The Essential Harlem Detectives

The Essential Harlem Detectives


A friend and contemporary of Richard Wright and James Baldwin - and every bit their equal - Chester Himes was the acclaimed author of literary novels, stories and essays, as well as the classic crime fiction series for which he is best known, featuring detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones.
Himes wrote nine novels in the Harlem Detectives series, and in these four popular, accomplished instalments, his cold, wise-cracking sleuths are thrown into a brutal, murderous world peopled with conniving con men, gut-toting gangsters and opium-smoking preachers. Himes's vision of Harlem's criminal underground, enriched by deft plotting and scintillating dialogue, is both riotous entertainment and penetrating enquiry into the fraught tensions of race in postwar America.


  • These wholly original, occasionally disorienting and sometimes surreal books are a must for all crime fiction aficionados

About the author

Chester himes

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