Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
In Dead Dead Girls by Nekesa Afia 1920s Harlem is the backdrop for a mystery starring an intrepid 26 year old named Louise Lloyd, also known as Harlem’s Hero.
At 16, Louise rescued herself & other Black teen girls from a kidnapper. Now, ten years later, she works at a cafe, loves to go out dancing with her friend & lover Rosa Maria, & is alienated from her family after angering her strictly religious father.
But things grow much more complicated for our heroine when young Black women are murdered & placed outside Louise’s work & she’s forced to help investigate their deaths.
There are lots of things about Dead Dead Girls that captivate: the intriguing setting & how it’s captured w/ little details; how independent Louise is & her punchy one-liners; her striking observations about how Black women are treated & how white police officers discriminate against Black residents of Harlem.
I love when she takes off on her own investigations, how ingenious she is in making use of her clothes for hiding things.
The glitz of the flapper lifestyle & Louise’s personality draw me in but overall, the mystery itself doesn’t feel as tight as it could be, particularly at the end.
Dead Dead Girls offers a compelling backdrop & a resourceful, glamorous heroine, but the mystery doesn’t hit quite as hard as I’d like.
3.5 ⭐️. Release date: 06/01
Give me that HEA, please.
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