The top-selling mysteries featuring African American characters or by African Americans for 2011 (as of July 2011).
- Dutch III: International Gangster by Teri Woods
(Grand Central Publishing, 2011-05-25, Paperback)
It’s one month before Dutch’s trial for what the media has deemed “the Month of Murder,” Roc and Angel are locked up, and Craze is now the commander in charge. After coming into contact with Joseph Odouwo, Kazami’s very rich and powerful relative, Craze is immediately on alert. However, Odouwo has other plans that may put all of their lives at risk. Craze can’t resist a stake in Odouwo’s very successful billion-dollar diamond trade, and reluctantly takes Odouwo up on his offer, hoping that he didn’t make a decision he will soon regret.
- Heartbreak of a Hustler’s Wife: A Novel by Nikki Turner
(One World/Ballantine, 2011-04-05, Paperback)
Yarni Taylor is a successful corporate attorney who wants nothing more than for her husband, Des, to renounce his hustlin’ ways and commit to his life as a pastor — especially after someone tries to kill him. But Des isn’t ready to abandon his old habits just yet. He has to find out who is behind the murder attempt, and he wonders if the brazen robbery that took place during one of his church services is related in any way. But before he or Yarni can regain their footing, a young woman shows up on their doorstep — Desember Day, the eighteen-year-old daughter Des never knew he had. And, unfortunately, she takes after her father, so trouble isn’t far behind. With their lives on the line, Yarni must sacrifice everything and take it out of the office and back to the streets to save her husband and her family from their checkered but intricately connected pasts.
- Known to Evil: A Leonid McGill Mystery by Walter Mosley
(NAL Trade, 2011-02-01, Paperback)
When New York private eye Leonid McGill is hired to check up on a vulnerable young woman, all he discovers is a bloody crime scene-and the woman gone missing. His client doesn’t want her found. The reason will put everything McGill cherishes in harm’s way: his family, his friends, and his very soul.
- Karma III (Triple Crown Publications Presents) by Sabrina A. Eubanks
(Triple Crown Publications, 2011-02-15, Paperback)
In the third installment of Sabrina Eubanks’ fiery bestselling Karma series, life has been a little rough for narcotics detective Lucas Cain. After his perfect love Justine is tragically taken away from him by a devious femme fatale, Lucas and his trusty partner Noah are assigned to take down the notorious Trinidad brothers. While Lucas attempts to reclaim his life with Nichole, a fellow detective with an unhinged ex-boyfriend – the crooked cop Keith Childs – Noah is gravely wounded in a fight to bring down the Draco Empire. Now inspector Butch Harper is looking for dirty cops and Lucas and Noah are on the hunt for Keith. But things are not what they seem in this tangled tale of love, greed, and treachery. Who will be left standing when the smoke clears? Who will learn that you can t hide from yourself…that KARMA is always just around the cover?
- Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2011-07-12, Paperback)
In the slums of Accra, Ghana’s fast-moving, cosmopolitan capital, teenagers are turning up dead. Inspector Darko Dawson has seen many crimes, but this latest string of murders — in which all the young victims bear a chilling signature — is the most unsettling of his career. Are these heinous acts a form of ritual killing or the work of a lone, cold-blooded monster? With time running out, Dawson embarks on a harrowing journey through the city’s underbelly and confronts the brutal world of the urban poor, where street children are forced to fight for their very survival — and a cunning killer seems just out of reach.
- Dead and Buried (A Benjamin January Mystery) by Barbara Hambly
(Severn House Publishers, 2011-02-01, Paperback)
The new ‘Benjamin January’ novel from the best-selling author – New Orleans, 1836. When free black musician and surgeon Benjamin January attends the funeral of a friend, an accident tips the dead man out of his coffin â€“ only to reveal an unexpected inhabitant. Just one person recognises the corpse of the white man: Hannibal Sefton, fiddle-player and one of January’s closest friends. But he seems unwilling to talk about his connection to the dead man . . .
- Queen of Thieves (Triple Crown Publications Presents) by Kimathi Khama
(Triple Crown Publlcations, 2011-03-15, Paperback)
Liaka Sikes is having a hard time. When the love of her life reveals to her a ghastly secret about who he really is, Liaka suddenly finds herself plunged into a life of bank robberies and terrifying visions. Luckily, she has her girls there for support. Asia and Lianna have Liaka’s back through thick and thin as they enter the thrilling and lucrative world of stick-up crime without ever looking back: a world where one slip-up is enough to end it all. As the friends navigate through violence, good and bad cops, revenge and unexpected romance, will they be able to stay on top and reign supreme?
