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Although Ben Winters is ending his popular, award-winning Last Policeman series, the author will be back with a new series.

Winters, whose profile graces the current issue of Mystery Scene, has sold a new novel, called Underground Airlines, to Josh Kendall at Mulholland Books.

Underground Airlines is described as an “epic contemporary detective story,” according to Publishers Weekly, set in an alternate world in which the Civil War never happened and slavery still exists in the American South. The novel follows an undercover agent trying to capture an escaped slave.

On his website, Winters says that "the hero of Underground Airlines is seriously about as different from Detective Palace as you can imagine, both as a person and as a type of hero. And while the Policeman series was about the end of the world, about death and how we live with death, this book is about race and racism, it’s about grief, it’s about the horror of American slavery (and in particular the Constitutional nightmare of the Fugitive Slave Law), and it’s about compromise."

Sounds intriguing.

Publication is planned for spring 2016, Winters told me in an email

Winters’ Last Policeman trilogy about a pre-apocalyptic planet brought him a spot on the New York Times Best Sellers List, critical acclaim, a solid readership, and awards.

Winters’ first in the series, The Last Policeman, earned the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original from the Mystery Writers of America, was named one of the Best Books of 2012 by Amazon.com and Slate, and was nominated for the Macavity Award for Best Mystery by Mystery Readers International. The second in the trilogy, Countdown City, won the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award for distinguished original science fiction paperback and was named an NPR Best Book of 2013. The final novel in the series, World of Trouble, hit bookstores and reading devices this past July

Winters, who has written titles for adults and children, also is the author of the bestselling Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

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