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Africana/African American

Mysteries

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How about some mysteries from a land so rich, that many refer to it as the Motherland.

Africa.

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A Free Man Of Color (Benjamin January Series #1)

by Barbara Hambly

A lush and haunting novel of a city steeped in decadent pleasures . . . and of a man, proud and defiant, caught in a web of murder and betrayal.

It is 1833. In the midst of Mardi Gras, Benjamin January, a Creole physician and music teacher, is playing piano at the Salle d'Orleans when the evenings festivities are interrupted—by murder.

Ravishing Angelique Crozat, a notorious octoroon who travels in the city's finest company, has been strangled to death. With the authorities reluctant to become involved, Ben begins his own inquiry, which will take him through the seamy haunts of riverboatmen and into the huts of voodoo-worshipping slaves.

But soon the eyes of suspicion turn toward Ben—for, black as the slave who fathered him, this free man of color is still the perfect scapegoat. . . .

How To Raise An Elephant

by Alexander McCall Smith

The next book in the perennially adored No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series sees Precious Ramotswe calling upon all her maternal instincts when she's faced with a two-ton case.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but can Mma Ramotswe and the rest of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency come together to raise a pipsqueak pachyderm? We may find out in this novel. We may not. Who can say?

Blanche On The Lam

by Barbara Neely


Barbara Neely's Smart, Sassy and Groundbreaking Crime Novel

WINNER OF THE AGATHA, ANTHONY & MACAVITY AWARDS

Blanche White is a plump, feisty, middle-aged African-American housekeeper working for the genteel rich in North Carolina. But when an employer stiffs her, and her checks bounce, she goes on the lam, hiding out as a maid for a wealthy family at their summer home. That plan goes awry when there's a murder and Blanche becomes the prime suspect.

 

So she's forced to use her savvy, her sharp wit, and her old-girl network of domestic workers to discover the truth and save her own skin. Along the way, she lays bare the quirks of southern society with humor, irony, and a biting commentary that makes her one of the most memorable and original characters ever to appear in mystery fiction.

Savage Season (Hap Collins and Leonard Pine Series #1)

by Joe R. Lansdale

Savage Season is the basis for the first season of the Sundance TV series Hap and Leonard

A rip-roaring, high-octane, Texas-sized thriller, featuring two friends, one vixen, a crew of washed-up radicals, loads of money, and bloody mayhem.

Hap Collins and Leonard Pine are best friends, yet they couldn't be more different. Hap is an east Texas white-boy with a weakness for Texas women. Leonard is a gay, black Vietnam vet. Together, they steer up more commotion than a fire storm. But that's just the way they like it. So when an ex-flame of Hap's returns promising a huge score.

 

Hap lets Leonard in on the scam, and that's when things get interesting. Chockfull of action and laughs, Savage Season is the masterpiece of dark suspense that introduced Hap and Leonard to the thriller scene. It hasn't been the same since.

Six Easy Pieces

by Walter Mosley

Easy should be living a contented life, with steady work as senior head custodian of Sojourner Truth High School, and a loving family. But happiness is as elusive for Easy as smoke in shadows.

 

Easy's the man folks seek out when they can't take their problems to anyone else. Trading favors and investigating cases of arson, murder, missing persons, and false accusations, it's hard to steer clear of trouble. Easy walks the line in this must-have collection from bestselling, award-winning author Walter Mosley.

Cotton Comes To Harlem

by Chester Himes

A classic entry in Chester Himes’s trailblazing Harlem Detectives series, Cotton Comes to Harlem is one of his hardest-hitting and most entertaining thrillers.
 
Flim-flam man Deke O’Hara is no sooner out of Atlanta’s state penitentiary than he’s back on the streets working the scam of a lifetime. As sponsor of the Back-to-Africa movement, he’s counting on a big Harlem rally to produce a massive collection—for his own private charity.

 

But the take is hijacked by white gunmen and hidden in a bale of cotton that suddenly everyone wants to get his hands on. As NYPD detectives “Coffin Ed” Johnson and “Grave Digger” Jones piece together the complexity of the scheme, we are treated to Himes’s brand of hard-boiled crime fiction at its very best.

Right As Rain

by George Pelecanos

Derek Strange is a black ex-cop in Washington D.C. who now makes a living running his own private detective agency. He is hired to investigate the killing of an off-duty black policeman by a white police officer -- a killing that was supposedly accidental, but that has opened difficult questions about racism on the force. In the course of that investigation the white officer, Terry Quinn, becomes Strange's friend and then his partner.

 

Together they try to uncover what really happened that night, when Quinn came upon a confusing and treacherous crime scene. Along the way they confront the kingpins of a flourishing drug trade and some of the most implacable, dead-eyed killers ever to grace the pages of a novel.