A Negro and an Ofay
On the run after killing two crooked cops, Chicago PD Detective Elliot Caprice finds himself in a jailhouse in St. Louis on false charges. He enlists friends from his hometown of Southville, IL to secure his release and returns to find the family farm in foreclosure, and the man who raised him dying in a flophouse.Desperate for money, he accepts a job from the son of a deadly Jewish mobster and eventually crosses paths with a powerful family from Chicago’s North Shore. A captain of industry is dead, and the key to his estate disappeared with the chauffeur. There’s good money in it if Elliot finds him, but the mixed-race son of Illinois farm country must return to the Windy City with the cops on his heels, the Syndicate at his throat, and the wealthy and powerful at his back.Good thing he’s used to playing both sides to the middle.

A Negro and an Ofay Details

TitleA Negro and an Ofay
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseMay 15th, 2017
PublisherDown & Out Books
ISBN1943402671
ISBN-139781943402670
Number of pages288 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Crime, Detective

A Negro and an Ofay Review

  • Thomas Pluck
    March 20, 2017
    Classic '50s era PI fiction set in the greater Chicago area, hard and fast like Himes but with heart and humor all his own, Danny Gardner delivers a powerful debut and proves himself to be a strong new talent in crime fiction.
  • Sam Wiebe
    October 20, 2015
    "It wasn't panic or reflex that guided his hand, but prescience. The same sense that told him the moment he took the gun from the barn, he'd be killing someone with it. He just hadn't expected it would be so soon, and in full view of the jazz-loving public."Elliot Caprice is the ultimate in-betweener--born to white and black parents, Caprice finds himself operating on both sides of the law, traversing the small town of Southville as well as The Windy City. A WW2 vet betrayed by his friends in la "It wasn't panic or reflex that guided his hand, but prescience. The same sense that told him the moment he took the gun from the barn, he'd be killing someone with it. He just hadn't expected it would be so soon, and in full view of the jazz-loving public."Elliot Caprice is the ultimate in-betweener--born to white and black parents, Caprice finds himself operating on both sides of the law, traversing the small town of Southville as well as The Windy City. A WW2 vet betrayed by his friends in law enforcement, Caprice skips jail only to wind up working for a civil rights attorney, negotiating a dangerous path between Chicago's old money families and the heirs to Al Capone's empire.An intense crime thriller, with smart social commentary and an authoritative prose style, A Negro and an Ofay is a great read. Highly recommended.I received an ARC of the book with no strings and no promise to review it, but it was a pleasure to do so because it was a pleasure to read. Danny Gardner can write. If you like crime fiction with something to say, avail yourself of A Negro and an Ofay ASAP.
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  • Craig Buck
    October 20, 2015
    Danny Gardner has written a fresh, smart, politically savvy and incorrect noir period piece rife with social injustice, racial nuance, high crimes and misdirections. A next-generation Walter Moseley, his characters are a hoot and a half and his story-telling a runaway train. If you like noir and are looking for a good time, don't miss this book from a budding star.
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  • Sarah
    October 31, 2015
    Gardner’s A NEGRO AND AN OFAY captures the corruption and racial unrest of 1950s Chicago with stylish precision. The story opens with disgraced Chicago PD Detective Elliott Caprice in a St. Louis jail. He enlists the help of his buddy George who is now the sheriff of his hometown to bail him out. That’s when his troubles really begin. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say Caprice harbors a shady past that comes back to haunt him. I have to admit, I normally don’t like third pers Gardner’s A NEGRO AND AN OFAY captures the corruption and racial unrest of 1950s Chicago with stylish precision. The story opens with disgraced Chicago PD Detective Elliott Caprice in a St. Louis jail. He enlists the help of his buddy George who is now the sheriff of his hometown to bail him out. That’s when his troubles really begin. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say Caprice harbors a shady past that comes back to haunt him. I have to admit, I normally don’t like third person omniscient narrators. This is told from Caprice’s POV for the most part, but Gardner will jump into another character’s head. Usually, this drives me nuts. But in this case, it worked. That’s a sign of damn good storytelling which brings me to my next point. Gardner is a born storyteller and with the 1950s Chicago setting, you've got noir storytelling at its very best. There’s a naturalness and ease about this book despite a complex and dense plot. It flows effortlessly, and the dialogue has a wonderful cadence to it. I feel like if Gardner told me a tale on the spot, it’d be surprising, dramatic, and entertaining. To me, that’s a born storyteller, and it comes through loud and clear in this electrifying debut.
