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BIPOC Romance or Mystery

Read a romance or mystery by a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) author.

June 1, 2021

Read a romance or mystery by a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) author.

This list is part of the 2021 Adult Summer Reading program.

 

Romance

First Comes Like

First Comes Like

Alisha Rai

Beauty expert and influencer Jia Ahmed has her eye on the prize: conquering the internet today, the entire makeup industry tomorrow, and finally, finally proving herself to her big opinionated family. She has little time for love, and even less time for the men in her private messages—until the day a certain international superstar slides into her DMs, and she falls hard and fast.

There’s just one wrinkle: he has no idea who she is. The son of a powerful Bollywood family, soap opera star Dev Dixit is used to drama, but a strange woman who accuses him of wooing her online, well, that’s a new one. As much as he’d like to focus on his Hollywood fresh start, he can’t get Jia out of his head. Especially once he starts to suspect who might have used his famous name to catfish her.

Forged in Desire

Forged in Desire

Brenda Jackson

When good girl Margo Connelly becomes bodyguard Lamar “Striker” Jennings’ latest assignment, she begins to wonder if the temptation of her alluring protector is more dangerous than the gangster targeting her.

Get a Life Chloe Brown

Get a Life Chloe Brown

Talia Hibbert

Emerging from a life-threatening illness, a fiercely organized but unfulfilled computer geek recruits a mysterious artist to help her establish meaning in her life, before finding herself engaged in reckless but thrilling activities.

Hana Khan Carries On

Hana Khan Carries On

Uzma Jalaluddin

Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighborhood of Toronto. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast.

Soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening her mother’s restaurant. When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighborhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana’s growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant—who might not be a complete stranger after all.

The Proposal

The Proposal

Jasmine Guillory

Surprised by her new boyfriend’s jumbotron proposal at a Dodgers game, Nikole is rescued from the public humiliation of having to say no by a handsome LA doctor in this new novel from the author of The Wedding Date.

Right Beside You

Right Beside You

Mary Monroe

Felicia Hawkins has a successful career, money in the bank, a solid future… and is hopelessly in love with her co-worker, widower Richard Grimes.

Richard has his hands full juggling pre-Christmas work demands and raising two teen daughters. He is drawn to Felicia’s calm spirit and determination, and everything they have in common. With messy, well-meaning matchmaking from family and friends, and a long-distance transfer Richard can’t refuse, it will take all their courage and compassion to risk opening their hearts to each other.

Seven Days in June

Seven Days in June

Tia Williams

Brooklynite Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer, who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning literary author who, to everyone’s surprise, shows up in New York. When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their past buried traumas, but the eyebrows of New York’s Black literati.

What no one knows is that twenty years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. They may be pretending that everything is fine now, but they can’t deny their chemistry-or the fact that they’ve been secretly writing to each other in their books ever since.

Ties that Tether

Ties That Tether

Jane Igharo

Unexpectedly falling in love with a white man after her mother’s latest disastrous matchmaking effort, a young Nigerian woman struggles to follow her heart without breaking her mother’s or compromising her own identity.

Wild Rain

Wild Rain

Beverly Jenkins

Banished by her grandfather at the age of eighteen, Spring Lee has survived scandal to claim her own little slice of Paradise, Wyoming. She’s proud of working her ranch alone and unwilling to share it with a stranger—especially one like Garrett McCray, who makes her second-guess her resolve to avoid men.

Garrett escaped slavery years ago and is now a reporter in Washington. He’s traveled west to interview Dr. Colton Lee for an article, yet it’s Lee’s fearless sister, Spring, who captures his interest. Clad in denim and buckskins instead of dresses, she’s the most fascinating woman he’s ever met. And he’s certain she also feels the connection that sizzles between them. But when a shadow from Spring’s past returns, all is on the line: her ranch, her safety—and this wild, fierce love.

 

Mystery

Arsenic and Adobo

Arsenic and Adobo

Mia P. Manansala

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment.

But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case. With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation.

Bloody secrets

Bloody Secrets

Carolina Garcia-Aguilera

Miami private detective Lupe Solano comes to the aid of a young refugee from Havana, who claims that Miami’s most prominent couple has robbed his family and has arranged for his own murder.

Bluebird, Bluebird

Bluebird, Bluebird

Attica Locke

When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules—a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home.

When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders—a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman—have stirred up a hornet’s nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes—and save himself in the process—before Lark’s long-simmering racial fault lines erupt.

Don't cry, Tai Lake

Don’t Cry, Tai Lake

Qiu Xiaolong

Offered a luxury vacation near Lake Tai, Chief Inspector Chen Cao is drawn into the murder investigation of a manufacturing plant director who had been accused of polluting the once-beautiful lake, a case that implicates the leader of a local ecological group.

Blood Grove

Blood Grove
An Easy Rawlins Mystery

Walter Mosley

After being approached by a shell-shocked Vietnam War veteran who claims to have gotten into a fight protecting a white woman from a black man, Easy embarks on an investigation that takes him from mountaintops to the desert, through South Central and into sex clubs and the homes of the fabulously wealthy, facing hippies, the mob, and old friends perhaps more dangerous than anyone else.

Ghost Medicine

Ghost Medicine
An Ella Clah Mystery

Aimee Thurlo

Blackening Song is the debut of Navajo FBI agent Ella Clah, who returns to the reservation to investigate the murder of her father, a minister. The ritual nature of the killing makes Ella’s brother, a medicine man, the prime suspect. Without cooperation from the tribe, the FBI, or the local police, Ella must plumb the depths of the struggle between traditionalist and modernist forces among the Navajo to find her father’s murderer.

IQ

IQ

Joe Ide

A resident of one of LA’s toughest neighborhoods who solves cases the LAPD ignores investigates threats against a rap mogul, a case that becomes more far reaching and dangerous as he encounters a vengeful ex-wife and a hit man regarded as a lunatic by his peers.

Mycroft Holmes

Mycroft Holmes

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

When his fiancée abruptly departs for Trinidad after hearing disturbing news, Mycroft Holmes and his best friend Cyrus Douglas follow and find themselves drawn in to a treacherous investigation.

New England White

New England White

Stephen L. Carter

In the peaceful New England university town of Elm Harbor, a murder threatens to unravel the thin veneer hiding the racial complications of the town’s past, the hidden secrets of a prominent family, and African-American political influence in the United States.

Origin

Origin

Diana Abu-Jaber

New York-based fingerprint expert Lena investigates a series of crib deaths that may actually be the work of a serial killer, a case that reminds Lena of the mystery surrounding her own childhood, marked by her orphaned status and her intuitive talents.

The widows of Malabar Hill

The Widows of Malabar Hill

Sujata Massey

Introducing an extraordinary female lawyer-sleuth in a new historical series set in 1920s Bombay.

Perveen Mistry, the daughter of a respected Zoroastrian family, has just joined her father’s law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India. Armed with a law degree from Oxford, Perveen also has a tragic personal history that makes her especially devoted to championing and protecting women’s legal rights. Mistry Law has been appointed to execute the will of Mr. Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim mill owner who has left three widows behind. But as Perveen is going through the paperwork, she notices something strange: all three of the wives have signed over their full inheritance to a charity. What will they live on if they forfeit what their husband left them? Perveen is suspicious, especially since one of the widows has signed her form with an X—meaning she probably couldn’t even read the document.