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23 Shades of Black
23 Shades of Black

23 Shades of Black

By Ken Wishnia, Introduction by Barbara D'Amato

A Filomena Buscarsela Mystery


300 Pages, 5 x 8

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB, PDF, Mobipocket

Trade Paper, $17.95 (US $17.95) (CA $19.95)

Publication Date: June 2012

ISBN 9781604865875

Rights: WOR X UK & EUR

PM Press (Jun 2012)


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“From page-turning thriller to mystery story to social investigation, 23 Shades of Black works on all levels."  —Michael Connelly, author, Lost Light

This tense, psychological thriller set in the East Village punk scene during the early 1980s shadows a single evening shift of NYPD cop Filomena Buscarsela. When Filomena learns that the toxic leak may have been sabotage, and a key witness—an East Village artist—dies in a suspicious accident, she decides to pursue the case on her own by cruising the Alphabet City punk rock clubs for clues about the artist’s last days. But as she attempts to punish environmental criminals, Filomena finds the case, and her personal life, begin to crumble. A taut noir tempered with a cynical sense of humor, this mystery novel is a sociological snapshot of a working-class Latina in New York City.


"Wishnia cuts a different path with his stories and novels, choosing subjects, settings, and characters of a sort the reader is unlikely to encounter in the mainstream of mystery and crime fiction. His fine sensibility and skillful prose will appeal to discriminating readers."  —Janet Hutchings, editor, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

"With her sharp tongue, quick mind, and stubborn will, Filomena Buscarseal is the ultimate New Yorker: a cop, a woman, an immigrant who has made the city her own."  —Linda Landrigan, editor, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

"Ken Wishnia's Filomena Buscarsela is one hell of a woman fighting the good fight in politicized bad-to-the-bone stories where the point is not merely to interpret the world, but to change it."  —Gary Phillips, author, Monkology

"Filomena is tough, vulnerable, insolent, compassionate, unsentimental, violent, sexy as all hell, and alternately proud and self-doubting. Although this first novel is set in Ronald Reagan's 1980s America, she is a true hero for the culturally diverse, politically polarized, class-warfare America of 2012." —

"Kudos to PM Press for bringing this back into print. 23 Shades of Black is a wonderful read and I unhesitatingly recommend it to everyone, regardless of their usual genre preferences." —

"Quite simply, this is a wonderful story about the trials and tribulations of Filomena Buscarsela, an immigrant from Ecuador who is trying to make her way up the ladder as a police officer in the New York of the 1980s. . . . This is a book to savor!" —

Author Biography

Ken Wishnia is an associate professor of English at Suffolk Community College. He is the author of Blood Lake, The Fifth Servant, The Glass Factory, Red House, and Soft Money. He lives in New York City. Barbara D’Amato is an author and a recipient of the Carl Sandburg Award for fiction and the Mary Higgins Clark Award and the two-time recipient of the Anthony Award and the Agatha Award. She is a past president of Mystery Writers of America and of Sisters in Crime International. She lives in Chicago.