Murder and Mayhem: African American Mystery Writers

Vincent Alexandria
Mr. Alexandria is the author of If Walls Could Talk, Postal Blues, Black Rain, and Poetry from the Bottom of My Heart. He is founder of the Brother 2 Brother Literary Symposium and is a GED teacher with the Evenstart program in Kansas City, Missouri. Black Rain features Joe Johnson, Chief Detective of the Kansas City, Missouri homicide unit.
Black Rain . 2004.
Frankie Y. Bailey
Criminal justice professor Frankie Y. Bailey lives in New York and teaches at State University of New York at Albany. This is the author’s fourth mystery featuring crime historian and professor Lizzie Stuart.
You Should Have Died on Monday. 2007.
Nikki Baker
Nikki Baker is the pseudonymous author of a mystery series featuring black lesbian stockbroker Virginia Kelly. This gay woman broker from Chicago first appeared in the 1991 book In The Game. The Long Goodbyes is the third in this series.
Long Goodbyes . 1993.
Eleanor Taylor Bland
Eleanor Taylor Bland's mysteries combine police procedurals with contemporary African American themes. Female cop Marti "Big Mac" MacAlister works with her white partner Matthew Jessenovik in the fictional Illinois town of Lincoln Prairie.
Dead Time . 1992.
Slow Burn . 1993.
Gone Quiet . 1994.
Done Wrong . 1995.
Keep Still . 1996.
See No Evil . 1998.
Tell No Tales . 1999.
Scream In Silence . 2000.
Whispers In The Dark . 2001.
Windy City Dying . 2002.
Fatal Remains . 2003.
A Cold and Silent Dying . 2004.
Shades of Black: Crime and Mystery Stories by African American Authors . 2004.
A Dark and Deadly Deception . 2005.
Mark Allen Boone
Former fiction editor for the quarterly AIM (America’s Intercultural Magazine), Mark Allen Boone has worked in publishing for 23 years. Set in Chicago and Nashville, The Demise of Luleta Jones introduces reporter Theophilous Pugh who investigates the death of a controversial schoolteacher.
The Demise of Luleta Jones. 2006.
Charlotte Carter
New York editor Charlotte Carter introduced her saxophone-playing sleuth Nanette Hayes in Rhode Island Red and continues the series with two more sardonic mysteries featuring this charismatic heroine.
Jackson Park is the first in a new series set in 1968 Chicago featuring 20-year-old college student Cassandra Lisle and her great aunt and uncle. Her investigations continue in the 2nd of the series, Trip Wire.
Coq Au Vin. 1999.
Drumsticks. 2000.
Jackson Park. 2003.
Trip Wire. 2005.
Christopher Chambers
Former Department of Justice attorney, Christopher Chambers makes good use of his insider's knowledge of Washington, D.C. in his mysteries featuring FBI special agent Angela Bivens.
Sympathy for the Devil. 2001
A Prayer for Deliverance. 2003
Kyra Davis
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, Kyra Davis, like her protagonist, has a Jewish mother and an African American father. Crime novelist Sophie Katz makes her debut in Davis's first novel and will appear in two follow-up stories.
Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte. 2005
Passion, Betrayal, and Killer Highlights. 2006
Nora Deloach
Known as "Candi" for her candied sweet potato complexion, "Mama" has a talent for cooking the best food in Otis, South Carolina, and a passion for solving crimes, which she does in Nora DeLoach's mystery, Mama Stalks the Past. This is the third in her series to feature this southern version of Miss Marple.
Mama Stalks The Past. 1997
Grace Edwards
Born and raised in Harlem, Grace Edwards writes mysteries that feature savvy female ex-cop Mali Anderson and bring Harlem's working class neighborhood to life.
In her newest thriller set in 1972 Harlem, Vietnam vet Marin Taylor is attacked by two robbers on a bridge over the Harlem River.
If I Should Die. 1997
A Toast Before Dying. 1998
No Time To Die. 1999
The Viaduct. 2004
Clyde Ford
Native New Yorker Clyde Ford has written both fiction and non-fiction books, including a groundbreaking work on African mythology, Hero with an African Face. He has been a featured guest on the Oprah Winfrey show, NPR, and other television and radio programs nationwide. His Shango Mystery series introduces former NYPD officer John Shannon who served two years in a federal penitentiary for a murder he didn’t commit and now helps solve crimes.
