Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones Books In Order
- For Love of Imabelle (1957)
- The Real Cool Killers (1959)
- The Crazy Kill (1959)
- The Big Gold Dream (1960)
- All Shot Up (1960)
- Cotton Comes to Harlem (1965)
- The Heat’s On (1966)
- Blind Man with a Pistol (1969)
- If He Hollers Let Him Go (1945)
- Lonely Crusade (1947)
- Cast the First Stone (1952)
- The Third Generation (1954)
- The End of a Primitive (1955)
- Pinktoes (1961)
- Run Man Run (1966)
- Black On Black (1973)
- A Case of Rape (1980)
- Plan B (1993)
- The Collected Stories of Chester Himes (1990)
- Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1950 (1997)
- The Quality of Hurt (1972)
- My Life of Absurdity (1976)
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Chester Himes Books Overview
For Love of Imabelle
Jackson’s woman has found him a foolproof way to make money a technique for turning ten dollar bills into hundreds. But when the scheme somehow fails, Jackson is left broke, wanted by the police and desperately racing to get back both his money and his loving Imabelle. The first of Chester Himes’ novels featuring the hardboiled Harlem detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, ‘A Rage in Harlem’ has swagger, brutal humour, lurid violence, a hearse loaded with gold and a conman dressed as a Sister of Mercy. With a new Introduction by Luc Sante.
The Real Cool Killers
Many people had reasons for killing Galen, a big Greek with too much money and too great a liking for young black girls. But there are complications like a drug addict, a disappearing suspect, and the fact that Coffin Ed’s daughter is up to her neck in the whole explosive business.
The Crazy Kill
The Crazy KillOutside the apartment where a wake is going on, the manager of the A&P across the street is robbed. Reverend Short, a storefront preacher addicted to opium and brandy, is watching from a bedroom window in the flat. He leans too far and falls out; a bread basket, sitting outside the bakery below, saves him. Back inside, he says he sees a vision of a dead man. Outside, in the very basket Short landed in, lies the body of Valentine Haines. Who murdered Val? It is up to Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson to find out.’The word is out on the street, and the hopheads and who*res and flimflam artists are running scared: Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones are back in print.’ Newsweek
The Big Gold Dream
Chester Himes, the greatest hardboiled crime writer since Raymond Chandler, is back in print with Pegasus Books.
After arriving on the American literary scene with novels of scathing social protest like If He Hollers Let Him Go and The Lonely Crusade, Chester Himes created a pioneering pair of dangerously effective African American sleuths, Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, Harlem’s toughest detective duo, must carry the day against an absurdist world of racism and class warfare.
The Big Gold Dream is the explosive and shocking hardboiled classic that explores the shadowy underbelly of New York as a urban civil war erupts on the side streets of Harlem, pitting murderers and prostitutes against corrupt politicians and racist white detectives. Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson attempt to maintain some kind of order in the neighborhood they have sworn to protect in a world gone mad around them.
All Shot Up
‘The greatest find in American fiction since Raymond Chandler.’ The Observer London
The shocking and explosive hardboiled classic: From murderers to prostitutes, corrupt politicians and racist white detectives, Coffin Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones, Harlem’s toughest detective duo, must carry the day against an absurdist world of racism and class warfare.
After arriving on the American literary scene with novels of scathing social protest, Chester Himes created a pioneering pair of dangerously charming African American sleuths, Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, who attempt to maintain some kind of order on the streets of Harlem. Himes died in Spain in 1984.
Cotton Comes to Harlem
Con man Deke O’Hara is out of the state penitentiary and back on the street working the scam of a lifetime. The $87,000 he has schemed to get has been hijacked and hidden in a bale of cotton. Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones are on everyone’s trail in one of their most entertaining thrillers.
The Heat’s On
From the start, nothing goes fright for Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones. 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 Jones 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 hero*ine and a simple albino called Pinky.
Blind Man with a Pistol
New York is sweltering in the summer heat, and Harlem is dose to the boiling point. To Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, at times it seems as if the whole world has gone mad. Trying, as always, to keep some kind of peace their legendary nickel plated Colts very much in evidence Coffin Ed and Grave Digger find themselves pursuing two completely different cases through a maze of knifings, beatings, and riots that threaten to tear Harlem apart.’The word is out on the street, and the hopheads and who*res and flimflam artists are running scared: Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones are back in print.’ Newsweek
If He Hollers Let Him Go
This story of a man living every day in fear of his life for simply being black is as powerful today as it was when it was first published in 1947. The novel takes place in the space of four days in the life of Bob Jones, a black man who is constantly plagued by the effects of racism. Living in a society that is drenched in race consciousness has no doubt taken a toll on the way Jones behaves, thinks, and feels, especially when, at the end of his story, he is accused of a brutal crime he did not commit. ‘One of the most important American writers of the twentieth century…
a quirky American genius…
‘ Walter Mosley, author of Bad Boy Brawly Brown, Devil in a Blue Dress ‘If He Hollers is an austere and concentrated study of black experience, set in southern California in the early forties.’ Independent Publisher
A classic of African American fiction, Chester Himes’s tale of a young black man who becomes a union organizer during WWII examines major problems in American life: racism, anti Semitism, labor strife, and corruption.
Cast the First Stone
A classic restored the complete and unexpurgated text of the first, most powerful, and most autobiographical novel of this great African American writer. In 1937 Chester Himes, newly released from a seven year stretch in the Ohio State Penitentiary for grand larceny, finished his first novel, Yesterday Will Make You Cry. By turns brutal and lyrical and never less than totally honest, it tells the autobiographical story of young Jimmy Monroe’s passage through the prison system, which tests the limits of his sanity, his capacity for suffering, and his definition of love. Stunningly candid about racism, homosexuality, and prison corruption, the book would take sixteen years and four subsequent revisions before being published in much altered form as Cast the First Stone in 1952. Even bowdlerized, it was recognized as a sardonic masterpiece of debaseme*nt and transfiguration. This edition presents for the first time the book precisely as Himes intended it to be read, with its raw honesty and startling compassion entirely intact. It now stands definitively as one of the great novels of prison life and one of Himes’s most enduring literary achievements.
The End of a Primitive
Jesse Robinson wakes from his nightmare to dirty, fitful real life in a Harlem slum. Kriss wakes up alone divorced, disillusioned, in her plush Manhattan apartment. They have nothing in common. Just one amazing, passionate weekend in Chicago and a desire to meet again. .
The Collected Stories of Chester Himes
Spanning 40 years and including Himes’s first work, written during his imprisonment in the 1940s, this collection uncovers the internal struggles of black individuals caught between resignation and rage, probing the heart of the African American experience with wit, indignation, and ruthless honesty.
Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1950
Critically acclaimed crime novels of the 1950s include Pick Up, The Killer Inside Me, Down There, The Real Cool Killers, and The Talented Mr. Ripley, in this second in a two volume set.’