- Beneath The Surface by Roy Glenn
(Escapism Entertainment, 2011-04-18, Paperback)
Now that he has taken care of all of the people responsible for the murder of his wife, Cassandra, Mike Black faces his toughest opponent, Carmen Taylor, an old girl friend who has recently returned to the city. Carmen is an entertainment reporter for a local television station, who wants to do bigger things. Her opportunity comes while she is covering the opening of an art exhibition. A woman is found murdered, and Carmen is the only reporter on the scene. The police say that the victim, a known call girl named Tangela House appears to have been strangled during sex. Anxious to prove she can do more than just fluff stories, Carmen begins her own investigation into the victim s past, and quickly finds that there is more to the case than just rough sex gone wrong. Now with the help of Mike Black, Carmen must stay alive long enough to uncover what secrets lay beneath the surface.
- Lies In Disguise (Indigo) by Bernice Layton
(Genesis Press, 2011-03-01, Paperback)
Charlene’s identical twin, Corrine, is dead, and Charlene has been terribly injured. After awakening from a coma, Charlene decides to assume her dead sister’s identity in a desparetate attempt to uncover a murderer. Her plan becomes more complicated when she finds herself developing feelings for her sister Corrine’s estranged husband. Can Charlene discover the truth before her deception is unraveled… or before the killer strikes again?
- Mystify (Kimani Tru) by Artist Arthur
(Kimani, 2011-01-18, Paperback)
Sasha Carrington has grown up feeling like an outsider, and her parents are too concerned with scaling the Lincoln, Connecticut, social ladder to even notice her. They’d be really horrified to know about the supernatural abilities Sasha and her friends Krystal and Jake possess. But as part of the Mystyx, Sasha has found her place.Now her parents have suddenly taken an interest in everything she does, and their timing couldn’t be worse. Sasha’s father wants her to become BFFs with snooty Alyssa Turner, who hates Krystal for stealing her boyfriend. Then there’s Antoine Watson, the boy Sasha has liked forever, the boy her parents would never approve of. But with the dark side getting more dangerous by the day, and the Mystyx’s own powers growing in unexpected ways, Sasha is facing choices that could affect her friends, her love life — and even her destinyâ€¦.
- Playing Dirty by Kiki Swinson
(Dafina, 2011-03-01, Paperback)
Playing dirty is a skill that Yoshi Lomax has perfected. By bribing cops and officials, sleeping with her boss, and convincing her friend in the DEA to make evidence disappear, Yoshi has become a top criminal defense attorney. And she has the multi-million dollar Miami pad and Aston Martin to prove it. But when she takes the case of badass Haitian mob boss Sheldon Chisholm, her usual way of doing business–by any means necessary–doesn’t work. Someone has gotten to the people on her payroll and her funds are beginning to dwindle. Now she has no choice but to defend a dangerous murderer with nothing but her brains and the law. And while an unknown enemy keeps trying to sabotage her, Sheldon makes it very clear what’s at stake. Either Yoshi wins the case. . .or loses her life.
- Obsessed by Devon Scott
(Dafina, 2011-06-01, Paperback)
In this sensual, unforgettable novel, a husband and wife face the worst crisis of their marriage–and learn that no matter what twists life throws at you, holding on to the one you love is the only way to survive. . . After five fulfilling years of marriage, Michael and Kennedy are the envy of their tight circle of friends. Michael is even more passionate about his stunning, successful wife than he was when they first met, and he is everything Kennedy has ever wanted in a man. Life is going pretty well. But everything changes when the couple starts getting mysterious phone calls and threatening emails. Michael and Kennedy are being stalked–and the stress has their once rock-solid marriage unraveling. Who could want to hurt Michael and Kennedy? Plenty of people, it seems. For the couple is hiding an intimate secret few people know about. . .and when it’s revealed, nothing will ever be the same. . .
- Exposed by Naomi Chase
(Dafina, 2011-02-01, Paperback)
Her past is back to haunt her–and it’s hotter than ever. . . On the brink of a major promotion, Tamia Luke is within reach of the glitzy life she’s always dreamed of–until her client, Dominic “Nico” Archer, blackmails her into becoming his mistress, threatening to reveal her scandalous past. Tamia has no choice but to submit to his demands. But the tables turn when her hostility towards Nico is replaced with insatiable lust. No man–including her boyfriend–has ever satisfied her the way he does. And as her infatuation grows, the closer she comes to losing everything–including her life.
- Cry Me A River by Ernest Hill
(Dafina, 2011-01-01, Paperback)
An absentee father from a “no good” family, Tyrone Stokes was imprisoned for shooting a man in a convenience store. His wife saw her chance to end their marriage and raise their son, Marcus, on her own. Now Tyrone has returned to Brownsville, Louisiana, to discover that his boy needs help–help that Tyrone is desperate to give, if he can only figure out how. Marcus has been convicted of the rape and murder of a young white girl. An execution date is set, and it’s rumored that the Governor will refuse clemency. Tyrone is convinced Marcus is innocent, despite a stack of evidence against him–but he is also wracked by knowledge of all the ways he has failed his son. Against all odds, Tyrone sets out to keep Marcus alive–and perhaps put his family back together again.
