African-American crime fiction studies have a periodization problem. The problem shows up as early as Paula L. Woods’s Spooks, Spies, and Private Eyes (1995), the first anthology of black-authored mystery and detective stories. As Paul Cobley notes, the collection, groundbreaking as it was, betrays an “almost complete elision of the 1970s.” No selection in the anthology was published during that decade, and Woods does not account for the period in the editorial apparatus. Indeed, her appended chronology, which in Cobley’s words “jumps from 1969 to 1981,” leaves the impression of a temporal gap separating “Chester Himes from the likes of Gar Anthony Haywood and Walter Mosley” (134–35). Passing over crime fiction of the 1970s inflects another foundational work in the field, Stephen F. Soitos’s The Blues Detective (1996). This widely cited book offers a literary history of the tradition from progenitors Pauline E. Hopkins and Rudolph Fisher to satirists Ishmael Reed and Clarence Major. Soitos reserves special praise for Himes insofar as the author’s Harlem cycle promulgated a view of urban crime and violence that “established the black detective novel as a vehicle for social critique” (224). By casting Himes’s writing as the touchstone of racial crime narrative, Soitos is able to interpret Reed’s and Major’s 1970s metafictional texts as ironic postmodern inversions of the same. Anthologies published in the wake of The Blues Detective pick up where Soitos’s study leaves off, acknowledging Himes as the high water mark and then skipping over to Haywood and Mosley, who revived the hard-boiled tradition in the late 1980s and early 1990s, respectively (Bland, Penzler).