The best urban fantasy/paranormal mystery novels featuring POC

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a fan of creature features movies and the old classic horror stories since childhood. Once I discovered urban fantasy it became my new genre of choice as far as reading. I love each author’s storytelling, worldbuilding, character development, etc. I find it helps me to read the negative reviews. Readers know when a writer is being authentic in their work vs when they are phoning it in. Listening to readers and understanding what puts them off, helps me craft a better story by avoiding the pitfalls that become cliché or annoying.

I wrote...

After the Flesh

By Fannie Price,

Book cover of After the Flesh

What is my book about?

Pursuing a serial killer becomes a life-altering experience for Chicago PD Homicide Detective, Veronica Sykes, when it leads to the revelation of her cambion bloodline and plunges her into the world of dragons and demons. 

Demons are real. The revelation tilts Veronica’s world. Learning she is a cambion, demon born, knocks it right off its axis. Things go from bad to sideways when the demon she pursues turns the tables on her. With the help of Lachlan, a dragon liaison with the Predator Crime Unit, she uncovers the demon's purpose… break his master out of hell. To stop the demon, Veronica makes a bold move, but will her bravery force her into embracing her demon lineage or save her soul from the darkness within?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Minion

Fannie Price Why did I love this book?

I still remember standing in line at Borders on the corner of State and Randolph at Christmas. I don’t remember the book I was buying, but I remember looking over and seeing the cover of someone who looked like me, during a time when most contemporary urban fantasy stories featured heroines of European descent. It took me one night to read this book and I instantly fell in love with Damali and Carlos. The next day I hunted down every other published novel in the series and devoured them, eagerly waiting for the next one to drop.

By L. A. Banks,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Minion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There is one woman who is all that stands between us and the eternal night.
Here is an account of her legend....

All Damali Richards ever wanted to do was create music and bring it to the people. Now she is a Spoken Word artist and the top act for Warriors of Light Records. But come nightfall, she hunts vampires and demons—predators that people tend to dismiss as myth or fantasy. But Damali and her Guardian team cannot afford such delusions, especially now, when a group of rogue vampires have been killing the artists of Warriors of Light and their…

Book cover of Moon Called

Fannie Price Why did I love this book?

I identified with the female protagonist in this book. She is part Native American and she’s a mechanic, which for me was wish fulfillment since I took shop in high school but have forgotten most of what I learned save for changing oil and a tire. She’s mouthy, but she is also unsure of herself, which gives Mercy a very real feel.

By Patricia Briggs,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Moon Called as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first novel in the New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson series - the major urban fantasy hit of the decade

'I love these books!' Charlaine Harris

The best new fantasy series I've read in years' Kelley Armstrong


I didn't realize he was a werewolf at first. My nose isn't at its best when surrounded by axle grease and burnt oil . . .'

Mercedes Thompson runs a garage in the Tri-Cities. She's a mechanic, and a damn good one, who spends her spare time karate training and tinkering with a VW bus that happens…

Book cover of Blood Lines

Fannie Price Why did I love this book?

Part of me identified with the profession of Lily, the main female protagonist of this novel being an FBI agent. I admire how the author took the “fated lovers” with 100% none of the cliché tropes that usually go with this type of storyline. I loved that Lily had real problems outside of her work and has to solve cases in addition to juggling a wedding and everything else going on in her world. Ms. Wilks constructed a very real world and gave the supporting characters their own storylines and arcs which is extremely hard to do while staying true to the overall plot.

By Eileen Wilks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blood Lines as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

FBI agent Cynna Weaver teams up with sorcerer Cullen Seabourne to help identify elected officials who have accepted demonic pacts. But the passion simmering between them-and their investigation-spiral out of control when an ancient prophecy is fulfilled.

Book cover of Urban Shaman

Fannie Price Why did I love this book?

Ms. Murphy takes her time with the world building, in a universe where the supernatural is not known but discovered, and it is a treat to discover this world through the eyes of the protagonist. It’s also a switch that in this story at least, there is not a romance element. I also appreciate that Native American culture and folklore were not exploited in order to make a better story. I enjoyed this was not your typical werewolf, vampire, witch read and brought in something new, or at least something not often written about.

By C. E. Murphy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Urban Shaman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Joanne Walker has three days to learn to use her shamanic powers and save the world from the unleashed Wild Hunt.

No worries. No pressure. Never mind the lack of sleep, the perplexing new talent for healing herself from fatal wounds, or the cryptic, talking coyote who appears in her dreams.

And if all that's not bad enough, in the three years Joanne's been a cop, she's never seen a dead body—but she's just come across her second in three days.

It's been a bitch of a week.

And it isn't over yet.

Book cover of Kindred

Fannie Price Why did I love this book?

My list would not be complete without Octavia Butler’s Kindred. Ms. Butler trailblazing the way and being the first woman of color to write in science fiction and urban fantasy is the reason I am a writer today. Time traveling Dana was my first exposure to not just urban fantasy before the genre bore the name, but to seeing myself in fiction that I enjoyed reading, and writing fiction that I enjoyed reading. I became immersed in her story, in her world, in her life. For the time while I read, Kindred, I became Dana. That to me is the mark of a truly gifted writer. 

By Octavia E. Butler,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Kindred as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Parable of the Sower and MacArthur “Genius” Grant, Nebula, and Hugo award winner

The visionary time-travel classic whose Black female hero is pulled through time to face the horrors of American slavery and explores the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now.

“I lost an arm on my last trip home. My left arm.”

Dana’s torment begins when she suddenly vanishes on her 26th birthday from California, 1976, and is dragged through time to antebellum Maryland to rescue a boy named Rufus, heir to a slaveowner’s plantation. She soon…

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Empire's Daughter

By Marian L Thorpe,

Book cover of Empire's Daughter

Marian L Thorpe Author Of Empress & Soldier

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Birder Traveller Amateur landscape historian Reader

Marian's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Lena thinks she knows her future: in her small village, nothing much has changed for two hundred years. Women farm and fish, plant and harvest: a cooperative, productive, peaceful life. Until the day a soldier rides in, to ask the unthinkable of the women: learn to fight. Invasion is imminent, and the men alone cannot defeat them.

Maya, Lena’s partner, refuses. Going against the collective decision of the village means banishment. Will Lena decide to defend her home, or go with her love?

Journey with Lena as she makes this terrible choice, setting her feet on a path towards a…

Empire's Daughter

By Marian L Thorpe,

What is this book about?

"Fans of Guy Gavriel Kay will love Thorpe's work." Anya Pavelle

A B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree; Eric Hoffer Finalist, 2021; BBNYA 2021 Semi-Finalist

An Emperor's request. A lover's refusal. And a young woman who must choose between them.

Many generations past, the great empire from the east left Lena's country to its own defences. Now invasion threatens...and to save their land, women must learn the skills of war. But in a world reminiscent of Britain after the fall of Rome, only men fight; women farm and fish. Lena's choice to answer her leader's call to arms separates her from her lover…

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