John Baldwin West

John Baldwin West photo

Dr. John Baldwin West (1905-1960) was one of a handful of African American pulp detective fiction writers. In the 1950s his books were described by critics as white life novels, placing him in a category with better-known writers such as Willard Motley, William Gardner Smith, and Frank Yerby.

By the late 1950s however, West began to write detective novels. He wrote six novels with all but the first one published posthumously that all featured a tough white New York private investigator, Rocky Steele. They were: An Eye For An Eye (Signet, 1959), Cobra Venom (New American Library, 1960), Bullets Are My Business (New American Library, 1964), Death on the Rocks (New American Library, 1964), Never Kill a Cop (New American Library, 1964), and A Taste For Blood (Scripts, 1967). Read the complete article, written by Robert Fikes, Jr., at ▶

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