Crime Writers of Color Coming Attractions: April-June 2022

Apr 16, 2022 | 2022 Articles, Coming Attractions!, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Elizabeth Wilkerson

Tea Time

When I lived in Tokyo in the ‘80s, I devoured mystery books faster than conveyor belt sushi. But even in the largest bookstores in the world’s largest city, English-language mysteries were hard to come by. The books were invariably exiled to a lonely corner in the far reaches of the store. I picked through the desolate shelves, hoping to find a few overlooked titles.

I’d read through translations of the Japanese masters like Seicho Matsumoto, Seishi Yokomizo, and Edogawa Rampo. And other than the Japanese classics, offerings were limited to the works of classic British fiction writers. I didn’t know them and hadn’t read them.

P.D. James. Who was he? Ruth Rendell, Barbara Vine, Dorothy L. Sayers? Never heard of them. But they were the only show in town, so resignedly, I pulled the shopworn British mysteries off the shelf, blew the dust off their covers, and tossed the paperbacks in my shopping basket. How delighted was I to discover that I loved P.D. James. And I cringed to realize that I’d fallen into the gender stereotyping all too common in crime fiction: P.D. James wasn’t a he but a she. Phyllis Dorothy James.

I sampled the other British writers’ books. Barbara Vine’s work was too psycho-scary for me, but the protag in Ruth Rendell’s Wexford series was just my cuppa English Breakfast Tea. Only later would I learn that Barbara and Ruth were the same person.

Looking back, I wonder why the Japanese bookstores focused so heavily on classic British writers. Where was the Chandler, the Highsmith? There was no Ludlum. No Crichton. No Walter Mosley or Chester Himes. Not in English, anyway. Not exported to Japan. It makes me curious who made the decision. And I’m grateful that now, because of technological advances, it’s easier to get books of so many cultures in so many languages instantaneously distributed across the planet.

Yet, one challenge remains: What book to read next?

These upcoming titles by Crime Writers of Color are deep in tantalizing intrigue. Maybe you’ll discover a new author, or enjoy spending time with an old favorite.

Deceptive Justice by Andrea J. Johnson
Release Date: April 5, 2022
When stenographer Victoria Justice finds herself on the phone with a mad bomber, she doesn’t think twice about diffusing the situation. After all, the local courthouse is no stranger to crime. However, a mysterious package found in the lobby moments later leads to a building evacuation and a car explosion that kills a visiting judge. Authorities quickly determine a recently vindicated arsonist is to blame, but the arrest sparks an alternate theory for Victoria who believes she’s the true target.

Girl Gone Missing by Marcie R. Rendon
Release Date: April 5, 2022
Nineteen-year-old Cash Blackbear helps law enforcement solve the mysterious disappearance of a local girl from Minnesota’s Red River Valley. 1970s, Fargo-Moorhead: it’s the tail end of the age of peace and love, but Cash Blackbear isn’t feeling it. Bored by her freshman classes at Moorhead State College, Cash just wants to play pool, learn judo, chain-smoke, and be left alone. But when one of Cash’s classmates vanishes without a trace, Cash can’t stop envisioning terrified girls begging for help.

Murder on the Red River by Marcie R. Rendon
Release Date: April 12, 2022
Introducing Cash Blackbear, a young Ojibwe woman whose visions and grit help solve a brutal murder in this award-winning debut.  1970s, Red River Valley between North Dakota and Minnesota: Renee “Cash” Blackbear is 19 years old and tough as nails. She lives in Fargo, North Dakota, where she drives truck for local farmers, drinks beer, plays pool, and helps solve criminal investigations through the power of her visions.

One-Shot Harry by Gary Phillips
Release Date: April 12, 2022
Los Angeles, 1963. African American Korean War vet Harry Ingram earns a living as a crime photographer and occasional process server, chasing police radio calls and dodging baseball bats. When a white buddy of his from the Army dies under questionable circumstances, Harry investigates. This while racial tensions are running high on the eve of Martin Luther King’s Freedom Rally in town—four months before the historic March on Washington. Harry risks all to uncover the tangled truth.

I Know What You’ve Done by Dorothy Koomson
Release Date: April 26, 2022
What if all your neighbors’ secrets landed in a diary on your doorstep? What if the woman who gave it to you was murdered by one of the people in the diary? What if the police asked if you knew anything? Would you hand over the book of secrets? Or … would you try to find out what everyone had done? I Know What You’ve Done is the unputdownable thriller from the Queen of the Big Reveal.

Murder Is Revealing by Michelle Corbier
Release Date: May 2, 2022
Physician and amateur writer, Dr. Myaisha Douglas must discover who murdered her college friend before a member of her writing group is convicted of the crime. It is the height of the 2007 housing market crash, and with a murdered realtor, the potential suspects are numerous.

Misplaced Danger: A Fatal Prescription by Marla K. Morris
Release Date: June 2, 2022
Teddy and his overbearing mother share a dysfunctional relationship. He succumbs to the illicit use of prescription drugs. His prescribing doctor is operating a veritable pill mill on the other side of town. He plunders his practice, reputation, and privilege once his wrongdoing is brought to the light.

A Killing Rain by Faye Snowden
Release Date: June 21, 2022
After former homicide Raven Burns returns to Byrd’s Landing, Louisiana, to begin a new life, she soon finds herself trapped by the old one when her nephew is kidnapped by a ruthless serial killer, and her foster brother becomes the main suspect. To make matters worse, she is being pursued by two men—one who wants to redeem her soul for the murder Raven felt she had no choice but to commit, and another who wants to lock her away forever.

In The Dark We Forget by Sandra SG Wong
Release Date: June 21, 2022
When a woman wakes up with amnesia beside a mountain highway, confused and alone, she fights to regain her identity, only to learn that her parents have disappeared—not long after her mother bought a winning $47 million lottery ticket. With jolting revelations and taut ambiguity, In the Dark We Forget vividly examines the complexities of family—and the lies we tell ourselves in order to survive.

Outcry Witness by Aime Austin
Release Date: June 22, 2022
When she didn’t give him what he asked for, he took what he wanted…

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode goes up next week.

Click on this link to take you to Mysterious Galaxy’s website where you can purchase many of these books & a portion will go to help support KRL:

Elizabeth Wilkerson was one of Silicon Valley’s first cyberlawyers and now writes thrillers with a tech edge. A native of Cleveland, her debut novel is Tokyo Firewall. You can learn more on her website.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases.

1 Comment

  1. How exciting! So many great books coming our way.


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