In honor of Black History Month, I’d like to share my favorite African-American mystery writers and their series. Sadly, these series have either been dropped, run their course, or are on hiatus. Many are no longer in print. But you can always check your local public library and with many author’s backlists being made available digitally, it’s still possible to purchase some of them. So in no particular order, here they are!
Barbara Neely’s Blanche White Series-featured Blanche White, a plus sized domestic and amateur sleuth whose razor sharp wit and keen insight into racial and social dynamics helps her to solve crimes.
Eleanor Taylor Bland’s Marti MacAlister Series-Set in fictional Lincoln Prairie, Illinois, this series features widowed homicide detective Marti MacAlister as she solves crimes and juggles motherhood.
Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins Series-If it’s possible to be in love with a fictional character, then I’m head over heels for PI Easy Rawlins. This excellent long running series came to its conclusion in 2007, with Blonde Faith. Easy, you are missed!
Valerie Wilson Wesley’s Tamara Hayle Series-Newark PI, and single mom, Tamara Hayle has starred in eight novels, the most recent, Of Blood and Sorrow, was released in 2008. I hope there are more forthcoming.
Kyra Davis’s Sophie Katz’s Series-Sex in the City meets Miss Marple featuring mystery writer and amateur sleuth Sophie Katz and her wacky gang of friends. Not sure of the status of this series but have a good feeling we haven’t seen the last of Sophie and Co.
If you haven't already, I hope you'll check out these excellent series. I have even higher hopes that any author whose series has been dropped will resurrect it. With the growth of digital and self-publishing, no author should have to abandon a series when a publisher makes a decision not continue it.