9 New Books We Recommend This Week

If you love crime fiction, this is a good week for you: Our recommended books include an F.B.I. procedural set in Iowa, a novel about kidnappers seeking revenge for hate crimes, a spy novel set in Malaya during World War II and a collection of four classic detective novels by the great Chester Himes. There’s more fiction, too, including Venita Blackburn’s quirky look at grief and impersonation, “Dead in Long Beach, California,” and novels by Shubnum Khan and Temim Fruchter. In nonfiction, we recommend a history of women in the C.I.A. and an exploration of the intellectual thickets that can arise from copyright law. Happy reading. — Gregory Cowles

Chester Himes

Himes (1909-84) was one of the last century’s great novelists, who happened to work in the crime genre; this volume contains four of the nine books from his “Harlem Detectives” series, featuring the investigators Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones.


“Himes is the songwriter of the downtrodden. His stories sing with a fire and light that comes from a simmering sense of loss. A loss of respect, of humanity, of honor.”

From S.A. Cosby’s review

Everyman’s Library | $35

Jahmal Mayfield

Can there ever be restitution for the harm done to generations of Black people in America? Mayfield takes this question to a provocative extreme in this thriller, which follows a group of four friends as they kidnap descendants of people who long ago committed racially motivated hate crimes.


“As everything goes up in flames, Mayfield leans all the way into the discomfort zone.”

From Sarah Weinman’s crime column

Melville House | Paperback, $19.99

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