Cotton comes to Harlem is the seventh novel in the Harlem Cycle by acclaimed writer Chester Himes. A fast paced mystery similar (but set earlier, in 1950’s Harlem) to books by Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim, the detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones discover Deke O’Hara’s (Fresh out of Atlanta’s state Pen) scam to raise funds in Harlem for himself, under the pretense of a Back to Africa Movement project. But when his $87,000 are stolen by two white gunmen and hidden in Harlem, everyone wants a piece. It’s up to Johnson and Jones to unravel the complicated web and determine what’s vice and what’s crime.
Cotton Comes to Harlem - Chester Hines (Link to Catalog) (Goodreads)
Chester Hines lived and wrote most of his novels in France, in self-exile. Cotton Comes to Harlem was also one of the first blaxploitation movies, released in 1970. The movie is also here at the Brentwood Library.