BYWATER BOOKS is pleased to announce the signing of novelist and playwright PENNY MICKELBURY.
Penny Mickelbury is the author of three successful mystery series and an award-winning playwright. She is a two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, was a writer in residence at Hedgebrook Women Writers Retreat, and is a recipient of the Audre Lorde Estate Grant. In 2001 she was awarded the Gold Pen Award for Best Mystery/Thriller from the Black Writers Alliance, and the Prix du Roman d’Adventures from Les Éditions du Masque. And, in 2017, she was commissioned by the Jo Howarth Noonan Foundation for the Performing Arts to write a ten-minute play in celebration of “women of a certain age”.
Prior to focusing on literary pursuits, Penny was a pioneering newspaper, radio and television reporter, based primarily in Washington, D.C., wrote journalistic non-fiction, and was a frequent contributor to such publications as Black Issues Book Review, Africana.com, and the Washington Blade.
Mickelbury and her partner of 18 years live between Atlanta and Los Angeles.
Book #5 of the Gianna Maglione/Mimi Patterson Mystery Series, Death’s Echoes will be published in February 2018Police Lieutenant Gianna Maglione heads up the DC Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit. She investigates those who espouse and perpetrate acts of hatred. She hunts them down and infiltrates their habitats, and then she finds out where they live and work and who their friends are. She learns what their next evil acts are likely to be, and who will be their victims. Then, she must stop the violence—because hatred is almost always violent. But what happens to a cop when one of her officers becomes the victim of a brutal hate crime, and her girlfriend is targeted for a hit?
Mimi Patterson is the lead investigative reporter for Washington DC’s top newspaper. She’s not the kind of reporter who skims the surface of any story—she digs deep, asks the hard questions, leaves no stone unturned. She’s looking for facts, for all of them, seeking out the truth. There’s nothing fake about the news she reports, and the truth that she uncovers comes at a terrible price. But what happens when she finds herself unable—or perhaps unwilling—to pursue the big stories that come her way, to follow them wherever they lead?
The evils of racism, sexism, homophobia, misogyny, and religious intolerance pervade every aspect of our modern society. Hatred is a powerful force, one whose goal is to maim, weaken, diminish, and destroy. After so many years and so much hatred, Mimi and Gianna must finally come to terms with the price paid for their personal commitments to their jobs and to each other. And this time, the violence hits close to home, and the voices of its victims live on in the minds and consciences of Mimi and Gianna. They speak to them—and they remind them never to forget that they were denied life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness simply because of who they were.
“It is an honor to have one of the founders of black LGBT+ fiction join our ranks,” said publisher Salem West. “Twenty-plus years ago Penny gave us a diverse lesbian couple fighting hatred—one with a pen and the other through the force of law—and while so much has changed since then, women, people of color, and those in the LGBT+ community still face rampant hatred and violence.”
When asked why she was returning to the Mimi Patterson and Gianna Magilone Mystery Series after more than a decade, Mickelbury shook her head, “Back in 2008, it seemed that our country had changed enough, had improved enough, that sustaining a series with a biracial lesbian couple working with hate crimes would be tough. And while I never was naive enough to believe that everything was fine in America—that we had banished the evils of racism, sexism, homophobia, misogyny, and ageism—I still find myself disgusted that the hatred and ugliness has gotten worse instead of better. But being disgusted serves no purpose. Writing does. And revisiting Mimi and Gianna allows me to explore with consciousness the groundswell of complicated emotions that come as we live our best lives in a world steeped in evil and hatred.”
Belle City, 2014 • That Part of My Face: Short Stories, 2016
Mimi Patterson/Gianna Maglione Mystery Series
Keeping Secrets, 1994 • Nights Songs, 1995 • Love Notes, 2002 • Darkness Descending, 2005 • Death’s Echos, Coming in 2017
Carol Ann Gibson Mystery Series
One Must Wait, 1998 • Where to Choose, 1999 • The Step Between, 2000 • Paradise Interrupted, 2001
Phil Rodriguez Mystery Series
Two Graves Dug, 2005 • A Murder Too Close, 2008
Time Out (produced 1989) • Waiting for Gabriel (produced 1991, re-staged 2000) • Warm Robes of Remembrance, 1993 • Hush Now (produced 2000)
The Mysterious Naiad: Love Stories by Naiad Press Authors, ed. Katherine V. Forrest, 1994 • Spooks, Spies and Private Eyes: Black Mystery and Suspense Fiction, ed. Paula L. Woods, 1995. • Shades of Black: Crime and Mystery Stories by African American Authors, ed. Eleanor Taylor Bland, 2004