2. Happy beaver is noir in one other, very obvious, way. The hero is an obnoxious git even to his friends, and his friends still go on helping him in spite of it. I remember this puzzling me a lot in Dashiell Hammett's works as well. Demanding favours from people and never saying either thanks or sorry even when they get hurt helping you is not how one secures co-operation in my part of the world. Maybe there's some macho ethos at work that never got explained to me. I still find Aaronovitch's Peter the most likable of the current trio. His mum did good by him.
3. Had the afternoon off. Discover why one should be at work in the afternoon. Telemarketers every fifteen minutes. Either dead silence or 'Can I speak to Mr or Mrs Johnson.' Useless to try the 'Mr and Mrs Johnson are both dead' ploy. They plow on regardless, with a 'Yes well ma'am I'm calling from Blahblah Windows and Doors---' The most pathetic was a guy from Bell, seeming to be talking on a cheap cellphone that echoed and faded in and out, with some new special offer of The Evil Monopoly's.
4. I was livid when they took down the shading tree in the playground at work, because now it's an inferno in the afternoons. I discover an unexpected up side, though. It's flatly impossible to take the kids out any time before five, so we no longer have outdoors-loving adults throwing the kiddlings into the breathless heat at 2:30 as we did before. The tree shaded much of the yard, but not all of it, and the kids would still play in the blazing portions, and turn lobster pink even with sunscreen.