Barbara Neely

Barbara Neely

The author of the innovative Blanche White series of mysteries, Barbara Neely is an award-winning writer and activist who’s penned everything from novels to short stories to plays.

Neeley’s popular Blanche White mystery novels are beloved by fans in part because of her unique heroine – a strong and independent African American woman who works as maid and an amateur sleuth. The first book in this series, Blanche on the Lam, won the Agatha, Macavity, and Anthony Awards. Critics and fans continued to cheer on the feisty detective as she unraveled conspiracies and scandals in three more mysteries in the series… Blanche Among the Talented Tenth, Blanche Cleans Up and Blanche Passes Go.

The multi-talented Neely has also authored a number of short stories that have appeared in anthologies, magazines, university texts, and journals.  In addition to her writing career, Neely designed and directed the first community-based corrections facility for women in Pennsylvania and was the director of Women for Economic Justice, a Boston-based women’s advocacy organization. She also produced radio programs for Africa News Service and was the host of Commonwealth Journal, an award-winning weekly interview program on the radio station of the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

In honor of her activism, Neely received the Community Works Social Action Award for Leadership and Activism for Women’s Rights and Economic Justice, and the Fighting for Women’s Voices Award from the Coalition for Basic Human Needs.

Books by Barbara Neely

Blanche Passes Go

Blanche Passes Go

Blanche White returns to Farleigh, North Carolina and faces the man who raped her years ago... and may now be guilty of murder. The fourth book in Barbara Neely's beloved, award-winning series.

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Blanche Cleans Up

Blanche Cleans Up

Blanche White is working as a housekeeper for a right-wing, Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate when he becomes embroiled in blackmail and murder. Of course, Blanche can’t resist cleaning up the mess...

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Blanche Among the Talented Tenth

Blanche Among the Talented Tenth

African-American maid Blanche White and her kids are invited to an elite resort for wealthy blacks and stumbles into a murder...and once again becomes an amateur sleuth, using her sharp wit and keen social insight to discover whodunit. The second mystery in the Agatha, Anthony and Macavity-award winning series.

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Reviews For Barbara Neely

Blanche Passes Go 5.0

Barbara Neely has forever transformed the mystery novel

Robin Morgan, author of The Demon Lover

Blanche Passes Go 5.0

Barbara Neely is a trailblazer, making an unlikely protagonist the central heroine, fifteen years before THE HELP. Neely is my inspiration and I hope she will be yours, too

Naomi Hirahara, the Edgar Award-winning author

Blanche Passes Go 5.0

Barbara Neely’s skill is a force to be reckoned with!

Essence Magazine

Blanche Passes Go 5.0

The keep-it-real ethic of Neely's writing is a natural outgrowth of the author's down-to-earth nature and her fierce commitment to political activism

Ms. Magazine

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