The Black Detective:
African-American Mystery Fiction
- Sterling Anthony
- In his debut novel, Cookie Cutter, Anthony pits his detective, Lt. Mary Cunningham, against a serial killer targeting black victims in Detroit.
- Eleanor Taylor Bland
- Bland's heroine, homicide detective Marti MacAlister, investigates crime in Lincoln Prairie, IL with her white partner, Matthew (Vik) Jessenovik. Titles include: Dead Time, Slow Burn, Gone Quiet, Done Wrong, Keep Still, and her latest, Whispers in the Dark.
- Charlotte Carter
- Smart, sassy, street-playing sax player and sometime sleuth Nanette Hayes meets murder and mayhem in New York -- and Paris. Titles include: Rhode Island Red, Coq au Vin, and Drumsticks.
- Christopher Darden and Dick Lochte
- Former L.A. prosecutor Darden introduces series heroine, Nikki Hill, also a prosecutor, in The Trials of Nikki Hill and its follow-up, L.A. Justice.
- Nora DeLoach
- Social worker Candi Covington, known to her daughter (and Watson), Simone as Mama, solves crime in the small town of Otis, SC, in this series of cozy mysteries. Titles include: Mama Solves a Murder, Mama Saves a Victim, Mama Pursues Murderous Shadows, and the last, Mama Cracks A Mask of Innocence.
- Grace F. Edwards
- Former cop and Harlem sleuth Mali Anderson investigates crime in NYC in this gritty series, which includes If I Should Die, A Toast Before Dying, No Time to Die, and the latest, Do or Die.
- Louis Edwards
- N: A Romantic Mystery is a stand-alone thriller featuring New Orleans newspaper publisher Aimee Dubois investigating the murder of a high-school boy.
- Ardella Garland
- Up-and-coming TV news reporter Georgia Barnett searches for a missing child amid gang violence in Chicago in the debut thriller, Details at Ten.
- Robert O. Greer
- Greer's black bail-bondsman and reluctant sleuth, C.J. Floyd, prowls the mean streets of Denver in The Devil's Hatband, The Devil's Red Nickel and The Devil's Backbone. Floyd also appears in the medical thriller, Limited Time.
- Terris McMahan Grimes
- Theresa Galloway, black urban professional, wife, mother, daughter, and occasional sleuth in Sacramento, CA appears in two novels, Somebody Else's Child (winner of an Anthony Award as best first novel) and Blood Will Tell. A third novel is eagerly anticipated.
- Barbara Hambly
- In this poignant historical mystery series, surgeon Benjamin January returns to America from Paris in 1833, but since he is of mixed race, cannot practice medicine and makes his living as a musician. This 'free man of color' becomes involved in murder and mystery in a socially and racially diverse antebellum New Orleans. Titles include A Free Man of Color, Fever Season, Graveyard Dust, Sold Down the River, and the latest, Die upon a Kiss.
- Gary Hardwick
- Director and screenwriter Hardwick writes police and legal thrillers set in Detroit: Cold Medina, Double Dead, Supreme Justice and The Color of Justice.
- Gar Anthony Haywood
- P.I. Aaron Gunner stars in Haywood's series of dark mysteries set in L.A., including Fear of the Dark, Not Long for This World, When Last Seen Alive, and All the Lucky Ones Are Dead. A second series featuring the Loudermilks, a retired couple traveling the US in an Airstream and bumping into crime along the way, is much cozier, and includes Going Nowhere Fast and Bad News Travels Fast.
- Chester Himes
- The granddaddy of black detective fiction, Himes is best known for his tough and darkly comic series featuring Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, Harlem detectives. Titles include: A Rage in Harlem (originally published as For Love of Imabelle), The Real Cool Killers, and Cotton Comes to Harlem.
- Hugh Holton
- Police procedurals from an expert. Holton, a Chicago detective before his early death in 2001, wrote a series of novels featuring Chicago cop Larry Cole, including Presumed Dead, Chicago Blues, The Left Hand of God, and his last, The Devil's Shadow.
- Norman Kelley
- Nina Halligan, poli-sci professor and former prosecutor, appears in The Big Mango, a political thriller which moves from DC to the Caribbean.
- Ann McMillan
- Another historical mystery series, set in Civil War Virginia, features herbalist and freedwoman Judah Daniel and Narcissa Power, a white widow who becomes a war nurse. Titles include: Dead March, Angel Trumpet and Civil Blood.
