Dead Dead Girls: A Harlem Renaissance Mystery

Nekesa Afia. Berkley Prime Crime, $16 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-19910-7
Set in 1926 Harlem, Afia’s atmospheric debut and series launch introduces Louise Lloyd, a 26-year-old Black waitress who lives for nights spent drinking and dancing. After Louise punches a white patrolman to prevent a racially motivated arrest, she fears she’s facing a prison sentence. Then Det. Theodore Gilbert extends an offer: help him catch the serial killer preying upon neighborhood Black girls, and he’ll expunge her record. Louise will have an easier time of extracting information from victims’ loved ones than Gilbert—a white Brit—and he already knows her to be brave and resourceful, since Louise escaped a kidnapper and freed her fellow captives when she was a teenager. Louise immerses herself in the case, taking increasingly big risks to uncover the truth as the body count climbs. Readers will root for intrepid, fiery Louise, who elevates the mystery despite a disjointed investigation and haphazard denouement. The author couples tender relationships with strong senses of era and place. Afia has made an auspicious start. Agent: Travis Pennington, Knight Agency. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/31/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-593-19911-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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