- Black Orchid Blues by Persia Walker
(Akashic Books, 2011-03-22, Paperback)
Lanie Price, a 1920s Harlem society columnist, witnesses the brutal nightclub kidnapping of the “Black Orchid,” a sultry, seductive singer with a mysterious past. Price, a female 1920s version of Dominick Dunne, soon finds herself elbows-deep in a story in which everyone seems to be either lying or keeping a secret to die for. When hours pass without word from the kidnapper, puzzlement grows as to his motive. Then a gruesome package arrives at Price’s doorstep and the questions change. Just what does this kidnapper want–and how many people is he willing to kill in order to get it?Evil hides behind the genteel faÃ§ades of affluent Strivers’ Row and stalks the ballroom of one of Harlem’s most famous gay parties. In a complex plot that keeps you tied to the page, Black Orchid Blues explores the depths of human depravity and the desperation of its victims.”I fell in love with this book when I saw the cover. The gorgeous black dame with the gat in her hand harks back to the best of pulp fiction, but Black Orchid Blues, a historical novel set in 1920s Harlem, is better than any pulp I ever read. This is the (second) in the series starring journalist/society reporter Lanie Price and it’s simply terrific.” –The Globe and Mail
- Deadly Intentions by Candice Poarch
(Dafina, 2011-05-01, Paperback)
She’s Hot On The Trail Of A Thief. . .When Lisa Claxton starts her own cleaning business on Paradise Island, she may finally profit from her talent for whipping a house into shape–in more ways than one. A valuable Claxton heirloom, a golden bowl, is missing, and Lisa has tracked it down to a local home, which she quickly gets herself hired to clean. But when she arrives she finds a dead body–and flees right into the safe arms of an irresistibly handsome man. . .But She’s About To Find So Much More. . .Injured Navy SEAL Brian Knight came to his grandfather’s house to recuperate. He didn’t expect to be greeted by a frightened beauty–or to get mixed up in her scheme. But Brian has to pursue the killer who invaded the house–and he’s determined to pursue Lisa as well. Soon, the two are up against ruthless thieves whose intentions are more than deadly.
- L.A. Blues by Maxine Thompson
(Urban Books, 2011-07-01, Paperback)
Growing up in foster care, Zipporah Saldano never dreamed of becoming a police officer, but after she’s rescued from a hostage situation during the LA Riots, she chooses a career in law enforcement. After ten good years on the force, Z is involved in a domestic homicide case gone awry. Her partner is killed, and Z is fired when alcohol is detected in her system. It’s two long years before she gets sober and opens her own private investigation firm. Now Shirley, her former foster mother, is in need of Z’s help. Someone has murdered her grandson, a high school basketball star, and she wants Z to find out who did it. Z soon finds herself in deeper trouble than when she was kicked out of the LAPD. What she discovers is a conspiracy much deeper than anyone would believe, and she finds her own life is in danger.
- The Buried Bones Mystery (Clubhouse Mysteries) by Sharon M. Draper
(Aladdin, 2011-07-12, Paperback)
In simultaneous hardcover and paperback editions, the first book in the Clubhouse Mysteries. Ziggy and his friends Rico, Rashawn, and Jerome call themselves The Black Dinosaurs, and share exciting adventures. In The Buried Bones Mystery, the boys build a clubhouse in Ziggy’s backyard, where they uncover a box of bones while digging to bury their secret treasures. But when the boys try to hide their treasures, they’re swept up in a mystery more intriguing — and scary — than anything they could have imagined. Who could have buried a box of bones behind their clubhouse?
- From Cape Town with Love: A Tennyson Hardwick Novel by Blair Underwood
(Atria Books, 2011-05-17, Paperback)
Actor-turned-detective Tennyson Hardwick has solved two high-profile deaths in Hollywood, but nothing has prepared him for a race to save a child’s life. Tennyson’s past in the sex game cost him his new girlfriend, and he brings her to Cape Town, South Africa — a scenic film destination and playground for the rich — to try to win her back. There Tennyson is hired as a bodyguard by superstar Sofia Maitlin when she visits an orphanage to adopt an African child. Months later, Maitlin offers Tennyson one of Hollywood’s hottest tickets — a job as a bodyguard at adopted daughter Nandi’s A-list celebrity birthday party. But the party is over before it begins. When Nandi’s birthday goes dreadfully wrong, it’s up to a guilt-ridden Tennyson to save a child’s life and reunite a Hollywood family. But how? He can’t go to the police, the FBI has threatened to arrest him, and Big Brother is monitoring his telephone calls. To find Nandi, Tennyson will have to rely on tips from his father — a retired LAPD captain — and a mysterious woman from his past, Marsha, who has already proven she can’t be trusted. His strongest lead is a deadly knife fighter known only as Spider. When his search for the missing child crosses Marsha’s covert investigation into a criminal gang with ties to South Africa, Tennyson knows that finding Nandi might cost him his freedom — or his life. Watch exclusive scenes from From Cape Town with Love starring Blair Underwood by snapping the Microsoft tags found inside the book.