- Penny Mickelbury
- Carole Ann (C.A.) Gibson, high-powered D.C. defense attorney, is tough and smart. She has to be, after her husband is murdered in One Must Wait, the first novel. Then she starts her own security firm with ex-cop and friend, Jake Graham. Where to Choose, The Step Between and Paradise Interrupted continue her adventures.
- Walter Mosley
- Walter Mosley astounded critics and readers with his groundbreaking bestseller, Devil in a Blue Dress, introducing Easy Rawlins and his terrifying sidekick, Mouse, in a series which studies the black experience in post-war L.A. through the conventions of the mystery novel. Titles include A Red Death, White Butterfly, Black Betty, A Little Yellow Dog, and a prequel introducing Easy and Mouse, Gone Fishin' . In Mosley's second series, ex-con Socrates Fortlow features in the short story collection, Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, and the novel, Walkin' the Dog. Mosley's latest, Fearless Jones, introduces Paris Minton, a black bookseller in 1950's L.A.
- Barbara Neely
- Blanche White, domestic and accidental sleuth (she's as nosy as she is hardworking) is featured in this series which includes the novels Blanche on the Lam, Blanche among the Talented Tenth, Blanche Cleans Up, and Blanche Passes Go.
- P. J. Parrish
- Louis Kincaid, son of a black mother and white father, is introduced in Dark of the Moon. Returning to his Mississippi hometown to visit his dying mother, Kincaid hires on as deputy and is faced with investigating a 20-year-old racial murder. In Dead of Winter, he joins the force in a small resort town in Michigan, only to learn of his predecessor's murder and then face the killing of another cop.
- Gary Phillips
- Ivan Monk is a savvy P.I. in contemporary L.A. In novels that are as much political thrillers as hard-boiled mysteries, Phillips investigates the current mores and racial tensions of the city today. Titles include Violent Spring and Bad Night is Fallling. A second series introduces Martha Chainey, courier for the mob in Las Vegas and inadvertent stumbler into crime and mystery. She appears in High Hand and Shooter's Point.
- Robert Skinner
- Wesley Farrell is a Creole saloon owner in 1930's New Orleans, passing for white. To protect his past, he's blackmailed into investigating a murder in Skin Deep, Blood Red. In Cat-eyed Trouble, Farrell learns more about his past while searching for the killer of a former lover.
- Pamela Thomas-Graham
- Nikki Chase, brilliant and black, is an economics professor at Harvard in this series of academic mysteries set in Cambridge MA, which can get just as down and dirty as the mean streets of Harlem. Titles include A Darker Shade of Crimson and Blue Blood.
- Nichelle D. Tramble
- In this 'hip-hop noir' novel, The Dying Ground, Maceo Redfield gets drawn back to the old neighborhood in 1989 Oakland, CA to investigate the murder of an old friend -- and drug dealer.
- Blair S. Walker
- Darryl Billup, hotshot Baltimore reporter, deals with domestic terrorists and racists in Up Jumped the Devil and Hidden in Plain View.
- Valerie Wilson Wesley
- Tamara Hayle, ex-cop turned gumshoe in Newark, appears in this extremely popular series. Titles include: When Death Comes Stealing, Devil's Gonna Get Him, Where Evil Sleeps, No Hiding Place, Easier to Kill, and The Devil Riding.
- Paula L. Woods
- L.A. homicide detective Charlotte Justice fights crime and prejudice and rejoices in a cheerfully anarchic family in Stormy Weather and Inner City Blues.
- Spooks, Spies and Private Eyes, edited by Paul L. Woods (1995) CALL: FICT S763 63
- Mystery novelist Woods has edited this outstanding anthology of black mystery fiction. From the pathbreaking work of Rudolph Fisher (a selection from his novel, The Conjure-Man Dies published in 1932 is included) to contemporary offerings by such writers as Walter Mosley, Gar Anthony Haywood, Hugh Holton, and 'Sistuhs in Crime' Barbara Neely, Penny Mickelbury and Eleanor Taylor Bland, this collection offers a superior introduction to the best work of African-American mystery writers.
- The Blues Detective: A Study of African-American Detective Fiction by Stephen F. Soitos (1996) CALL 813.0872 S691
- Soitos, a novelist and professor of literature, offers an intriguing and in-depth study of early writers of black detective fiction, with special concentration on Rudolph Fisher and Chester Himes, and their effects on later writers.
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