The Long Mile. 2005
Deuce’s Wild. 2006
Ardella Garland
A Chicago native and graduate of Yale University and the Columbia University School of Journalism, Ardella Garland is the pen name of Yolanda Joe, author of He Say, She Say and Bebe's by Golly Wow! A former news writer for CBS in Chicago, Ms. Garland first introduces sassy TV journalist Georgia Barnett in Details at Ten.
Details At Ten. 2000
Hit Time. 2002
Robert O. Greer
Professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and editor-in-chief of the High Plains Literary Review, Robert O. Greer writes mysteries featuring Denver bounty hunter and bail bondsman C. J. Floyd. The latest in this hard-boiled series is Fourth Perspective.
The Devil's Hatband. 1996
The Devil's Red Nickel. 1997
The Devil's Backbone. 1998
Resurrecting Langston Blue. 2005
Fourth Perspective. 2006
Teddy Hayes
Magazine publisher, playwright, and music producer born in Cleveland, Teddy Hayes writes Harlem noir mysteries with ex-CIA agent turned Harlem tavern owner Devil Barnett as detective.
Dead by Popular Demand. 2005.
Gar Anthony Haywood
Creator of the Aaron Gunner series, featuring a contemporary private investigator working in Los Angeles, Haywood won the St. Martin's Press best first P.I. novel contest for the first book in this series - Fear of the Dark. Haywood's second series, in a lighter vein, follows senior sleuths Dottie and Joe Loudermilk who take early retirement and travel the country in a motor home, "mainly to avoid their five adult kids."
Fear Of The Dark. 1988
You Can Die Trying. 1993
Going Nowhere Fast. 1994
Bad News Travels Fast. 1995
When Last Seen Alive. 1997
Angela Henry
Founder of the MystNoir website which promotes African American mystery writers, Angela Henry is a librarian in Springfield, Ohio. Her debut novel introduces Kendra Clayton, a single, 20-something part-time GED instructor turned amateur sleuth.
The Company You Keep. 2005
Tangled Roots. 2006
Chester Himes
Best known for his Harlem-based mystery novels featuring detectives Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, Chester Himes began writing while serving a 20-year prison sentence for armed robbery. Born in Missouri in 1909, he moved to Europe in the 1950s and received the Grand Prix du Roman Policier in 1957. Three of his works, including Cotton Comes to Harlem, have been adapted for film.
The Crazy Kill. 1959
The Real Cool Killers. 1959
All Shot Up. 1960
The Big Gold Dream. 1960
Cotton Comes To Harlem. 1965
The Heat's On. 1966
Blind Man With A Pistol. 1969
Hugh Holton
A veteran of the Chicago Police Department, Holton writes with authenticity about politics, the city, and its police force. His debut novel Presumed Dead introduced fictional commander Larry Cole. His eighth and last novel is The Devil's Shadow. Mr. Holton died May 18, 2001.
Presumed Dead. 1994
Windy City. 1995
Chicago Blues. 1996
Violent Crimes. 1997
Red Lightning. 1998
Left Hand Of God. 1999
Time Of The Assassins. 2000
The Devil's Shadow. 2001
Jake Lamar
A graduate of Harvard and former writer for Time magazine, Mr. Lamar is also the author of a memoir and two novels (The Last Integrationist; Close to the Bone). His first mystery, blending politics and academia, introduces journalism professor Clay Robinette. His second mystery is set in the Montmartre district of Paris where jazz pianist Ricky Jenks becomes a murder suspect.
If 6 Were 9. 2001
Penny Mickelbury
Former Washington, D.C. newspaper, radio and television reporter, author Penny Mickelbury sets her mysteries in the nation's capital. Night Songs is the second in her series to feature Italian cop Lt. Gianna Maglione, head of the hate crimes unit, and her African American lover, reporter Mimi Patterson.
There are now four books in her second series that feature criminal defense lawyer Carol Ann Gibson, first introduced in One Must Wait. Paradise Interrupted won the 2001 Golden Pen Award, given by the National Black Writers Alliance for the best mystery novel of the year. Mickelbury introduces New York private eye Phil Rodriguez and his partner Yolanda Aguillera in her newest mystery Two Graves Dug.
Night Songs. 1995
Where To Choose. 1999
The Step Between. 2000
Paradise Interrupted. 2001
Two Graves Dug . 2005
Walter Mosley
Mosley is the first African American to hold the position of president of the Mystery Writers of America. His Easy Rawlins series of mysteries is set in Los Angeles. Detective Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins is first introduced to us in Devil in a Blue Dress. Army veteran Fearless Jones made his first appearance in Mosley's 2001 novel.