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  • Scott Waldyn
    October 16, 2015
    The crime genre, much like the horror and science fiction genres, is one of those arenas where a writer can submerge deep within its vast, concrete jungle and get lost. Crime writers can burrow into limitless catacombs and unending subterranean tunnels and find almost anything — say almost anything. Once the city is constructed and the stage built, there’s potential for an author to overturn any number of stones, as many as the imagination can see.In A Negro and an Ofay: The Tales of Elliot Capr The crime genre, much like the horror and science fiction genres, is one of those arenas where a writer can submerge deep within its vast, concrete jungle and get lost. Crime writers can burrow into limitless catacombs and unending subterranean tunnels and find almost anything — say almost anything. Once the city is constructed and the stage built, there’s potential for an author to overturn any number of stones, as many as the imagination can see.In A Negro and an Ofay: The Tales of Elliot Caprice, author Danny Gardner overturns many stones, sharing with us a canvas tethered to geography, haunted by history and in conflict with competing identities. Our protagonist, Elliot Caprice, is a man who can camouflage himself and walk within two worlds. He’s half black and half white, an ex-cop pursued by those he once considered colleagues. He’s now finding work in the criminal underworld, taking up jobs that have him dealing with an ever-expanding catalogue of shady characters.Yet, in Caprice’s tale, readers very much find an adventure born out of the Midwest — a working-class child grows up on the outskirts of a vast city and pursues the dreams, culture and ethos of cosmopolitan life. The allure of the bright lights draws him in, devouring and spitting this young man out, now abandoned at a crossroads between the bustling expressways and the outlying fields of corn. It’s up to Caprice to dust himself off and find his way.Full reviewed available at: http://literaryorphans.org/ttl/scott-...
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  • Rory Costello
    March 24, 2016
    It's got a lot of flair, a lot of heart, and a lot of good action. Plus, it's got a lot to say -- in a nuanced way -- about the subject of race in America, from the notable standpoint of a mixed-race main figure.Elliot Caprice is certainly strong enough to carry a series, as the cover indicates is in store. However, I especially enjoyed the nicely detailed secondary cast, especially Big Frank, but also Mike and Elaine, among others.I'll admit to getting a trifle confused about the plot -- the tw It's got a lot of flair, a lot of heart, and a lot of good action. Plus, it's got a lot to say -- in a nuanced way -- about the subject of race in America, from the notable standpoint of a mixed-race main figure.Elliot Caprice is certainly strong enough to carry a series, as the cover indicates is in store. However, I especially enjoyed the nicely detailed secondary cast, especially Big Frank, but also Mike and Elaine, among others.I'll admit to getting a trifle confused about the plot -- the twist come thick and fast. But that tends to come with the territory in this genre, and The Tales of Elliot Caprice are a welcome addition.
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  • Kate
    February 20, 2017
    With A NEGRO AND AN OFAY, Danny Gardner is establishing himself as an upcoming writer to watch. No other writer right now has a voice or point of view like Gardner’s. It’s clear from his writing that he is passionate about both his storytelling and his characters. Gardner has something to say and we all need to pay attention when he puts pen to paper.
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  • Richard Yaker
    September 8, 2015
    Easy read and compelling enough I read it in a single day (Labor day so I had the day off) only putting it down for meals, and a trip to the supermarket. The characters were interesting, and the story was engaging. The social commentary was also of interest to me. Danny is great story teller, his command of english and slang wove a compelling crime drama that drew me in.
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  • Cyn Vargas
    August 31, 2015
    A Negro and an Ofay is a compelling story with vivid characters and an array of action in a world of crime. From the fully realized Elliott Caprice to the Reverend-turned-sheriff George Stingley, and everyone in between, Gardner creates an intriguing world in which you won't want to leave.
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  • Courtney Stricklin
    August 11, 2015
    Characters you believed in, a setting you could visualize (to the last detail), and a representation of American racial tension that seems as relevant now as when the book takes place.
