John Armistead

Mystery Novels

A Legacy of Vengeance, Carroll & Graf, 1994

A Homecoming for Murder, Carroll & Graf, 1995

Cruel As the Grave, Carroll & Graf, 1996

Young Adult Books

The $66 Summer, Milkweed Editions, 2000

The Return of Gabriel, Milkweed Editions, 2002

John Armistead at the Young Writers Workshop, University of Mississippi, 2014.


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A Legacy of Vengeance
Carroll & Graf, 1994 (hardcover)
Dell, 1997 (paperback)

Sheriff Grover Bramlett is a man who'll sneak a pinch of tobacco in his garage and daydream about the watercolor he's working on in an adult-ed class. But over twenty years ago, when the Mississippi summer was burning with night riders and Klan violence, Bramlett was a man who took a chance, told a lie, and followed his convictions. Now the past is coming back- to him and Chakchium County - in a string of brutal murders ...

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A Homecoming for Murder
Carroll & Graf, 1995 (hardcover)
Dell, 1998 (paperback)

In the town of Sheffield, Mississippi, football is next to godliness, and homecoming is the shrine. But this year, as the homecoming queen - one white, one black - are crowned and families take their usual places in the stands, shocking news is broadcast over the stadium loudspeakers: a poplular high school teacher has been found murdered in a cemetery on the edge of town.

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Cruel as the Grave
Carroll & Graf, 1996 (hardback)
Dell, 1998 (paperback)

The killing of Naresse Clouse, mother of four, was the stuff of nightmares. The pretty restaurant hostess was shot, stabbed, and left hanging in a rural barn, where some said she was meeting a lover. Three years later her killer has not been found, but no one in Sheffield, Mississippi, has forgotten her, including Sheriff Grover Bramlett ...

The $66 Summer
Milkweed Editions, 2000

Three teenage friends, one white and two black, confront the violence of racism in Alabama during the summer of 1955.

The Return of Gabriel
Milkweed Editions, 2002

Two thirteen-year-old boys, one white and the other black, find their world turned upside down in the summer of 1964 when civil rights workers come to their Mississippi town and the Ku Klux Klan reacts.

Bramlett's Return
Journal Publishing (2006)

Grover Bramlett, now retired, is stalked by someone from the past. (Avaiable on-line at

Selected Works

A Sheriff Grover Bramlett mystery
A Sheriff Grover Bramlett mystery
A Sheriff Bramlett mystery
Young adult fiction
A thirteen-year-old boy in Alabama visits his grandmother and learns about the violence of racism.
A thirteen-year-old boy is caught up in the violence of Mississippi in the summer of 1964.