Série noire is a French publishing imprint, founded in 1945 by Marcel Duhamel. It has released a collection of crime fiction of the hardboiled detective thrillers variety published by Gallimard.
Anglo-American literature forms the bulk of their collection: it features especially Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Horace McCoy, William R. Burnett, Ed McBain, Chester Himes, Lou Cameron, Jim Thompson, Rene Brabazon Raymond (under his pseudonym James Hadley Chase) and Peter Cheney 
This name became a generic term for works of detective, and is considered having inspired the French critic Nino Frank to create in 1946 the phrase Film noir, which describes Hollywood crime dramas.
In common parlance, today, the term also means a series of dramatic events with similarities, or affecting the same victims.