In 1952, after a year on the run, disgraced Chicago Police Officer Elliot Caprice wakes up in a jailhouse in St. Louis. His friends from his hometown secure his release and he returns to find the family farm in foreclosure and the man who raised him dying in a flophouse. Desperate for money, he accepts a straight job as a process server and eventually crosses paths with a powerful family from Chicago’s North Shore. A captain of industry is dead, the key to his estate disappeared with the chauffeur, and soon Elliot is in up to his neck. The mixed-race son of Illinois farm country must return to the Windy City with the Chicago Police on his heels and the Syndicate at his throat.
Good thing he’s had a lifetime of playing both sides to the middle.
Praise for A Negro and an Ofay…
“Fans of Walter Mosley and George Pelecanos are going to devour Danny Gardner’s brilliant new book. A Negro and an Ofay breathes exciting new life into noir fiction.” —Jonathan Maberry, The New York Times bestselling author.
“Elliot Caprice is a terrific character with his own Midwestern territory and Danny Gardner tells his stories with style and cunning.” —Peter Blauner, The New York Times bestselling author and co-Executive Producer of CBS’s Blue Bloods.
“Danny Gardner’s masterful debut engenders echoes of the greats. I had the impression I had somehow stumbled across a previously undiscovered work of Chester Himes, or Jim Thompson, or Walter Mosley―or all three magically rolled into one.”―David Corbett, prize-winning author of The Mercy of the Night.
“Immersive, poignant and utterly enthralling. Written from the middle of America’s great racial divide, it’s satirical, cool and irrevocably honest; imbued with an inherent nobility that rivals any modern day hero.” —Tom Avitabile, bestselling author of Give Us This Day.
“A Negro and an Ofay is a smart, crisp, historically accurate, and unapologetically racial narrative that signals the arrival of a strong, necessary voice in crime fiction. This is the best debut you’ll read in a long time.” —Gabino Iglesias, author of Zero Saints.
“Hard-boiled don’t get much harder than this. Danny Gardner hits all the right notes, but with enough swagger and voice to make it completely his own. Elliot Caprice is a fantastic character, stuck between two worlds—black and white, good and bad—and I really hope to see more of him.” —Rob W. Hart, author of South Village.
“One of the best tools Gardner has in his toolbox…is his sense of humanity.” —Scott Waldyn, Literary Orphans Journal.
“…it manages to be smart, historical, and about identity/racial issues while retaining all the entertainment value that pulpy thrillers bring to the table. This is a book with a carefully crafted plot that touches on a lot of issues that were as relevant six decades ago as they are now.” —Out of the Gutter Review.
“This is a stunning debut! A powerful combination of brilliant storytelling and a breathtaking grasp of dialog subtext that strongly reminds of Mamet. Gardner is destined to become a big name in this writing game.” —Les Edgerton, author of The Genuine, Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping.
“Elliot Caprice is a trouble magnet and that makes for a great character.” —Simon Wood, author of The One That Got Away.
“Plenty of hardboiled patter and a dense plot with a great sense of place and wonderful dialogue.” —Eric Beetner, author of Rumrunners.
“A Negro and an Ofay forces us to look into the brutal mirror of our past in the hope we might understand our future. With his sharp as a whip crack writing, Gardner may just change the world” —Paul Bishop, author of Lie Catchers.