Black mystery, crime, and suspense fiction of the 20th century
I've had this book for sometime but it got buried in my stacks. I finally pulled it off the shelf and jumped in. It's a terrific anthology, with an interesting variety of short stories and novel excerpts. It also introduced me to a number of writers I had never heard of.
I particularly like the stories in the section titled "Sistahs in Crime," especially Tell Me Moore by Aya de Leon and Night Songs by Penny Mickelbury. Also enjoyed the section "Spooks at the Door," which included novel excerpts from The Man Who Cried I Am by John A. Williams and The Spook Who Sat by the Door by Sam Greenlee. Both novels are set in the late '60s and with themes of Black nationalism that characterized the period. After reading Greenlee's piece, I bought and read the novel. It's a good read, too. (I haven't been able to find a copy of Williams' novel.)
I don't read much crime and mystery fiction, with the exception of Walter Mosley (who's also represented in the anthology). This book delivers on the genre, wrapped in the richness and earthiness of Black culture across different periods of the 20th century.
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Bob Campbell, an essayist and novelist, likes his bourbon neat. His debut novel, Motown Man, was published by Urban Farmhouse Press in November 2020.