Devil In A Blue Dress. 1990
A Red Death. 1991
White Butterfly. 1992
Black Betty. 1994
A Little Yellow Dog. 1996
Gone Fishin'. 1997
Fearless Jones . 2001
Bad Boy Brawly Brown. 2002
Fear Itself. 2003
Little Scarlet. 2004
Fear of the Dark. 2006
Blonde Faith. 2007
Barbara Neely
Forty-year-old domestic worker Blanche White inadvertently becomes involved with murder in Barbara Neely's debut novel Blanche on the Lam. Set in fictional Farleigh, North Carolina, we first meet Blanche fleeing from jail on a bad check charge. Finding work as a maid for a wealthy white family, Blanche uncovers a murder and confronts the issues of race, class and gender with perception and humor.
Blanche On The Lam. 1992
Blanche Among The Talented Tenth. 1994
Blanche Cleans Up. 1998
Blanche Passes Go. 2000
Gary Phillips
Los Angeles native Gary Phillips is the winner of the 2003 Chester Himes award for writing. His tough private eye Ivan Monk, who appears in several short stories, including the anthology Spooks, Spies and Private Eyes, fights crime and racism in his first mystery series.
Phillips launches a new series with the debut of ex-showgirl and mob money courier Martha Chainey in the hard-boiled heist thrillers High Hand and Shooter's Point.
Bad Night Is Falling. 1998
Only The Wicked. 2000
Mike Phillips
Awarded a 1996 Arts Foundation Fellowship for thriller writing, Mike Phillips first introduced Jamaican-born, street smart reporter Sam Dean in Blood Rights, which explored the back alleys of London's underworld.
Blood Rights. 1989
Ishmael Reed
Poet, novelist, and publisher Ishmael Reed helped found The East Village Other, dedicated to experimental writing, and introduced the concept of "Neo-Hoodoo"-a language composed of black dialects, standard English and hip jargon. His two mysteries feature 70-year-old detective Papa LaBas.
Mumbo Jumbo. 1972
Jewell Parker Rhodes
Professor of creative writing and American literature at Arizona State University, Jewell Parker Rhodes received a National Endowment for the Arts Award in fiction. Voodoo Season is set in New Orleans and is based on the legend of voodoo priestess Marie Laveau.
Voodoo Season. 2005
Ian Smith
Medical Correspondent for NBC News and health columnist for Men's Health Magazine, nonfiction author Dr. Ian Smith enters the crime fiction genre with the debut of New York FBI agent Sterling Bledsoe.
The Blackbird Papers. 2004
Pamela Thomas-Graham
A graduate of Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School, Thomas-Graham was an editor of the Harvard Law Review and the first black woman partner at management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. She is currently the President and CEO of CNBC. She sets her mysteries in academia where Harvard economics professor Nikki Chase investigates racism and murder.
A Darker Shade Of Crimson. 1998
Blue Blood. 1999
Orange Crushed. 2004
Nichelle D. Tramble
Nichelle Tramble is a freelance journalist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her mysteries are set in Oakland, California and feature high school baseball star turned investigator Maceo Redfield.
The Dying Ground. 2001
Blair Underwood
Actor Blair Underwood teams up with novelists Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes in this mystery introducing Hollywood actor-turned sleuth Tennyson Hardwick.
Casanegra. 2007
Blair S. Walker
Freelance writer and former journalist Blair S. Walker debuted his first Darryl Billups mystery in Up Jumped the Devil. There are now three books in the series featuring the Baltimore reporter-sleuth.
Up Jumped The Devil. 1997
Valerie Wilson Wesley
Editor-at-large at Essence magazine, Valerie Wilson Wesley first introduced Newark- based private investigator Tamara Hayle in When Death Comes Stealing, where she tried to figure out who was killing her ex-husband's son. Now with six Tamara Hayle mysteries, Ms. Wesley has become a prominent name on the female crime-writing scene.
When Death Comes Stealing. 1994
Where Evil Sleeps. 1996
No Hiding Place. 1997
Easier To Kill. 1998
The Devil Riding. 2000
Dying in the Dark. 2004
Paula L. Woods
Ms. Woods is editor of the anthology Spooks, Spies and Private Eyes: Black Mystery, Crime and Suspense Fiction of the 20th Century. Detective Charlotte Justice made her debut in Inner City Blues set after the Los Angeles riots following the Rodney King verdict. The detective investigates additional cases as this series continues.
Inner City Blues. 1999
Stormy Weather. 2001
Dirty Laundry. 2003
Strange Bedfellows. 2006
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