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Harlem Sunset

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Harlem, 1927 With the horrors of the summer and the Girl Killer behind her, Louise Lloyd is eager to usher in her 28th year with her girlfriend and best friend by her side. When Nora Davies, one of the girls Louise was kidnapped with, reintroduces herself, Louise is wary to connect. By the next morning, Nora will be dead, Rosa Maria Moreno covered in her blood, and no one Harlem, 1927 With the horrors of the summer and the Girl Killer behind her, Louise Lloyd is eager to usher in her 28th year with her girlfriend and best friend by her side. When Nora Davies, one of the girls Louise was kidnapped with, reintroduces herself, Louise is wary to connect. By the next morning, Nora will be dead, Rosa Maria Moreno covered in her blood, and no one can remember what happened. With Rosa Maria's freedom on the line, Louise must get to the bottom of Nora's death before time runs out.


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Harlem, 1927 With the horrors of the summer and the Girl Killer behind her, Louise Lloyd is eager to usher in her 28th year with her girlfriend and best friend by her side. When Nora Davies, one of the girls Louise was kidnapped with, reintroduces herself, Louise is wary to connect. By the next morning, Nora will be dead, Rosa Maria Moreno covered in her blood, and no one Harlem, 1927 With the horrors of the summer and the Girl Killer behind her, Louise Lloyd is eager to usher in her 28th year with her girlfriend and best friend by her side. When Nora Davies, one of the girls Louise was kidnapped with, reintroduces herself, Louise is wary to connect. By the next morning, Nora will be dead, Rosa Maria Moreno covered in her blood, and no one can remember what happened. With Rosa Maria's freedom on the line, Louise must get to the bottom of Nora's death before time runs out.

30 review for Harlem Sunset

  1. 4 out of 5

    PamG

    Set in Harlem in the late 1920’s, Harlem Sunset by Nekesa Afia brings to life the vibrant nightlife, jazz music, dancing, and cultural awareness of the times. It’s not just a historical mystery, but also the journey of protagonist Louise Lloyd as she comes to terms with who and what she is. Louise is the new manager of a club owned by her friend Rafael Moreno, the brother of Louise’s girlfriend, Rosa Maria. As they are set to celebrate Louise’s birthday, Nora Davies joins them. Nora and Loui Set in Harlem in the late 1920’s, Harlem Sunset by Nekesa Afia brings to life the vibrant nightlife, jazz music, dancing, and cultural awareness of the times. It’s not just a historical mystery, but also the journey of protagonist Louise Lloyd as she comes to terms with who and what she is. Louise is the new manager of a club owned by her friend Rafael Moreno, the brother of Louise’s girlfriend, Rosa Maria. As they are set to celebrate Louise’s birthday, Nora Davies joins them. Nora and Louise were two of the girls kidnapped a decade ago. Louise, Rafael, Rosa Maria, Nora, and Eugene (Rafael’s boyfriend) spend the night drinking and talking, but eventually fall asleep. When they awaken, Nora is dead, and Rosa Maria is covered in blood. Did Rosa Maria kill Nora or did someone frame her? The author does a great job on characterization, providing not just a physical description, but gradually showing readers their shortcomings and strengths. Louise is a likeable but flawed character. She has a need to know the truth, is nonjudgmental, tends to joke in uncomfortable situations, tends to ignore things she shouldn’t, and suffers from PTSD from her earlier events including her kidnapping. She also was the main caretaker of her three younger sisters as they grew up. Louise is a dynamic character who changes and grows as the story progresses. The supporting characters had a variety of depths appropriate to their roles. This story captivated me from the very beginning. The author brought the characters and the cultural lifestyles of the times and place to life. The plot is multi-faceted, and the conflicts move the story forward with twists and turns that gradually builds momentum. The author does a great job of world-building. I was able to easily visualize the settings, the people, the clothing, and the homes. The atmosphere felt right for the times resulting in a strong sense of time and place. She effortlessly weaved themes of family, friendship, lifestyle, loneliness, the treatment and expectations of women, domestic abuse, grief, and murder into the plot. My only quibble is that the story slowed down too much in a couple of places. Overall, this book was an engaging, captivating, suspenseful, and enjoyable historical mystery and character journey. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. While this novel is the second in the series, it worked well as a stand-alone. However, reading the books in order would enhance the reading experience. Readers that enjoy character-driven historical mysteries will likely enjoy this series. Berkley Publishing Group and Nekesa Afia provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for June 28, 2022. This review was originally posted at Mystery and Suspense Magazine. ----------------------------------------------- My review will be posted during the week prior to publication (per publisher's guidelines).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nekesa Afia

