Crime Writers of Color Coming Attractions: April-June 2023

 By Elizabeth Wilkerson

Have You Met the Writers? We’re Easy to Get to Know.

When I attended a mystery writers’ conference decades ago, I was excited to learn that one of my favorite writers would be lecturing. Elizabeth George, author of the Scotland Yard-based Inspector Lynley mysteries. A latter-day P.D. James. Dorothy L. Sayers. Agatha Christie. I’d read through George’s Lynley series faster than you could say, “Bob’s your uncle.” And now, here was my chance to meet the writer in the flesh! I shifted in my seat in anticipation. 

But who was that blonde — vibrant and energetic — striding up to the lectern? Where was Miss Marple? 

I discovered that Elizabeth George, who I’d imagined as cloistered and fragile, sipping PG Tips tea with corgis at her feet, was, in fact, a Californian. I loved George’s presentation at the conference, and I continue to read her books. But, blimey! I was shook.

Mystery readers often enjoy meeting their favorite writers, hearing their voices, and learning about their inspiration and writing habits. Having an insider’s perspective, a sneak peek behind the literary curtain, not only adds a layer of enjoyment to reading a novel, but it also builds a relationship with the novelist.

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And in that vein, members of Crime Writers of Color have come together to offer a wide range of media to introduce ourselves and connect with our readers:

💻 We have a feature-rich database of books with all manner of sortable filters, meticulously maintained by Marla Bradeen, a writer of cat cozies and more.

🎤 There’s our podcast, hosted by Denver crime novelist Robert Justice. With his mellifluous FM deejay voice, Robert interviews CWoC authors about their latest work. 

📺 Breaking news: Crime Writers of Color has launched a YouTube channel produced by Emmy Award-winning Christal Roberts and Mexican writer and storyteller Raquel Garcia. The channel features snappy interview bits with CWoC writers at all stages of their careers. 

📰 And because we’re a dynamic bunch with lots going on, we publish a quarterly newsletter produced by Barbadian author Callie Browning, prolific series writer Valerie Burns, screenwriter and suspense novelist Cate Holahan, and Shizuka Otake, winner of the Eleanor Taylor Bland Award. 

And, of course, we’ve got books. There’s a whole slate of exciting titles coming out this quarter. Whether you read, watch, and/or listen, check out the offerings of Crime Writers of Color!

Murder Under A Red Moon by Harini Nagendra

 Release Date: March 30, 2023, Pegasus Crime

The latest novel in the acclaimed Bangalore Detectives Club series finds amateur sleuth Kaveri Murthy uncovering a new murder during the blood moon eclipse. With anti-British sentiment on the rise, a charismatic religious leader growing in influence, and the fight for women's suffrage gaining steam, Bangalore is turning out to be a far more dangerous and treacherous place than Kaveri ever imagined—and everyone's motives are suspect. 

Blood Bayou by Lynn Emery

Release Date: April 3, 2023, Lazy River Publishing

When their daughter Ellie gets in trouble at school, psychic LaShaun Rousselle and her deputy husband Chase Broussard think a stern lecture will be enough. Instead, they find links to Chase's latest case and a disappearance being investigated by the secretive Third Eye Association. A teenager gets into a fight that leads to a murder charge. Ellie insists that her sixteen-year-old tutor is innocent. As evidence mounts against the teenager, LaShaun unravels a twisted pile of clues. Can an eccentric old woman living deep in the swamps give LaShaun the necessary answers?

The Man Who Changed Colors by Bill Fletcher Jr.

Release Date: April 10, 2023, Hard Ball Press

A shipyard worker falls to his death. Was it an accident, or something more? Investigative reporter David Gomes of the Cape and Islands Gazette decides to find out, putting his career...and his life in peril.


The Taste of Rain by Barbara Howard

Release Date: May 9, 2023

College student and part-time health aide, Amira Connors, wants nothing more than to graduate and successfully launch a non-profit with her latest crush, Attorney Darius Browne. But when a nursing home patient (Claire Stewart) shares shocking details surrounding her husband’s death, Amira pieces together the fractured memories and helps law enforcement identify the actual killer. But is he? Or have Claire’s ramblings entangled Amira into becoming the next target?

Hard Dough Homicide: A Spice Isle Bakery Mystery, Book 2  by Olivia Matthews

Release Date: May 23, 2023, St. Martins

Spice Isle Bakery owner Lyndsay Murray regrets agreeing to host the retirement dinner for high school principal Emily Smith. The tyrant used to be her mother's boss and they did not get along. Six guests arrive for the celebration, but only five survive. Emily starts convulsing—right after eating the curry chicken—and dies soon after. It’s not long before the police are knocking on Spice Isle’s door, bringing the Murray family back into another murder investigation.

Hot Pot Murder by Jennifer J. Chow

Release Date: June 6, 2023, Berkley

Yale and Celine have been invited to an exclusive dinner with the local restaurant owners association. The members gather together for a relaxing hot pot feast … until the president of the group receives a literal shock to his system and dies. Everyone at the meal is a suspect, but the authorities are homing in on a family friend and Yale’s dad. The two cousins must step up to the plate and investigate each dinner attendee to figure out what really happened.

 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 went up this week.

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.
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