"Wright’s vividly told tale is studded with wry wit."—Publishers Weekly
What happens when a master of disguise tries to be herself for once? If you’re private investigator Kat Stone, trouble seems to find you with or without your favorite wig.
Kat knows she’s living on borrowed time, waiting for her violent past to catch up with her. Still, she doesn’t expect men to start falling from the sky. On a desolate morning in Fort Washington Park, Kat discovers the body of her building’s French expat maintenance man atop the Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse. The NYPD is quick to dismiss his death as suicide, another lost soul leaping from the bridge overhead. Kat is less than convinced, especially when she learns about his dangerous side hustle, finding jobs for immigrant members of their community.
Her investigation turns up unexpected connections to Manhattan’s tony art world, not to mention a host of dark superstitions. When she goes undercover with a deep-sea fishing company, she gets a little too cozy with a colorful cast of characters and a couple of jellyfish. Will she find his killer before her past drags her under? From one of the most acclaimed new mystery writers working today comes a riveting novel of suspense that will have you guessing until the last page is turned.
Gregory Pardlo, author of Digest
Poems in Erica Wright’s virtuosic new collection, All the Bayou Stories End with Drowned, have an almost subliminal force. We read them with feline attention, hungering after each line’s fugitive beauty. These poems capture the quicksilver of inspiration, and hold it steady, the way a hummingbird seems motionless sipping from the bud.
Jaswinder Bolina, author of Phantom Camera
You don't need psychedelics or hypnosis. You don't need a shaman or any divine intervention. If it's a trip you're looking for, try Erica Wright's All the Bayou Stories End with Drowned. This is a book that warps the America we know into a mesmerizing weirdness. It scintillates the ordinary. Wright's lyricism, the fantastic juxtapositions in her diction and imagery all give us an alternate vision of our national moment. Equal parts surreal, sinister, and sincere, this is a place you definitely want to visit. It might just be the kind of place you need to live in.
Nick Ripatrazone, The Millions
I loved the strangeness of Wright’s debut, and she’s back with her unique storytelling touch. [...] There’s a matter-of-factness to Wright’s crisp lines, as if we are entering a weird but valid world between these covers.
Carolyn Oliver, Rosemary & Reading Glasses
As you might guess from the title, in this collection you’re in the hands of a gifted storyteller. [...] Highly recommended.
Daniel Ford, Writer's Bone
From her fiery, apocalyptic opener to the eponymous entry that inspired the collection, All the Bayou Stories End With Drowned showcases a poet in firm command of her genre.
Deborah Hauser, Kenyon Review
Two parts lyric, one part American Horror Story, Erica Wright’s uncanny second poetry collection is “an advertisement for despair” that contemplates our worldly and otherworldly fears.
It begins with a bang: Kathleen Stone is watching her friend Dolly and his fellow drag queens perform at the Halloween Parade when their float explodes. Suspecting sabotage, the club's owner hires Kat to find the culprit. But Kat hasn't given up on bringing gangster Salvatore Magrelli to justice and finds herself pulled between identities. While navigating both the grit and glamour of New York City, she realizes that sometimes love and hate can be hard to tell apart.
This brisk, dark, slinky sequel to Erica Wright’s first P.I. novel, The Red Chameleon, again features the winning Kathleen Stone, former cop and current private detective.
When a fiery act of sabotage brings actual horror to a Halloween parade, costume queen Kathleen Stone breaks out her bag of tricks to unmask the killer. It’s no mystery why the writing packs a lyrical kick: The Nashville-based author is a poet and editor for Guernica magazine.—Featured in "3 Southern mysteries to read this fall"
More concentrated than Kathleen’s debut, Wright’s second entry begins to develop a detective who can shine through all those costume changes.
As with all good noir, the plot matters much less than what’s going on in Stone’s head and how her job interferes with every relationship she has in her life. There’s plenty of Wright’s trademark wit and sharp dialogue in this sequel, but the book is at its best when exploring Stone’s dark inner demons. The book comes out Nov. 16, so plan your late fall reading accordingly.—Featured in "5 Books That Should Be on Your Radar"
The Big Thrill
Wright has a crisp, fresh writing style, a flair for language, and a deep understanding of character that made this book a pleasure to read.
Erica Wright's The Granite Moth (Pegasus Crime) struts into hard-boiled territory with a private detective, Kathleen Stone, who's skilled in disguises and has more wigs than Beyoncé[...] All of this makes for a lively read as Kathleen tries to bring down a drug cartel while searching for the person behind a series of hate crimes.
Much of the fun in this layered thriller comes from Wright’s sardonic humor, which is fresh and young and smart, and her prose style, which is not the sort of hackneyed fare that largely populates the thriller genre.
Private dick Kat Stone watches her friend Dolly and his drag buddies as their parade float explodes in The Granite Moth (Pegasus Crime), which takes her deep into a murder investigation, possible hate crimes, and a gangster subplot.—Featured in "The 30 Best Books You Missed in 2015"
Rosemary & Reading Glasses
Are you looking for the right book during the transition from summer into fall? Look no further: with its page-turning plot and crisp autumn setting, Erica Wright’s The Granite Moth is the book for you.
Not since Stephen J. Cannell’s Wiseguy, have I seen something deal so effectively with the emotional toll of a double life—
O, The Oprah Magazine
Kathleen Stone is a private investigator well versed in the art of disguise. Her wigs, costumes and varied personae come in handy in the fight against a revenge-minded villain from her days in the NYPD.—Featured in "Killing It: The Summer's Best Thrillers"
The New York Times
[T]here’s still something very appealing about Kathleen Stone, a quick-change artist who can slip into the persona of Katie, Kat, Kitty, Kathy, Kate, Katya—or her personal favorite, 15-year-old Keith—at the drop of a hat or, more likely, the switch of a wig.
