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Dead Dead Girls: 10/12/21
Dead Dead Girls by Nekesa Afia and Shayna Small (Narrator) is the start of the Harlem Renaissance mystery series. Louise Lloyd saved herself and two other teenaged girls from a kidnapping. Now a decade later girls are going missing again and their bodies are left to be found near the speakeasy where they worked.
Louise has the misfortune of finding one of these dead girls. That puts her in contact with a slick talking detective. He forces her into working with him on the investigation. It's a set up that reminds me of Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley (1990). The difference here is that the stakes are higher, just as they would have been if Mosley's book had been written from Daphne's point of view.
As with a few other mysteries I've read this year that were also published this year, Afia's novel addresses police brutality. This one, though, being a mystery by a Black women about Black women, also looks head on at racism, misogyny, and patriarchy. The afterword includes the author's thoughts on writing the book as well as her decision to use a historical setting to comment on today's issues.