Crime Writers of Color Coming Attractions: July – October

Jul 10, 2021 | 2021 Articles, Coming Attractions!, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Elizabeth Wilkerson

Summer Required Reading
Summer is a time for unapologetic, indulgent reading. From frothy beach reads to page-turning thrillers. But it’s also a time when schools hand students that dreaded list: summer required reading.

Mandatory books I was forced to read sank to the bottom of my TBR pile. The assigned titles, a collection of dusty publications I wouldn’t have picked for myself, never called to me. Not until the waning days of summer vacation when I realized I had to plow through hundreds of pages of un-fun reading before the school year began.

I still remember certain books I read — under duress — during the summer. And I remember the unexpected gems.

It seems like all students eventually have to suffer through Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. That tortuous tome deserved its place at the bottom of my TBR pile.

On the other hand, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed A Tale of Two Cities. Who knew Dickens was fun?

Required reading procrastination got the better of me when I opened Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk. The book was short, and I thought I could breeze through it in a day. But what it lacked in length it made up for in being profound, pithy, and power-punched.

Crime Writers of Color offer an exciting variety of summer releases. You might discover a fresh author voice or enjoy spending time with a beloved character in a favorite series. The books aren’t summer required reading, but you’re sure to enjoy some gems.

The Ninja Betrayed by Tori Eldridge
Things get personal for Chinese-Norwegian modern-day ninja Lily Wong in Hong Kong when she dives into the dangerous world of triads, romance, and corporate disaster during the height of the pro-democracy protests. Those closest to the family are trying to ruin Ma’s career. A teenage girl is lured into dangerous riots. A triad hunts for Lily. And the man she has known as “Uncle” is not what he seemed. Not the best conditions for a ninja to fall in love.

A Different Dawn by Isabella Maldonado
FBI Agent Nina Guerrera and her team must determine if there’s a link between a triple murder and another attack from four years earlier more than two thousand miles away. In the process, they’ll discover a serial killer so cunning his grisly trail of death spanning nearly three decades has gone undetected. Each crime scene reminds Nina of the ghostly Latin folktale of La Llorona, which terrified her as an abandoned and vulnerable child. Now it’s back to haunt her.

Nickel City Storm Warning by Gary Earl Ross
Hired to protect the keynote speaker at a national diversity conference from the white supremacists who murdered her journalist husband, PI Gideon Rimes uncovers a mass destruction plot far more sinister than murder.

Under Color of Law by Aaron Philip Clark
When a Black LAPD academy recruit is murdered, the homicide may have racial implications—a PR nightmare for LAPD. Black Robbery-Homicide Detective Trevor “Finn” Finnegan is tasked to investigate. Pressure to solve the case mounts as Finn scours the city’s underbelly where power, violence, and race intersect, but it’s Finn’s experiences as a beat cop that may hold the key to solving the recruit’s murder. The price? The end of Finn’s career . . . or his life.

The Family Tree by Nicole Mabry & Steph Mullin
The DNA results are back. And there’s a serial killer in her family tree…Liz Catalano is shocked when an ancestry kit reveals she’s adopted. But she could never have imagined connecting with her unknown family would plunge her into an FBI investigation of a notorious serial killer… The Tri-State Killer has been abducting pairs of women for forty years, leaving no clues behind – only bodies. Can Liz figure out who the killer in her new family is? Can she save his newest victims before it’s too late?

Mimi Lee Cracks the Code by Jennifer J. Chow
When murder follows Mimi Lee to her romantic island getaway, she puts on her best sleuthing hat with her sassy cat in tow in this adventurous cozy mystery.

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian
Chloe, an incoming freshman, is a straight-A student, charming girl-next-door type. She is also a diagnosed psychopath entering a special clinical panel study of psychopaths at a DC university. But really she’s come to college to hunt down a boy from her past who wronged her—a plan six years in the making. But what she doesn’t know is that someone is hunting down the psychopaths in the panel study one by one…

I Know What You’ve Done by Dorothy Koomson
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?

Winter Counts (paperback edition) by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
A local Native American enforcer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation becomes obsessed with finding and stopping the dealer who is bringing increasingly dangerous drugs into his community. This Native thriller offers an examination of the broken criminal justice system on reservations, and a meditation on Native identity.

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.


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