Ed Lacy

Ed Lacy (August 25, 1911 – January 7, 1968), born Leonard “Len” S. Zinberg, was an American writer of crime and detective fiction. Lacy, who was white, is credited with creating “the first credible African-American PI” character in fiction, Toussaint “Touie” Marcus Moore. Room to Swing, his 1957 novel that introduced Touie Moore, received the 1958 Edgar Award for Best Novel.


Lacy was born in New York City. He was a member of the League of American writers, and served on its Keep America Out of War Committee in January 1940 during the period of the Hitler-Stalin pact. He died of a heart attack in Harlem in 1968, at the age of 56.


Room to Swing (Toussaint Moore Book 1)


If you’re Toussaint Moore, a private investigator from New York City, and a Negro, framed in your own city for a white man’s murder, you are going to find it tricky sledding in a small Ohio town, close to the Kentucky border. But the small town was where Moore felt he had to be, to try to find proof for the police that he was innocent of the killing.


Moore’s problems had started in New York, when the publicity woman from a television show called You-Detective! came to ask him to shadow a man. The idea of the show was that the viewers were given information about a wanted man, and the first viewer to find the man and report him to the police won a reward. In short, it was a combination adventure and give-away show.


Ed Lacy has written his most unusual story-a very exciting one, and one which handles with exceptional insight a Negro’s experiences in a large northern city and a small, bordering-on-the-South town.





The Woman Aroused (1951)
Sin in Their Blood (1952)
Strip for Violence (1953)
Enter Without Desire (1954)
Go for the Body (1954)
The Best That Ever Did It (also issued as Visa to Death) (1955)
The Men from the Boys (1956)
Lead with Your Left (1957)
Room to Swing (1957)
Breathe No More, My Lady (1958)
Shakedown for Murder (1958)
Be Careful How You Live (1959)
Blonde Bait (1959)
The Big Fix (1960)
A Deadly Affair (1960)
Bugged for Murder (1961)
The Freeloaders (1961)
South Pacific Affair (1961)
The Sex Castle (also issued as Shoot It Again) (1963)
Two Hot to Handle (two novellas: The Coin of Adventure and Murder in Paradise) (1963)
Moment of Untruth (1964)
Harlem Underground (1965)
Pity the Honest (1965)
The Hotel Dwellers (1966)
Double Trouble (1967)
In Black & Whitey (1967)
The Napalm Bugle (1968)
The Big Bust (1969)


Last updated on March 20, 2019


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