    still not a cozy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    2.5 Stars I don't know if this series is going to have more books in it, but I'm done. The first book Dead Dead Girls was fine. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it and I was interested enough to read this book. But Harlem Sunset just wasn't it. The things I liked: 1. The 1920's setting was great 2. Fox Schoonmaker. I needed more of him 3. Getting more of Louise's family dynamic 4. It's a quick read. Things I didn't like: 1. Louise's girlfriend Rosa Marie. She's boring and has no personality 2. Lo 2.5 Stars I don't know if this series is going to have more books in it, but I'm done. The first book Dead Dead Girls was fine. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it and I was interested enough to read this book. But Harlem Sunset just wasn't it. The things I liked: 1. The 1920's setting was great 2. Fox Schoonmaker. I needed more of him 3. Getting more of Louise's family dynamic 4. It's a quick read. Things I didn't like: 1. Louise's girlfriend Rosa Marie. She's boring and has no personality 2. Louise's naivete 3. The fact that Louise trust everybody she's ever met 4. Just like in book 1, as soon as the murderer appeared I knew they were the murderer and this time I knew why they did it It's really sad that I didn't enjoy this series. I really wanted to but I just don't think this series or this author is for me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Painter

    Disclaimer #1: I adore this author and consider her a friend. Disclaimer #2: If I HAAAATED this author and wanted to punch her in the face, I would still LOVE this book (which would piss me off, so I'm glad I like her). Lou is back, being just as spectacularly Lou as in DDG. This tired, tiny lesbian is at it again and I have missed her so much! Just as smart, just as clever, just as deadpan with the dry wit. She's begrudgingly solving crime again, this time to save Rosa Maria, and she is fierce an Disclaimer #1: I adore this author and consider her a friend. Disclaimer #2: If I HAAAATED this author and wanted to punch her in the face, I would still LOVE this book (which would piss me off, so I'm glad I like her). Lou is back, being just as spectacularly Lou as in DDG. This tired, tiny lesbian is at it again and I have missed her so much! Just as smart, just as clever, just as deadpan with the dry wit. She's begrudgingly solving crime again, this time to save Rosa Maria, and she is fierce and fabulous and everything I want to be. Afia is masterful at capturing Harlem in the twenties, sweeping the reader away to the glamour. The fashion, the language, the clubs - her worldbuilding is lush, while at the same time authentic. I don't know that much about this period of history, but I never doubted a single detail of this amazing book. I must go now, and re-read DDG so I can re-read Harlem Sunset.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Everett

    This book. Oh, how I love this book. I will list the reasons and before I am finished you will have clicked “buy.” One, the writing. I am a fool for rhythmic, stark prose. Afia does not clutter her passages with anything more than what she needs to center the reader then punch them in the gut. Gorgeous and gives me chills. Two, Lou. Oh, Lou, you tiny, tired lesbian. How I adore the way your brain works. Lou is older and wiser only in drips and drabs in this installment. Afia doesn’t coddle her am This book. Oh, how I love this book. I will list the reasons and before I am finished you will have clicked “buy.” One, the writing. I am a fool for rhythmic, stark prose. Afia does not clutter her passages with anything more than what she needs to center the reader then punch them in the gut. Gorgeous and gives me chills. Two, Lou. Oh, Lou, you tiny, tired lesbian. How I adore the way your brain works. Lou is older and wiser only in drips and drabs in this installment. Afia doesn’t coddle her amateur sleuth, instead, she challenges her with a world always spinning off it’s axis and I loved watching Lou navigate through life with dry wit and an enormous heart. Three, the setting. Harlem in the twenties. The clubs, the clothes, the slang – I wouldn’t want to live back then but Aafia does an excellent job of putting me there in this book. Four, the plot. I gave up trying to guess who did it in mysteries a long time ago. I am just along for the ride, and I deeply enjoyed this one. Lou’s girlfriend is framed for murder and the resulting fallout is nail-bitingly compelling and wildly entertaining in the way that good mysteries can have you cringing and lunging forward at the same time. Afia has penned another winner and I cannot wait for the next in the series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Jazz Age reluctant detective Louise Lloyd is back, and she's better than ever. HARLEM SUNSET follows Lou and her crew through the harrowing aftermath of the Girl Killer case, which has very real repercussions for their mental health and their physical safety. The book deals honestly and thoughtfully with the fallout of trauma and depression, while at the same time delivering a high-stakes mystery that leaves the reader second-guessing every secondary character. Here, the consequences of trusting Jazz Age reluctant detective Louise Lloyd is back, and she's better than ever. HARLEM SUNSET follows Lou and her crew through the harrowing aftermath of the Girl Killer case, which has very real repercussions for their mental health and their physical safety. The book deals honestly and thoughtfully with the fallout of trauma and depression, while at the same time delivering a high-stakes mystery that leaves the reader second-guessing every secondary character. Here, the consequences of trusting the wrong stranger are very real, and some mistakes can't be undone, no matter how much the characters long to. With brisk prose and enough dance numbers in smoky clubs to satisfy any 1920s enthusiast, HARLEM SUNSET is a highly satisfying second installation of a standout mystery series. Thanks to the author and Berkley for providing a review copy!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Skip

