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Hardboiled Discussion Group
By Patrick Millikin

The Hardboiled Discussion Group 

Room to Swing

by Ed Lacy

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"This 1958 Edgar Award winner for best novel from Lacy (1911–1968) masterfully combines a classic genre trope with a powerful depiction of the impact of racism in 1950s America."— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review


"Though private investigators were the most popular figures in crime writing, especially in the work of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ellery Queen, and Rex Stout, no one had created a Black hard-boiled private eye in a noir setting until Ed Lacy's Room to Swing."—Leslie Klinger, from Introduction


College-educated and decorated war-veteran Toussaint Moore, finds that his employment options are limited as a Black man in 1950s America. With little choice, he seeks out a living as a private eye, serving Black clients in his hometown of Harlem. When hired by the television producers of a reality show called "You—Detective!" Touie must keep tabs on the whereabouts of an accused child molester.


While waiting for the episode to air, Touie finds the man murdered and becomes the prime suspect in the investigation. Forced to flee, he goes to a small Ohio town where the deceased was wanted for his crime.


"Lacy asks whether a Black man (in the late fifties) can go everywhere he needs to, with the freedom his job requires, in order to conduct the investigation necessary to crack a case."—Criminal Element

January 26
7:00pm - 8:00pm
The Poisoned Pen Bookstore
4014 N Goldwater Blvd
Scottsdale, AZ United States