African American Mystery Writers and Their African American Detectives

They work in Watts, Chicago, Oakland and Harlem, go on vacation in Provincetown, MA, and return home to Otis, South Carolina (pop. 5,000). They include an Ivy League professor, an ex-CIA agent, a volatile ex-cop, a journalist, a domestic worker, an attorney, a Ph.D. student whose best informers work in a beauty salon, and a saxophone-playing street musician.

Among them are single parents, foster parents, an orphan, and lesbians. They have starred in movies. They work in the past and the present. They are biracial. They partner with white colleagues.

They are African American detectives created by African American mystery writers whose lives are as varied as their fictional characters.

Walter Mosley, today’s most prolific and successful African American mystery writer, is the 2016 recipient of…

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