    The sequel to Nekesa Afia's Dead Dead Girls in which Louise Lloyd manages to bring a serial killer to justice. Set in Harlem in the 1920s, Louise is the now the manager of a dance club owned by the brother of Louise’s girlfriend, Rosa Maria. To celebrate Louise’s birthday, a group of her their friends are drinking the night away, eventually falling asleep. Early the next morning, one of the revelers is dead, and the cops want the perp. Once again, they bully Louise into helping because white cop The sequel to Nekesa Afia's Dead Dead Girls in which Louise Lloyd manages to bring a serial killer to justice. Set in Harlem in the 1920s, Louise is the now the manager of a dance club owned by the brother of Louise’s girlfriend, Rosa Maria. To celebrate Louise’s birthday, a group of her their friends are drinking the night away, eventually falling asleep. Early the next morning, one of the revelers is dead, and the cops want the perp. Once again, they bully Louise into helping because white cops cannot get any cooperation in Harlem. Meanwhile, a persistent reporter manages to convince Louise to speak with her when she has refused all prior approaches. When they share an unexpected moment, Rosa Maria breaks up while Louise longs for her lover, but has to solve the murder. Sadly, the killer was too easy to discern for readers, Louise learned nothing from her last case (as naive as ever), and the magic of Harlem lost its luster in this one.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    3.5 This follow up to Dead dead girls didn't have quite the same panache as the original but I did still really enjoy returning to 1920s Harlem New York and Louise's evolution as a young, queer Black woman. The murder mystery kept me guessing til the end and overall it was an enjoyable listen on audio! 3.5 This follow up to Dead dead girls didn't have quite the same panache as the original but I did still really enjoy returning to 1920s Harlem New York and Louise's evolution as a young, queer Black woman. The murder mystery kept me guessing til the end and overall it was an enjoyable listen on audio!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    The second in the series after Louise Lloyd helps solve a case of a murdered girl and some crazy stuff happens in the first book. She's getting her life back with a new job and her best friend who she lives with (girlfriend). When they bump into an acquaintance from a long time ago while they are drinking then wake up to a murder. To clear her and her girlfriends names she must solve the case. Having to deal with misogyny, racism and homophobia in the 20's. But Louise is a very strong person and is The second in the series after Louise Lloyd helps solve a case of a murdered girl and some crazy stuff happens in the first book. She's getting her life back with a new job and her best friend who she lives with (girlfriend). When they bump into an acquaintance from a long time ago while they are drinking then wake up to a murder. To clear her and her girlfriends names she must solve the case. Having to deal with misogyny, racism and homophobia in the 20's. But Louise is a very strong person and is not taking anyone's shit. Thank you berkleypub and netgalley for the e-ARC for my honest and voluntary review! #harlemsunset

  10. 5 out of 5

    Desiree

    I listened to Dead Dead Girls (book 1) last year and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to get a copy of HARLEM SUNSET from @berkleypub last month! Second books tend to be a little rough for me for the most part. I didn’t love this one as much as the first, but I did enjoy getting to know the characters a bit more. The 1920s New York setting definitely shined through - this book will make you want to dance the Charleston all night at the speakeasy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Coffee&Books

