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Dead Dead Girls (A Harlem Renaissance…
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Dead Dead Girls (A Harlem Renaissance Mystery) (udgave 2021)

af Nekesa Afia (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
853254,572 (3.19)5
Medlem:Conni_W
Titel:Dead Dead Girls (A Harlem Renaissance Mystery)
Forfattere:Nekesa Afia (Forfatter)
Info:Berkley (2021), 336 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:to-read

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Dead Dead Girls af Nekesa Afia

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Set in Harlem in the mid 1920's, readers are treated to a murder mystery in a time and place in history, which has parallels to today in regards to racism and policing. However, debut author Nekesa Afia is not yet as skillful as the master of this genre, Walter Mosley. Louise Lovie Lloyd is in her 20s, and has abandoned her home, because her preacher father is too strict and she is unwilling to marry his choice for a husband. Lou/Lovie works in a diner during the day, dances with abandon at night at a nightclub with her female lover, and they live across the hall from each other in a rooming house. When some of the "workers" from the nightclub are murdered, with increasing savagery, Lou/Lovie slaps a white police detective, who then forces her to help him investigate the murders. She is a determined and courageous, and wants to find the killer to she does not have to worry about her sisters or same-age friends. There are several viable suspects for the murders, and some interesting themes on black-white relationships, crime, etc. You will need to suspend belief a bit, as Lou/Lovie seems overly wise and imaginative in crime solving for someone with little education and no training. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
It’s the Harlem Renaissance, though for young women like Louise Lloyd, scraping by as a waitress, the glamour is superficial while the struggle is real. By day she works at Maggie’s Cafe and by night she dances up a storm with her roommate who she loves and her roommate’s brother at The Zodiac despite the ever-present risk of a police raid. But then there are the Dead Dead Girls.

When a young woman is murdered and Lou finds her body outside Maggie’s, she knows there must be a serial killer at work. So do the police and when she is arrested after a raid, Detective Gilbert, who is in charge of the case, gives her an ultimatum, help solve the case by questioning the witnesses who are reluctant to trust the police (for good reason,) or go to jail.

Asking her to investigate isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds. In her teens, she was kidnapped and managed to rescue herself and the other girls held by her captor. She is the “Harlem Hero” and that reputation brings some expectations. She begins her investigation by going to the girls who worked with murdered girls and then to their families. There are a few red herrings, but most of the investigation is through the accretion of one clue after another.

Dead Dead Girls is a fair mystery. No unseen, unknown murderer pops up in the end. Since Louise loved music so much, I will describe the pace as staccato. Transitions were often abrupt. It was also frustrating as when there is a known serial killer preying on women who work at clubs, why then does she go out and about at night as though she had armed escorts. It seems unlikely she would be so heedless of her own jeopardy. The denouement was fair but hasty. There’s all this buildup and then it’s over in a minute. We need more payoff when the killer is caught. Nonetheless, there are many good points to the book. The sense of place is fantastic and I love how the motif of music is carried through. I liked Lou and think could become a great series. Since this is the first in the series, it may just have some growing pains.

I received an e-galley of Dead Dead Girls from the publisher through NetGalley.

Dead Dead Girls at Berkley | Penguin Random House
Nekesa Afia author site

https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2021/06/20/9780593199107/ ( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Jun 20, 2021 |
Fun concept (reluctant Black girl detective in 1920's Harlem) but it's too dark and gritty for my personal tastes.

The first thing to be aware of is that this book is not a cozy mystery. The second is that it starts off with a kidnapping, and though the MC is able to free herself (which is not a spoiler as it happens in the first few pages), the incident does get brought up repeatedly throughout the book. There is also a scene with an attempted rape, several descriptions of the bodies of murdered girls (with varying degrees of detail), and lots of scenes with social drinking and cigarette smoking. Plus the expected racism and underlying homophobia you would expect from a novel set in this era. Everything fits well into the book's setting, but if you—like me—prefer lighter books this one might not be your cup of tea. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | Jun 9, 2021 |
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