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Lew Griffin Books In Order

Publication Order of Lew Griffin Books

The Long-Legged Fly (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Moth (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Black Hornet (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Eye of the Cricket (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blue Bottle (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ghost of a Flea (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Lew Griffin series is a series of mystery, crime fiction, and detective fiction books written by the famous crime writer, poet, and musician from America named James Sallis. This series is comprised of 6 books in total, which were released between the years 1992 and 2001. Author Sallis has introduced the lead character in all the books of the series as Lew Griffin. He has been described as black PI, living in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. The overall series is set in New Orleans, describing the mysterious events in and around the life of Lew Griffin, which he goes on to solve with the help his excellent deductive skills and intelligence. Lew Griffin is mainly depicted as a poet, professor, and novelist. The job as a private eye is taken up by him only on several occasions. All the 6 books in which he has featured appear to be stylish, defiant, and well received. Because of the unique descriptions in the books and excellent characterization of Lew Griffin, author Sallis was compared with the likes of Chester Himes and Walter Mosely. However, author Sallis says that he aims even higher than that. The stories show that Lew Griffin is obsessed with the missing children and keeps looking for them until he finds them or any information related to them. This obsession can be clearly seen in the overall series, but the series’ real thrust appears to be the ‘art of writing’ itself. A number of reputed critics have reviewed the series positively and have used the phrases such as allusive, powerful, highly literate, haunting prose, brooding, surreal quality, etc., to describe the books. The other commonly mentioned statements in the reviews of the series includes the ever popular mentioning of the dark truths related to the American racism as well as the search for the identity. Author Sallis has asked the readers not to get scared by the high minded blurbery and the loftier ambitions. The stories are kick ass and highly enjoyable to read. Also, the full impact of the stories tends to sneak up on the readers in many deft and surprising ways. These factors helped the books of this mystery series go on to become highly successful one after the other.

The debut novel of the Lew Griffin series written by James Sallis in collaboration with Carol Lea Benjamin is entitled ‘The Long-Legged Fly’. It was released by the Walker Books in the year 2001, after it was first published in 1992. As per author Sallis, this story is a mixture of the writing styles of James Lee Burke, Ross McDonald, and Raymond Chandler. Sallis has utilized the conventions of a classic detective story of America along with his fine and thoughtful writing style to produce this original and unique story. The novel appears to be a tough and smart one, teeming with the characters’ lives and being always on the edge of getting ignited from the energy within. At the start of the plot, the steamy modern day New Orleans, Louisiana is depicted in which the black private investigator Lew Griffin once again takes on a seemingly hopeless case of a missing person. The trail of the lost person takes Lew Griffin across the underbellies of the French Quarter, including its pimps, tourist attractions, and bar girls. Later in his search, Griffin comes across violent and repeated dead ends. This makes him get realize that the fact that the life of his own has reached a state where he resembles the ones he is trying to find.

Lew Griffin keeps getting lost in the search, similar to the frail identities that he is trying to recover. In the end, Griffin walks into a hospital after drinking too much alcohol. There, he is about to find one more chance to live life to its fullest when a nurse approaches him with love. But, he decides to revert back again to his typical lifestyle in the mean streets of New Orleans in the midst of the predators and the preys. After a little while, Lew Griffin comes to know that his own son has disappeared. He begins to search through the tatters and tangles of his own life. Griffin knows it very well that he must solve the mystery in his personal so that he is able to work on towards finding the whereabouts of the others. On the whole, the novel appears to be a visceral, exciting, and entertaining. By reading this story, the readers are taken in the corner of a society where it seems that in order to live people have to fight for their survival. Many critics believe that this compelling story succeeds as a detective fiction as well as a worthy literature.

One of the other popular books released by Walker Books in this series is titled as ‘Ghost of a Flea’. It was published in 2003 and continues to feature Lew Griffin in the lead role. The starting sequence of the book shows that Lew Griffin is living alone in the old house located in New Orleans. Deborah is about to end her relationship with him and his son named David has gone missing once again, leaving behind a final note. One of the friends of Lew Griffin named Don Walsh, who was about to leave the police department, gets killed while interrupting a theft. With all this happening in his life, Lew appears to be directionless. For many years, he has not written anything. Also, he has stopped teaching long ago. It does not seem that he has anything to work with in life. Lew makes an attempt to find out the source of the threatening letters to a close friend, but that too leaves him lost and rootless. In the previous books, author Sallis has described Griffin has a lively man indulged in teaching, writing, working as a detective, and writing poetry. But now, he seems totally lost. A dead body is lying behind by him, but he doesn’t seem to care. He just hopes that things will become alright once again. Griffin begins to wonder about his life and about the person’s who was lying dead in his house. It makes him think how they ended up being together. Unlike all the other books, this book seems to be more about identity search than a crime fiction. With the description of the unique plot, author Sallis has tried to hold a mirror in front of the prevailing society and its culture. He has set Griffin with the task of finding out who he really is. And as Lew Griffin stands in the dark room thinking about all the past events of his life, the answers to all his questions begin to pop up in his mind. The ending tends to resonate in the minds of the readers even after the series concludes, because of the excellent setting depicted in this novel by James Sallis.

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