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. After a certain point in a book I get tired. Particularly in a novel where there is a murder to solve, I am single minded- WHODUNIT. I’m seeing a lot of litfic +murder that seems marketed as a mystery but is really about the main character’s personal journey and… that isn’t what I thought I was getting from the blurb. Much like book 1 in the series, I got to about 60% and started skipping around. I was uninterested about anything but solving the murder (except whomever was breaking in to let Lou After a certain point in a book I get tired. Particularly in a novel where there is a murder to solve, I am single minded- WHODUNIT. I’m seeing a lot of litfic +murder that seems marketed as a mystery but is really about the main character’s personal journey and… that isn’t what I thought I was getting from the blurb. Much like book 1 in the series, I got to about 60% and started skipping around. I was uninterested about anything but solving the murder (except whomever was breaking in to let Louise know they think she’s a killer) and lemme just say- this is fiction so the author is free to take license but there is no setting in Harlem in the early 1900s in which a woman who is not Caucasian wakes up in a room covered in the blood of a dead woman and is able to talk herself out of being arrested and ALSO cuts a deal to find the real killer, especially considering she isn’t law enforcement. The disbelief I had to suspend to pull myself through this book is… it’s just too great. I cannot, and continued to cannot through the entire book. I have no issues with Afia’s writing and the skilled story telling is what kept me going. The story itself, from the premise forward, does not grab me. I feel that there are scenes added to wrap around the ‘whodunit’ to make the book longer when all I really care about is who murdered Nora. Though I do feel the want from the characters to live their lives to live her life as openly in the street as they live in their apartment, the addition of a lesbian relationship and the trials within again seems added to give the story heft. I suppose I am more single minded and linear but I’m always thinking…..what does this have to do with the plot of the book? It didn’t hit for me but did for others I’ll be happy to be in the minority.

  12. 5 out of 5

    dany

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. While I don't think I can ever get used to this writing style, as I prefer something more complex and detailed, I will say it has enough of everything else to draw me in and keep me there. I like all the characters (the main trio is nicely fleshed out, and I LOVED Schoonmaker), and the 1920s setting is nicely played in without being overdramatic (except perhaps the slang at times). As a (soon-to-be) historian, it didn't feel at all like a drag trying to picture myself in the correct time period While I don't think I can ever get used to this writing style, as I prefer something more complex and detailed, I will say it has enough of everything else to draw me in and keep me there. I like all the characters (the main trio is nicely fleshed out, and I LOVED Schoonmaker), and the 1920s setting is nicely played in without being overdramatic (except perhaps the slang at times). As a (soon-to-be) historian, it didn't feel at all like a drag trying to picture myself in the correct time period and place. I love the author's first and last chapters and the use of present tense. It feels very effective, as did the parallels of Emily/Harriet arriving from England and Louise leaving for Paris. Louise is a good mystery protagonist; she kind of just sucks, which is how it should be, because she never stops learning. (Sucks like a real human, not as a character, obviously.) I want to read more of her adventures, but it's so depressing seeing her face so much death that I somehow can't see her having any more?? But since this is only the second book (and the last chapter definitely insinuates more detective work) I'm sure there must be more and I await it all eagerly. That said, I'm sad about her and Rosa Maria. I thought they would reunite in the end and it felt very upsetting that they decided to give each other up as their first loves. As a narrative choice I don't have an opinion one way or the other, though. I guessed the killer pretty quickly, but it was set up perfectly well and I felt very satisfied in being right (I didn't put much thought into the killer for the first novel, and I don't often guess the correct conclusion of mysteries, especially not ones written by Agatha Christie). The climax was maybe a bit rushed/odd=sounding but I like the build-up more in mysteries anyway. AND ANOTHER THING... I think Laura Cameron (Gilbert's ex-love) should have been introduced earlier in the novel and been more of a maternal figure for Louise as she was in that single scene. It would have been really important to her, and worked narratively in my opinion, since everything Louise does is for family (specifically Josie).

  13. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    Harlem Sunset by Nekesa Afia Berkley Publishing Group, Berkley Black speakeasy manager Louise Lloyd investigates a murder too close to home in 1927. An OwnVoices histfic gem, with beautifully developed characters and a plot that won't let you go. Named a People Magazine best book of summer 2022. #HarlemSunset #NekesaAfia #histficmystery #1927novel #ownvoicesbooks #berkleypublishing #NetGalley #bookstagramcommunity Harlem Sunset by Nekesa Afia Berkley Publishing Group, Berkley Black speakeasy manager Louise Lloyd investigates a murder too close to home in 1927. An OwnVoices histfic gem, with beautifully developed characters and a plot that won't let you go. Named a People Magazine best book of summer 2022. #HarlemSunset #NekesaAfia #histficmystery #1927novel #ownvoicesbooks #berkleypublishing #NetGalley #bookstagramcommunity

