Chester Himes was the first major black author of the 20th century to write crime and detective novels. His first novel “For the Love of Imabelle” (later renamed “A Rage in Harlem”) was published in 1957 to great critical acclaim in France, where Himes was living. He went on to publish 8 more “Harlem Domestics” about two black detectives named Coffin Ed and Gravedigger Jones. Himes’s novels are hard-hitting, grotesque, brutal, and funny. If you want an introduction into the genre of black crime writing, Himes is a great place to start.