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The Crazy Kill by Chester Himes
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The Crazy Kill

by Chester Himes

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How to describe this nutty plot? During a wake in the small hours of the morning, a preacher falls out the window from the third floor apartment and miraculously falls into a basket filled with bread sitting on the sidewalk, a shipment bound for the convenience store it sits in front of. The preacher makes his way back up to the apartment where the drunken guests are surprised to see him appear at the front door and refuse to believe his story. He invites them to see the bread basket for themselves, but when they all crowd at the window, they find another man laying in the bread, stabbed dead. A police investigation follows, during which all the attendants of the wake are questioned in turn. Of course, all the guests are connected to one another in some way, most of them have secrets to hide which are revealed in due course, but which one killed Val? Detectives Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson are out to find out.

Another fun romp into the 60s Harlem of Chester Himes, where gambling, booze, women, and strange characters are mingled in unique ways. Plenty of violence, but plenty of humour too make this a most intriguing crime series. I couldn't expect this book to be as good as the first in the series, A Rage in Harlem, but it held it's own and definitely made me want to discover the next instalment of the Harlem Cycle. ( )
  Smiler69 | May 16, 2012 |
The Detective Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson Harlem crime novels are originals with few precedents (with perhaps THE CONJURE-MAN DIES by Rudolph Fisher being one). Many of them were indeed published as paperback originals in this country. ( )
  zenosbooks | Feb 25, 2009 |
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It was four o'clock, Wednesday morning, July 14th, in Harlem, U.S.A.
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