Paula L. Woods

Paula L. Woods is the author of the Charlotte Justice mystery series, including STRANGE BEDFELLOWS (2006). In conjunction with publication of the fourth novel in the series, Paula is sponsoring the Get Justice! Sweepstakes on her website,, where a lucky winner can win a weekend in Los Angeles. She invites you to visit the site and enter the sweepstakes.

DIRTY LAUNDRY (2003), third novel in the Charlotte Justice series, was named a best mystery by the Seattle Times and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel STORMY WEATHER (2001), the second in the series, was a September 2001 Penzler's Pick on and was named one of the best books of 2001 by the Los Angeles Times and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. INNER CITY BLUES (1999), the first Charlotte Justice mystery, was on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list for three weeks and was also named by the newspaper as one of the best books of 1999. Inner City Blues received the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, was named Best First Novel by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and was nominated for the Edgar and Anthony awards for best first mystery novel.

Paula began writing mysteries after studying the genre and editing the critically acclaimed anthology SPOOKS, SPIES, AND PRIVATE EYES: BLACK MYSTERY, CRIME, AND SUSPENSE FICTION OF THE 20TH CENTURY (1995). Although SPOOKS, SPIES was nominated for an Anthony Award, Macavity Award, and received a special award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Woods always thought a voice was missing from the collection, "that of a female cop who was tough as nails but feminine enough to get her nails done." Charlotte Justice was her dynamic addition to the genre.

With Felix H. Liddell, Paula also wrote and/or edited the best-selling I, TOO SING AMERICA: THE AFRICAN AMERICAN BOOK OF DAYS (1992), as well as MERRY CHRISTMAS, BABY: A CHRISTMAS AND KWANZAA TREASURY (1996), and I HEAR A SYMPHONY: AFRICAN AMERICANS CELEBRATE LOVE (1994), the latter of which won Fiction Honors from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Multicultural Literature.

A member of the National Book Critics Circle, she reviews books regularly for the Los Angeles Times and has served a a mystery columnist for the Washington Post.

Paula is a member of Mystery Writers of America and other crime writing associations. She has also served as an Edgar judge, on the Author Committee of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and speaker at the festival.

Paula's novels are noted by critics for their searing analysis of race and gender politics in the LAPD, portrayal of a loving if dysfunctional family and strong evocation of Los Angeles' diverse ethnic communities. An L.A. native, Paula's lifelong love of books and reading has resulted in the growth of her personal library to over 1,000 volumes.

Paula L. Woods

Books by Paula L. Woods