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The Black Detective


This list includes mystery fiction that features some kind of African-American sleuth without regard to time period, sex or sexual orientation, or their career status as a professional or amateur sleuth, etc. Please note — this is a booklist featuring sleuths who are African-American. Not all of the writers are necessarily of African-American heritage themselves! 

All books in this list which are owned by Lincoln City Libraries are hotlinked to their entries in our library catalog, so that you may check on their current availability. Some titles not owned by the libraries are included in this list due to their classic nature, or their position as part of a series. If you see a title on this list that is not hotlinked to our collection, please consider ordering it through our Interlibrary Loan department.

Sterling Anthony
Lt. Mary Cunningham
Cookie Cutter [1999]

Nikki Baker
Virginia Kelly
In the Game [1991]— Long Goodbyes [1993]

John Dudley Ball
Virgil Tibbs
In the Heat of the Night [1965]— The Cool Cottontail [1966]— Johnny Get Your Gun [1969]— Five Pieces of Jade [1972]— The Eyes of Buddha [1976]— The Killing in the Market [1978]— Then Came Violence [1980]— Singapore [1986]

George Baxt
Pharoah Love
— A Queer Kind of Death [1966]— Swing Low, Sweet Harriet [1967]— Topsy and Evil [1968]— A Queer Kind of Love [1979]— A Queer Kind of Umbrella [1995]

Eleanor Taylor Bland
Marti “Big Mac” MacAlister
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]— A Dark and Deadly Deception [2005]

Jay Brandon
Rules of Evidence [1992]

Charlotte Carter
The Nanette Hayes series
Rhode Island Red [1997]Coq au Vin [1999]Drumsticks [2000]Rooster’s Riff [2001]The Cook County series
Jackson Park [2003]Trip Wire [2005]

Christopher Chambers
Sympathy for the Devil [2001]A Prayer for Deliverance [2003]

Christopher Darden and Dick Lochte
Trials of Nikki Hill [1999]L.A. Justice [2001]The Last Defense [2002]Lawless [2004]

Nora Deloach
The “Mama” series
— Mama Solves a Murder [1994]— Mama Traps a Killer [1995]— Mama Saves a Victim [1997
— Mama Stands Accused [1997]— Mama Stalks the Past [1997]— Mama Rocks the Empty Cradle [1998]— Mama Pursues Murderous Shadows [2000]— Mama Cracks a Mask of Innocence [2001]

Grace Edwards
The Viaduct [2004]Mali Anderson
If I Should Die [1997]— A Toast Before Dying [1998]— No Time to Die [1999]— Do or Die [2000]

Louis Edwards
Aimee DuBois
N: A Romantic Mystery [1997]

Ardella Garland
Georgia Barnett
Details at Ten [2000]— Hit Time [2002]

Robert O. Greer
Limited Time [2000]C.J. Floyd
The Devil’s Hatband [1996]— The Devil’s Red Nickel [1997]— The Devil’s Backbone [1998]— Resurrecting Langston Blue [2005]— The Fourth Perspective [2006]— The Mongoose Deception [2007]— Blackbird, Farewell [2008]— First of State [2010]

Barbara Hambly
Emancipator’s Wife [2005] (not a Benjamin January novel!)
Benjamin January
A Free Man of Color [1997]— Fever Season [1998]— Graveyard Dust [1999]— Sold Down the River [2000]— Die Upon a Kiss [2001]— Wet Grave [2002]— Days of the Dead [2003]— Dead Water [2004]— Dead and Buried [2010]— The Shirt on His Back [2011]

Gary Hardwick
Cold Medina [1996]Double Dead [1997]Supreme Justice [1999]Color of Justice [2000]The Executioner’s Game [2005]

Chester Himes
Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson
— For Love of Imabelle [1957]— 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
Larry Cole
— 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]— Criminal Element [2002]— The Thin Black Line [2005]

Norman Kelley
Nina Halligan
— Big Mango [2000]— The Black Heat [2001]— A Phat Death [2003]

