Jennifer Baker on Representation in Mystery Novels

October 26, 2020 | 1 book mentioned

At Electric Literature, Jennifer Baker recommends twelve mystery novels starring diverse sleuths. Her list includes Blanche Passes Go, the final book in Barbara Neely’s groundbreaking series, as well as Nancy Jooyoun Kim’s The Last Story of Mina Lee and David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s Winter Counts, which were featured in our Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2020 Book Preview. “When BIPOC characters are the stars of mystery and crime novels, there’s no doubt we’ll be privy to the complexity of how race affects their quest for a solution,” Baker writes. “The layers of this make for stories of power, inequity, and frustrations ready to boil over.” 

is always reading. She works for Brooklyn Public Library and blogs about books at

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