To detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, it looked like an open and shut case. After all, Sonny Pickens was still standing over the body of Ulysses Galen, smoking gun hanging from his hand. Only one problem: Sonny's gun was loaded with blanks. There were plenty of people who wanted Galen dead, but who was responsible? Sonny? A jealous husband? Or one of the street toughs from a gang calling themselves the Real Cool Moslems? Coffin Ed and Grave Digger pound the mean streets of 1950s Harlem in search of the Real Cool Killer.
“The action is slapstick, preposterously violent—Hieronymus Bosch meets Miles Davis.”
—Walter Kirn, The New York Times
“One of the most important American writers of the 20th century. . . . A quirky American genius.”
“For sheer toughness it’s hard to beat the black detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones. Himes never received the recognition he deserved for his books—they combine elements of George V. Higgins, Elmore Leonard, and Richard Stark, with a bleak vision all their own.”
—The Washington Post
“Himes’s Harlem detective series . . . are remarkable for their macabre comic sense and wicked and nasty wit.”
—Ishmael Reed, Los Angeles Times