GAR ANTHONY HAYWOOD is the Shamus and Anthony Award-winning author of thirteen crime novels: Seven featuring African-American private investigator Aaron Gunner; two recounting the adventures of Joe and Dottie Loudermilk, Airstream-owning crime solvers on the constant run from their five grown and troublesome children; and four standalone thrillers.
Haywood’s first Gunner mystery, Fear of the Dark, won the Private Eye Writers of America’s Shamus award for Best First Novel of 1989, while the New York Times called his first Loudermilk mystery, 1994’s Going Nowhere Fast, “a dizzying and hilarious escape.”
In the summer of 2000, Fear of the Dark was included among the 200 books VIBE magazine identified as essential reading for those looking to “widen (their) eyes to a multicultural reality.” Haywood’s sixth Aaron Gunner novel, All the Lucky Ones Are Dead, was published by Penguin Putnam in January, 2000, made the Los Angeles Times’s bestsellers list, and was subsequently named one of the year’s Ten Best mysteries by Booklist.
The author’s first Aaron Gunner short story, “And Pray Nobody Sees You,” appeared in the Doubleday anthology Spooks, Spies, and Private Eyes, and won both the PWA’s Shamus and World Mystery Convention’s Anthony awards for Best Short Story of 1995.
In January, 2003, Haywood’s first Ray Shannon thriller, Man Eater, received starred reviews from both Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly, with PW calling the book “the best Elmore Leonard rip-off since Elmore Leonard.” His second Ray Shannon novel, Firecracker, was published by Penguin Putnam to similar critical acclaim in February, 2004.
Among Haywood’s many avowed fans are filmmaker Spike Lee; Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black; the acclaimed poet Nikki Giovanni; and actors Sidney Poitier, Lou Gossett, and Richard Brooks of Law and Order fame.
Haywood’s short story “The First Rule Is,” which originally appeared in the 2009 Pegasus anthology Black Noir, was included in the 2010 edition of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s acclaimed Best American Mystery Stories series. His short story “The Lamb Was Sure to Go” won him his second Shamus award in 2011.
Haywood has written for both The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, has authored teleplays for such television dramas as New York Undercover and The District, and has co-written two Movies of the Week for the ABC Television Network. He is a former president of the Mystery Writers of America’s Southern California chapter.
Haywood’s latest novel, In Things Unseen, is his first thriller to examine issues of faith and family in detail.