The Conjure-Man Dies

The Conjure-Man Dies, by Rudolph Fisher 

The Classics Club theme for February just happens to be the Harlem Renaissance (plus more), which gave me a good chance to start working on the challenge I signed up for too.  I decided to start with The Conjure-Man Dies, which is a mystery set in early 1930s Harlem.

Dr. John Archer has his medical office across the street from an undertaker and a "psychist" who claims to be able to read faces so well that he can tell you all about yourself and your future.  When the conjure-man is murdered in the middle of a reading, Dr. Archer and the NYPD detective assigned to the case, Perry Dart, team up to solve the mystery.  Then the corpse disappears from a guarded room and walks in, claiming to have revived himself with his special powers--so the two men will need all their expertise to figure out the puzzle.

I enjoyed this mystery so much!  I love a good mystery.  Here we have a seriously excellent puzzle and a cast of great characters.  Everyone has so much personality; you can practically see and hear them.  (Since I sometimes get frustrated by flat, hard-to-differentiate characters in mysteries, I appreciated that.)  There is some very fun stuff along with the serious questions; Fisher is playing around a lot.

If you're a mystery person, The Conjure-Man Dies should go on your list to read.

I've also started reading Langston Hughes' Not Without Laughter, which is very good so far, but there is no way I will finish it by the end of the month.


  1. Oh this sounds like a must-read for me! I've read quite a few Harlem Ren authors but that one is new to me. :)

  2. I don't get a chance to read many mysteries but I enjoyed this one. Thanks for participating in the challenge.


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