  • Diana
    June 14, 2017
    A Negro and an Ofay by Danny Gardner tells the story of Elliot Caprice. The story begins with Elliot in jail before he gets released with the help of his reverend/sheriff friend, George. After release, Elliot goes back to Chicago where he gets entangled in a world of crime. This is a crime fiction set up in the 1950s. It is fast paced with a lot of action. The writing was great and I liked the fact that the author uses a lot of dialogue in the story. I think my favorite part of the book was the A Negro and an Ofay by Danny Gardner tells the story of Elliot Caprice. The story begins with Elliot in jail before he gets released with the help of his reverend/sheriff friend, George. After release, Elliot goes back to Chicago where he gets entangled in a world of crime. This is a crime fiction set up in the 1950s. It is fast paced with a lot of action. The writing was great and I liked the fact that the author uses a lot of dialogue in the story. I think my favorite part of the book was the setting. The author did a great job with the world building. The language, characterization and descriptions of the setting brought it alive and got me lost in the time period. Corruption and racial relations are themes in the story that further portray the time period. The protagonist being mixed race places him at the centre of the identity conflict. Apart from the setting, the character development is another aspect that I liked. The author not only created a complex, flawed but memorable protagonist but he also crafted support characters that really stood out. My only issue with the book was that it was a bit complex and felt heavy on the action. However, I recommend this book to fans of historical crime fiction.
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  • Holly West
    May 15, 2017
    This is one of the best debuts I've read in a long time. Set in the 1950s Chicago area, Elliot Caprice is a mix-raced cop who knows both sides of the law and isn't afraid of playing them against each other to achieve his ends. In this case, he needs to save his family farm from foreclosure so he reluctantly takes a job as a process server for a lawyer acquaintance and quickly finds himself caught between Chicago law enforcement, a powerful family, and organized crime.Nothing is simple in Elliot' This is one of the best debuts I've read in a long time. Set in the 1950s Chicago area, Elliot Caprice is a mix-raced cop who knows both sides of the law and isn't afraid of playing them against each other to achieve his ends. In this case, he needs to save his family farm from foreclosure so he reluctantly takes a job as a process server for a lawyer acquaintance and quickly finds himself caught between Chicago law enforcement, a powerful family, and organized crime.Nothing is simple in Elliot's world and though he's certainly morally flawed, he errs on the side of good more often or not. He's capable and sexy, never overbearing or over-the-top. Gardner's depiction of time, place, and character is so spot-on I marveled at his world and character building talent. In my opinion, Gardner is poised to be a break-out author--if this book doesn't do it, his next one will.
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  • Beth
    May 25, 2017
    A nice change of pace. Gardner has strong character development and strong skills in weaving a story. Elliot Caprice is a half-white, half-negro in the times when segregation was still a thing and a black police officer was hardly heard of thing but Caprice was a detective with the Chicago PD before things went sideways and he ended up killing two crooked cops. The story starts with Caprice waking up in the St. Louis Jail, going by one of his alias names, he befriends a fellow cellmate, calls ho A nice change of pace. Gardner has strong character development and strong skills in weaving a story. Elliot Caprice is a half-white, half-negro in the times when segregation was still a thing and a black police officer was hardly heard of thing but Caprice was a detective with the Chicago PD before things went sideways and he ended up killing two crooked cops. The story starts with Caprice waking up in the St. Louis Jail, going by one of his alias names, he befriends a fellow cellmate, calls home to Southville, and is released to the custody of the first black police chief in Southville, IL. If you want a fast-paced, easy read then pick it up, you won't be disappointed. I know I wasn't. Thanks to NetGalley and Author Guide for my digital copy for an honest review.
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  • Jenniferk
    May 5, 2017
    I don't know where to begin in my review of this exceptional book. Elliott is a complex character who has been kicked on the gut by life at several points but manages to be a mostly good guy. In a time when the world and country are unkind and uncaring, he is able to still make his way. There are many different characters that are his friends and family that see him for what he is not for his race. He has a difficult task before him with multiple sources of danger but he navigates his way throug I don't know where to begin in my review of this exceptional book. Elliott is a complex character who has been kicked on the gut by life at several points but manages to be a mostly good guy. In a time when the world and country are unkind and uncaring, he is able to still make his way. There are many different characters that are his friends and family that see him for what he is not for his race. He has a difficult task before him with multiple sources of danger but he navigates his way through. Excellent world building and character development that pull in the reader and continue to sadden and surprise throughout the book. Superlative writing that deserves to be read.
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  • Neliza Drew
    May 16, 2017
    A Negro and an Ofay, on the surface, is a crime novel. Elliot Caprice has been to college, been to war, been a Chicago cop and been on the run. By the time we catch up to him, he’s run out of places to run, and he’s contemplating what happens next, which leads him into a case involving the missing driver of a recently-rich woman. Underneath, Gardner’s book is about family, the one you have and the one you make. It’s about going home again, and making amends. It’s about learning who you are after A Negro and an Ofay, on the surface, is a crime novel. Elliot Caprice has been to college, been to war, been a Chicago cop and been on the run. By the time we catch up to him, he’s run out of places to run, and he’s contemplating what happens next, which leads him into a case involving the missing driver of a recently-rich woman. Underneath, Gardner’s book is about family, the one you have and the one you make. It’s about going home again, and making amends. It’s about learning who you are after a long search.
