.

Phillips said, “If you love David Goodis, Patricia Highsmith or Walter Mosley, you’ll love A Good Rush of Blood – that’s the tradition in which I work, and I am incredibly proud of the pre-release readers’ responses to this book.”

Phillips, before arriving in San Diego, grew up in the Coachella Valley and High Desert. His short fiction has appeared in Mystery TribuneTough Crime and Shotgun Honey.