The first known mystery novel written by an African-American, originally published in 1932.
When the body of N’Gana Frimbo, the African conjure-man, is discovered in his consultation room, Perry Dart, one of Harlem’s ten black police detectives, is called in to investigate. Together with Dr Archer, a physician from across the street, Dart is determined to solve the baffling mystery, helped and hindered by Bubber Brown and Jinx Jenkins, local boys keen to clear themselves of suspicion of murder and undertake their own investigations.
The Conjure-Man Dies (1932) was the very first detective novel written by an African-American. A distinguished doctor and accomplished musician and dramatist, Rudolph Fisher was one of the principal writers of the Harlem Renaissance, but died in 1934 aged only 37. With a complex and gripping plot, vividly drawn characters and unique cultural elements, Fisher’s witty novel is a genuine crime classic from one of the most exciting eras in the history of black fiction.
THIS DETECTIVE STORY CLUB CLASSIC includes an archival introduction by New York crime writer Stanley Ellin, plus Fisher’s last published story, ‘John Archer’s Nose’, in which Perry Dart and Dr Archer return to solve the case of a young man murdered in his own bed.