It is May 2020 as Monument: Willie Black Mystery Series by Howard Owen begins and just a few days after the death of an unarmed black man in police custody occurred in Minneapolis. There have been Black Lives Matter protests all across the county and that includes Richmond, Virginia, where reporter Willie Black has been on the story. A story that is expanding as the protests become increasingly violent.

A story that soon changes and becomes far more personal with the discovery of two bodies in an apartment over a nearby bookstore. There had been protests in the area and there had been vandalism and damage. Checking out the situation as the door of a used bookstore stored open, officers checked the bookstore on the ground floor, and went upstairs. On the second floor, those two officers soon found a woman and a man tied to chairs in the living room. Both were bound and gagged and each had been shot in the chest and head.  As they checked the rest of the apartment, they found a baby alive and unharmed in her crib.


The deceased are soon identified as William and Susan Keller, both of whom were in their early thirties. While they do not have a motive, the local cops quickly have an identified suspect. Adam Walker, the son of Willie Black’s first wife, Jeanette. Willie Black is not be the boy’s biological father, but he was Jeanette’s first husband, so that means a lot. That personal angle means that he has access to information that others do not have as the days pass and the investigation moves forward. It also puts him in the crosshairs of at least one person who determined to shut up the pesky reporter once and for all.


Monument is the latest in the long running Willie Black mysteries. This latest one is set against the backdrop of the BLM protest, the Covid pandemic, and various societal issues that have been at the forefront of the news these past months. Intense and powerful, the book also spins a mighty good mystery read. Strongly recommended by myself as well as Publishers Weekly which gave it a starred review.



Monument: Willie Black Mystery Series

Howard Owen

The Permanent Press

November 2021

ISBN# 978-1579626471


232 Pages





I received a PDF of the book from the publisher with no expectation of a review.




Kevin R. Tipple ©2021

Be Sociable, Share!