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  • David
    May 15, 2017
    One of the best debut novels I have ever read! Danny Gardner has taken historical fiction, added sharp characters and a very credible storyline from a 1950's African-American perspective. In a time when a black man was treated as far less-than, Gardner's flawed protagonist, Elliot Caprice works at proving his worth to himself while surviving in a corrupt Chicago. Noir fiction at its best! Outstanding!
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  • Tiffany S
    March 24, 2017
    I lean towards historical fiction which is what made me select this book to read. It also fits under mystery & thriller and makes me want to read more of that genre if as well written as this. I definitely want to see more from Danny Gardner. For a debut novel, this was amazing. The character development was impressive. The flow was great. The realizing how far we have come and how far we have to go in race relations hit hard when reading this book. I highly recommend this book to all reader I lean towards historical fiction which is what made me select this book to read. It also fits under mystery & thriller and makes me want to read more of that genre if as well written as this. I definitely want to see more from Danny Gardner. For a debut novel, this was amazing. The character development was impressive. The flow was great. The realizing how far we have come and how far we have to go in race relations hit hard when reading this book. I highly recommend this book to all readers not just those attached to certain genres. It will definitely make you think.
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  • James L'Etoile
    June 8, 2017
    Danny Gardner's debut features a WWII vet, who comes home and finds all the promises of health, wealth and acceptance don't necessarily apply to a black man. Set in 1950's Chicagoland, Elliot Caprice serves as a PI and can't escape his past. Crisply written and artfully plotted, Gardner's book will be getting lots of attention this year - don't be left out.
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  • Jamie Canaves
    May 21, 2017
    especially fans of Walter Mosley should read.
  • LuAnn Rodriquez
    March 5, 2017
    This book was not an easy read for me but it was well worth every bit of effort it took to get past a lifestyle governed by hardship and discussed in language I generally avoid. Always a joy to a lifelong learner, I got an inside look at how difficult life has been for those who have never had to live the kind of life most people who are poor, black, Jewish, or any other minority are forced to live in this world biased by race and wealth. The written dialects are very well done so that the diffe This book was not an easy read for me but it was well worth every bit of effort it took to get past a lifestyle governed by hardship and discussed in language I generally avoid. Always a joy to a lifelong learner, I got an inside look at how difficult life has been for those who have never had to live the kind of life most people who are poor, black, Jewish, or any other minority are forced to live in this world biased by race and wealth. The written dialects are very well done so that the differences in race and position are believable. Elliot Caprice is a main character who learns life's most important lessons by the end of this book and a character whose desire to stand for right I greatly admired. Be prepared for gritty, real, hard hitting and let your world expand by reading to the end.I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Josh Stallings
    December 3, 2015
    Danny Gardner is off to a flying start with his debut novel. A wonderfully rich cast of law men, twist, conmen hustlers and folks just trying to make it another day alive. Elliot Caprice is a complex dark heroic son of a bitch of a man. One I would roll with where ever he was going. 50's Chicago is fully realized, corruption decay and all. It is also a strong social commentary on race then and sadly now. My minor complaint is at times the rich language overwhelms the thrust of the story. Minor. Danny Gardner is off to a flying start with his debut novel. A wonderfully rich cast of law men, twist, conmen hustlers and folks just trying to make it another day alive. Elliot Caprice is a complex dark heroic son of a bitch of a man. One I would roll with where ever he was going. 50's Chicago is fully realized, corruption decay and all. It is also a strong social commentary on race then and sadly now. My minor complaint is at times the rich language overwhelms the thrust of the story. Minor. Wherever Danny Gardner goes next as an author, I suspect it will be a hell of a place to hang.
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  • Barb
    January 14, 2017
    I received this book from the publisher Down and Out Books through Netgalley, thank you very much for this Advance Readers CopyThis is a 1950's historical crime fiction based in Chicago.The characters are very real and yet likeable. I would like to see them continued in a series.The plot is complex and dense, which left me behind on occasion.I found some of the dialogue difficult to understand especially in the beginning.
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  • Darlene Dejohnette
    March 1, 2016
    Interesting story...the Chicago factor was cool. I need to find out where "Southville" is.
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