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Publisher's Summary

To detectives Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, it looked like an open and shut case. After all, Sonny Pickens was still standing over the body of Ulysses Galen, smoking gun hanging from his hand. Only one problem: Sonny's gun was loaded with blanks.
There were plenty of people who wanted Galen dead, but who was responsible? Sonny? A jealous husband? Or one of the street toughs from a gang calling themselves the Real Cool Moslems? Coffin Ed and Grave Digger pound the mean streets of 1950s Harlem in search of the Real Cool Killer.
©1959 Chester Himes, copyright renewed 1987 by Lesley Himes (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

".... Real Cool Killers is a picturesque story to which Graham gives expert treatment. " ( Audiofile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By freddie on 05-29-13


What made the experience of listening to The Real Cool Killers the most enjoyable?

Chester Himes.

What did you like best about this story?

Coffin Ed and Gravedigger Jones.

What about Dion Graham’s performance did you like?

You really forget its a book.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

All of it.

Any additional comments?


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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Ilana on 07-06-12

Too Cool For School

A big white man is murdered in cold blood in the streets of Harlem in front of countless bystanders. But who is the killer? The drunken crazed man who's chased him from a bar, or a member the Real Cool Muslims, a gang of kids dressed up as arab sheikhs? Why was he killed? Out of anger, just for kicks, or did he have it coming? Detectives Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed are on hand to apprehend the culprits, but one of the kids is killed when Grave Digger thinks one of the Real Cool Muslims is throwing acid into his already burned face, a prank gone very wrong: it was only perfume. Then his young daughter turns out to be embroiled in this mess, ensuring that the Harlem detective duo will do what needs to be done to save her and resolve what turns out to be a truly sordid case. This third instalment of the Harlem Cycle was entertaining, but I felt, not as strong as the two previous books in the series. However, I know that there are more great reads further ahead, so I'll carry on and go wherever Chester Himes takes me; the journey is sure to be filled with unique individuals and plenty of surprises.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Mr. C. G. Moore on 12-30-16

Not a patch on Rage in Harlem (sorry)

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

After listening to Rage in Harlem, the 1st of Chester Himes Grave Digger and Coffin Ed novels, I wanted more. Chester Himes seems to have changed his style from a hard but poetic prose to something a bit more procedural and simple. No great flashes of description and the story is not as gritty and visceral. It feels a bit plodding. If you haven't read Rage in Harlem then it might be an ok listen.

Has The Real Cool Killers put you off other books in this genre?

No, I love hard-boiled noir and would be interested to see if Chester Hime's flair returns in the next novel as I loved Rage in Harlem and wanted to read the whole series

What does Dion Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Great characters and a great tone

What character would you cut from The Real Cool Killers?

the only dodgy accent is the Irish (at least I think that's what he's trying to do) police commissioner

Any additional comments?

I guess I was spoilt with book 1 and expected something similar. This is a bit more pulp noir and Rage in Harlem was a cut above it

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