At the start of this riveting crime novel from poet Wright (Instructions for Killing the Jackal), PI Kat Stone, a former NYPD undercover detective, discovers the dead body of Stephen Kramer, the unfaithful husband she's been tailing, in the men's room of an Upper East Side bar. Readers will want to see more of the humorous, thoroughly engaging Kat.
This first outing in crime proves that she is also one of the rare mystery writers who can infuse the genre with both smart humor and artistic prose—all without sacrificing plot. The Red Chameleon is the kind of well-crafted and expertly conceived title that might make thriller fans wish more poets would venture into mystery writing.
Wright's debut novel offers a promising start to a hard-boiled series featuring an idiosyncratic female PI whose quirkiness will appeal to fans of Linda Barnes or Karen Kijewski. The author gives tantalizing glimpses into Stone's undercover career that one hopes will be developed more to help further explain some of her unusual behaviors. The supporting characters are also well developed and absorbing.
Stone is an engaging character with a disturbing background that adds another layer to this first novel. Wright is a little darker and not quite as over the top as Janet Evanovich, but aficionados of humorous mysteries like the Stephanie Plum series and the Lucky O'Toole series by Deborah Coonts will want to add this to their reading lists.
[A] fast-paced, quirky debut.
Jim Fusilli, author of Billboard Man
Erica Wright's The Red Chameleon is a gift to devotees of classical private-eye novels as well as contemporary crime fiction. We're introduced to Kat Stone, a young ex-cop and risk-taking master of disguises who knows that New York City's upscale neighborhoods and downtrodden streets are often populated by the same low-class criminals. We want her to succeed not only so she solves the knotty crime, but so we can share future adventures with this very appealing crime fighter.
Chris Grabenstein, Anthony and Agatha Award-winning author of the John Ceepak Mysteries
Erica Wright is such a wonderful writer, you'll be burning through the pages faster than a chameleon changes colors
Justin Kramon, author of Finny and The Preservationist
The Red Chameleon introduces us to a thrilling new hardboiled world. Wright has created a rich and nuanced protagonist, as well as a gripping plot, and she writes in a style agile enough to veer into surprising pockets of emotion.
Parnell Hall, author of the Stanley Hastings mysteries
A fast and funny private eye novel featuring Kathleen Stone, a kick-ass disguise artist who's a hoot under any name in any wig.
Melodie Johnson Howe, author of City of Mirrors
Kathleen Stone, ex-undercover cop now New York City private investigator, is a woman who is more secure in disguise than she is as herself. In The Red Chameleon, Erica Wright creates a fascinating protagonist coming to terms with her own image and fears while solving the murder of her client's husband. A complex tale filled with humor and sharply drawn characters, Erica Wright takes the reader on a thrilling ride where confronting evil can scare you into hiding or help you to come out of the shadows.
Carolyn Haines, author of The Darkling and The Seeker
When Kathleen Stone steps on the page, you know you're in for a rollicking good ride. Smart, brassy, and willing to risk it all to solve a case, Kathleen is a hard-edged female who packs heat but more often takes aim with her wit and keen powers of observation than bullets. Throw in Meeza, the can-do sidekick, and you have a crime battling team that also gives a glimpse into the cultural melting pot that is NYC. The Red Chameleon is a fast, exciting read that mystery lovers will consume in huge gulps.
Nick Ripatrazone, The Iowa Review
Instructions for Killing the Jackal might not actually be a manual for killing Canis aureus, but it could be a guidebook for poets hoping to write with originality and confidence.
Chris Crawford, Neon Magazine
Wright is not afraid to use the darkest of imagery combined with a violence of language.
Nancy Reddy, Devil's Lake Review
And so it is with Wright's poems, in which the natural world is rendered in precise detail, at once beautiful, violent, and grotesque.
Timothy Donnelly, author of The Cloud Corporation
The poems in Erica Wright’s bold debut balance their investigations of danger, dysfunction and bad weather not merely with beauty and poise (although she is generous with both) but also with an imaginative counterforce all her own. In poem after poem, she sinks her heels into adversity, pulls back on its rope like a pro, and throws down in a language equal to the experience. Wright knows life’s hardships leave their imprints on us, and that there is beauty to be found in the imprinted face—not a delicate prettiness, but a beauty that celebrates persistence, resilience, valor. 'Sever my salt-beaten cords,' she writes in her tough little anthem, 'Prow,' and 'let me…make home / among the wrecked and wonderful.' In this remarkable book—with all its brilliant feats of metaphor, formal prowess, and hard-won wisdom—she has done just that.
Emily Fragos, author of Hostage
Erica Wright's brilliant, gutsy, clear-eyed poems take on her life and its people, the 'wrecked and the wonderful,' with uncanny perception, dead-on amusement, and restrained sorrow. Her indelible imagery—the small town preacher catching toast in his teeth, a cobra with its mouth sewn shut, loosening the stitches enough to hiss—gets into your head and under your skin and alters your vision of bittersweet experience, skewers it, deepens it on the spot.
Christopher Frost, Neon Magazine
Silt is, perhaps, an ideal name for this collection. It is rich, fertile, yet also simple as the earth, and dark with it. The chapbook’s shortness means that it is something to be savoured rather than devoured, and it is highly recommended that you do.
Karen J. Wyatt, The Scrapper Poet
Not only are the characters not afraid to take chances, but the poet herself is not afraid to use uncommon metaphors to explore life’s events.