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To Funk and Die in LA


Ex-bodyguard D Hunter is swept into the City of Angels on a dark mission to find his mysterious grandfather’s killer.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

“George explores funk in his fine fourth novel featuring D Hunter, New York bodyguard and, by virtue of his jobs and interests, music historian.”
Publishers Weekly

“Ex-bodyguard D Hunter travels from Brooklyn to Los Angeles to investigate the circumstances surrounding his grandfather’s murder in the fourth entry in this series by critic and journalist George . . . read this for its passionate and unresolved argument about the still-beating heart of R&B.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Critic and journalist George knows the streets and his work has a gritty feel that will hold readers’ attention. Name-dropping of 1970s and 1980s performers such as the Dazz Band, Shalamar, and Chaka Khan adds spice to this well-crafted mystery.”
Library Journal Xpress Reviews

“A must-read!”

To Funk and Die in LA is a supercharged spin through the dynamic, ever-changing neighborhoods of urban LA. Nelson George’s new book is full of music, secrets, heart, and more than a little heartbreak.”
Nina Revoyr, author of Southland

“Inventive and well-written . . . I really enjoyed To Funk and Die in LA.”
—Don Winslow, author of Savages

Praise for the D Hunter Series:

“D Hunter is as world weary, yet steadfast, as Philip Marlowe, Spenser, Dave Robicheaux, or Easy Rawlins.”
Library Journal (starred review, Pick of the Month)

“Written in the spirit of authors such as Walter Mosley and Donald Goines . . . The book blends music from the past with thug appeal of the present to appeal to young and old alike.”
Baltimore Times, on The Lost Treasures of R&B


To Funk and Die in LA, the fourth book in the D Hunter crime-fiction series, brings the ex-bodyguard to the City of Angels on a very dark mission when his grandfather, businessman Daniel “Big Danny” Hunter, is shot dead in a drive-by. Why would someone execute a grocery store owner? D soon finds there was more to Big Danny’s life than selling loaves of bread. The old man, it turns out, was deeply involved with Dr. Funk, a legendary musical innovator who has become a mysterious recluse.

Most of the novel takes place in the LA neighborhoods of Crenshaw, Koreatown, and Pico-Union—areas where black, Asian, and Latino cultures intersect away from the glamour of Hollywood—and echoes of the 1992 riots play a significant role in D’s investigation. In the tradition of Raymond Chandler and Walter Mosley, D Hunter rides through the mean streets of Los Angeles seeking truth and not always finding justice.

Included in BookRiot’s list of Inclusive Mystery/Thrillers from September and October.

Listen to an interview with Nelson George from Martha Frankel on Woodstock Booktalk.

Listen to an interview with Nelson George on The Come Up with Margot and Cassie podcast.

Read the interviews with Nelson George in the Philadelphia Tribune and Los Angeles Review of Books.

Read a feature on Nelson George in the Philadelphia Sun and at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Included in Publishers Weekly’s Notable African American Titles, 2017-2018 and African-American Interest Adult Titles roundup, 2017-2018.

Watch an interview with Nelson George on BRIC TV.

Nelson George was included in T: The New York Times Style Magazine‘s Holiday 2018 feature on 32 Black Male Writers for Our Time.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Published: 9/5/17
  • IBSN: 9781617755866
  • e-IBSN: 9781617756023
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617755859


NELSON GEORGE is an author, filmmaker, and lifelong resident of Brooklyn. His books include the first four novels in his D Hunter mystery series: The Accidental Hunter, The Plot Against Hip Hop, The Lost Treasures of R&B, and To Funk and Die in LA, all available from Akashic Books. Among his many nonfiction works are The Death of Rhythm & Blues, Hip Hop America, and The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture & Style. As a filmmaker he has directed the documentaries Brooklyn Boheme, Finding the Funk, and A Ballerina’s Tale. He was also a writer/producer on the Netflix series The Get Down. The Darkest Hearts is his latest novel.

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