Jake Lamar
Clay Robinette
If 6 Were 9 [2001]— Rendezvous Eighteenth [2003]

Glenville Lovell
Blade Overstreet
Too Beautiful to Die [2003]— Love and Death in Brooklyn [2004]

Ann McMillan
Judah Daniel
Dead March [1998]— Angel Trumpet [1999]— Civil Blood [2001]— Chickahominy Fever [2004]

Penny Mickelbury
Carol Ann Gibson
One Must Wait [1998]— Where to Choose [1999]— The Step Between [2000]— Paradise Interrupted [2001]

Walter Mosley
Easy Rawlins
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]— Cinnamon Kiss [2005]— Blonde Faith [2008]— Little Green (2013)
Rose Gold (2014)
Charcoal Joe (2016)
Socrates Fortlow
Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned [1997]— Walkin’ the Dog [1999]— The Right Mistake [2008]Fearless Jones and Paris Minton
Fearless Jones [2001]— Fear Itself [2003]— Fear of the Dark [2006]Leonid McGill
The Long Fall [2009]— Known to Evil [2010]— When the Thrill is Gone [2011]— All I Did Was Shoot My Man (2012)
And Sometimes I Wonder About You (2015)

Barbara Neely
Blanche White
Blanche on the Lam [1992]— Blanche Among the Talented Tenth [1994]— Blanche Cleans Up [1998]— Blanche Passes Go [2000]

P.J. Parrish
Louis Kincaid
Dark of the Moon [1999]— Dead of Winter [2001]— Paint it Black [2002]— Thicker Than Water [2003]— Island of Bones [2004]— Killing Rain [2005]— Unquiet Grave [2006]— A Thousand Bones [2007]— South of Hell [2008]— The Little Death [2009]— Heart of Ice (2013)

Gary Phillips
Ivan Monk
— Violent Spring [1994]— Perdition U.S.A. [1995]— Bad Night is Falling [1998]— Only the Wicked [2000]Martha Chainey
High Hand [2000]— Shooter’s Point [2001]— The Perpetrators [2002]

Mike Phillips
Sam Dean
— Blood Rights [1989]— The Late Candidate [1989]— Point of Darkness [1994]— An Image to Die For [1995]

Ishmael Reed
Papa LaBas
— Mumbo Jumbo [1972]— The Last Days of Louisiana Red [1974]

James Sallis
Lew Griffin
The Long-Legged Fly [1992]— Moth [1993]— Black Hornet [1994]— Eye of the Cricket [1997]— Bluebottle [1999]— Ghost of a Flea [2001]

Robert Skinner
Wesley Farrell
— Skin Deep, Blood Red [1997]— Cat-Eyed Trouble [1999]— Pale Shadow [2001]

Ian Smith
Sterling Bledsoe
The Blackbird Papers [2004]

Pamela Thomas-Graham
Nikki Chase
A Darker Shade of Crimson [1998]— Blue Blood [1999]— Orange Crushed [2004]

Ernest Tidyman
Shaft [1970]— Shaft Among the Jews [1972]

Nichelle D. Tramble
The Dying Ground [2001]

Blair Underwood
Tennyson Hardwick
Casanegra [2007]— In the Heat of the Night [2008]— From Capetown With Love [2010]

Blair S. Walker
Daryl Billups
— Up Jumped the Devil [1997]— Hidden in Plain View [1999]— Don’t Believe Your Lying Eyes [2002]

Valerie Wilson Wesley
Tamara Hayle
When Death Comes Stealing [1994]— Devil’s Gonna Get Him [1995]— Where Evil Sleeps [1996]— No Hiding Place [1997]— Easier to Kill [1998]— The Devil Riding [2000]— Dying in the Dark [2004]— Of Blood and Sorrow [2008]

Paula L. Woods
Charlotte Justice
Inner City Blues [1999]— Stormy Weather [2001]— Dirty Laundry [2003]— Strange Bedfellows [2006]

Compiled August 2006 rs
Adapted and expanded for the Web August 2006 sdc / Last updated August 2016 sdc