Let That Be the Reason

A Novel

Let That Be the Reason

Written in prison and based on real-life experiences, the novel that launched the writing and publishing career of the bestselling author of Still Dirty, Dirty Red, and Imagine This…“the reigning queen of urban fiction” (Publishers Weekly).

Let That Be the Reason is the novel Vickie M. Stringer wrote when she was still serving her seven-year sentence for drug trafficking. When she couldn’t find a publisher, she printed the novel herself and sold it out of the trunk of her car. “I’ve exposed myself with the prayer that my life can be used as an example to warn other of the awful dangers of the drug Game,” she wrote in its Afterword. Let That Be the Reason begins when a drug dealer abandons his girlfriend Pamela Xavier, leaving her with nothing but a stack of bills, an empty refrigerator, and an impending eviction notice. Backed in a corner and with no prospects in sight, Pamela decides to get her hustle on. Transforming herself into Carmen, she learns to deal with the streets, the playas, the drug lords, and of course the law—by any means necessary. In no time, she is running a call-girl service, a fencing operation, and a drug cartel—all while still being a mom. Carmen wants money, but she also wants happiness. The problem is, she doesn’t quite understand what real happiness is and what real love means—or what it all costs.
  • Atria Books | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416570486 | 
  • March 2009
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Let That Be The Reason includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Let That Be the Reason is Vickie Stringer’s debut novel based on her real-life experiences. Pamela Xavier is abandoned by her drug-dealing boyfriend with a stack of bills, no food in the fridge, and an impending eviction notice. With no job prospects, Pamela feels backed into a corner and decides to get her “hustle” on. As a woman caught up in a male-dominated game, Pammy relies on her alter ego, Carmen, to deal with the streets, playas, dealers, drug lords, and of course, the law.

In no time, Carmen is on the come-up, running a call-girl service, fencing operation, and drug cartel—and being a mom. With money on her mind, Carmen’s hustle is taking the streets by storm, but the ever-present danger of the police and rival hustlers makes staying in the game—or getting out of it—equally perilous.

Let That Be the Reason is a saga of consequences, forgiveness, and life-changing decisions.  

Topics & Questions for Discussion 

1. The novel describ see more

More Books from this Author

The Vickie M. Stringer Reader's Companion
The Dirty Red Reader's Companion
Low Down and Dirty
The Dirty Red Series

About the Author

Vickie M. Stringer
Photograph by Keagen Trier

Vickie M. Stringer

Vickie M. Stringer is the author of Essence bestsellers, including Imagine This, Let that Be the Reason, Dirty Red, Still Dirty, and Dirtier Than Ever. She is the publisher of Triple Crown publications, one of the most successful African American book publishers in the U.S. and abroad. She has been featured in such prominent news media as The New York Times, Newsweek, MTV News, Publishers Weekly, Vibe, Millionaire Blueprints, Writer's Newsweek, Black Expressions, and many more. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her two children.