Detectives Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones are in the hot seat in one of the most chaotic, brutally funny novels in Chester Himes’s groundbreaking Harlem Detectives series.
From the start, nothing goes right for Coffin Ed and Grave Digger. They are disciplined for use of excessive force. Grave Digger is shot and his death announced in a hoax radio bulletin. Bodies pile up faster than Coffin Ed and Grave Digger can run. Yet, try as they might, they always seem to be one hot step behind the cause of all the mayhem—three million dollars’ worth of heroin and a giant albino called Pinky.
About the Author
Chester (Bomar) Himes began his writing career while serving in the Ohio State Penitentiary for armed robbery from 1929 - 1936. His account of the horrific 1930 Penitentiary fire that killed over three hundred men appeared in Esquire in 1932 and from this Himes was able to get other work published. From his first novel, If He Hollers Let Him Go (1945), Himes dealt with the social and psychological repercussions of being black in a white-dominated society. Beginning in 1953, Himes moved to Europe, where he lived as an expatriate in France and Spain. There, he met and was strongly influenced by Richard Wright. It was in France that he began his best-known series of crime novels---including Cotton Comes to Harlem (1965) and Run Man Run (1966)---featuring two Harlem policemen Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson. As with Himes's earlier work, the series is characterized by violence and grisly, sardonic humor.
“A rattlingly good action melodrama spiced with a maximum of humor and a minimum of self-consciousness.”
—The New York Times
“One of the most important American writers of the 20th century. . . . A quirky American genius.”
“Some of the most exciting—and comic—crime novels ever written.”
—The Washington Post
“Chester Himes is the best writer of mayhem yarns since Raymond Chandler.”
—San Francisco Chronicle