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amy Marie

    A great second book in the series! I thought the mystery was a bit obvious. However, the characters were fantastic as always. Lots of interesting subplots! The ending of this punched me in the gut with how everything wrapped up. Excellent historical fiction read - very interesting!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kailee

    I started this book a bit after reading the first. The first was an all new subject in a variety of ways. That book was good, this one was better. So much so that I read it in only a few hours. Louise is a wonderful character who is complex, thoughtful and very real. She’s aware of the bad stuff but also is aware of the need to put it out of your head. She’s understanding of everyone’s plight and cares deeply for those who she loves. This book was such a fun read. It wasn’t completely a mystery, I started this book a bit after reading the first. The first was an all new subject in a variety of ways. That book was good, this one was better. So much so that I read it in only a few hours. Louise is a wonderful character who is complex, thoughtful and very real. She’s aware of the bad stuff but also is aware of the need to put it out of your head. She’s understanding of everyone’s plight and cares deeply for those who she loves. This book was such a fun read. It wasn’t completely a mystery, lots of hints dropped even in the very beginning. Especially if you recently read the first book. But that didn’t take any of the fun away. The ending wasn’t exactly what I expected and I’m curious as to where Louise is going next. I won this book in a giveaway but it didn’t change my opinion of the work. It’s worth the 5 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    In the late 1920’s Harlem is the place for great nightlife, jazz, dancing and more. Louise is the new manager of a club owned by her friend Rafael who is the brother of Louise’s girlfriend, Rosa. They are going to celebrate Louise’s birthday when Nora joins them. It’s to be a night of drinking and talking ending up in falling asleep. When they wake up Nora is dead and Rosa is covered with blood. Did Rosa kill her or was she framed? Louise believes that Rosa didn’t do it. Who did it? The author r In the late 1920’s Harlem is the place for great nightlife, jazz, dancing and more. Louise is the new manager of a club owned by her friend Rafael who is the brother of Louise’s girlfriend, Rosa. They are going to celebrate Louise’s birthday when Nora joins them. It’s to be a night of drinking and talking ending up in falling asleep. When they wake up Nora is dead and Rosa is covered with blood. Did Rosa kill her or was she framed? Louise believes that Rosa didn’t do it. Who did it? The author recreates the 1920’s Harlem with characters and lifestyle of the time. It is a multi-faceted plot. The story has twists and turns that starts moving in a breathless suspenseful historical mystery. It enthralled me in spite of being the second in a series. I was initially afraid that I might be missing something since it was the second book as I had not read the first book in this series. This is a novel that works well as a stand-alone. Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I wasn’t obligated to write a favorable review or any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Oof. I accidentally deleted my prior review. Here's to hoping I recall all my prior critiques. Unfortunately, I won't be reading this series any longer. The second book did not deliver with an intriguing mystery. Instead, I figured out who had done it as soon as the character was introduced because the author's hints were so heavy-handed. The rest of the story felt slow and a little dull as a result. I also felt like this book needed some serious editing before it went out. The sentences are gen Oof. I accidentally deleted my prior review. Here's to hoping I recall all my prior critiques. Unfortunately, I won't be reading this series any longer. The second book did not deliver with an intriguing mystery. Instead, I figured out who had done it as soon as the character was introduced because the author's hints were so heavy-handed. The rest of the story felt slow and a little dull as a result. I also felt like this book needed some serious editing before it went out. The sentences are generally short and choppy, and at points it felt like I was reading a list. Afia also did a lot of telling and not a lot of showing. She would just tell us that a character was a certain way, but the character would not act that way. A lot of phrasing was repeated, much like in the first book in the series where Louise constantly "drew herself up to her full five foot two". (Don't worry, you're reminded of her height in this one too multiple times. In case you forgot.) An unsatisfying mystery that needed an editing before being sent out into the world.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Louise Lloyd is back with another mystery to solve - this time it’s a young woman found dead and her best friend is the main suspect. I had enjoyed Dead Dead Girls, the first book in this series (the author’s debut novel), and found Harlem Sunset, its sequel, stronger and with a better flow to the storytelling. I found there were some interesting supporting characters and a good mystery that did keep me guessing for a bit, and had elements of it surprise me how it played out. I also love how Afi Louise Lloyd is back with another mystery to solve - this time it’s a young woman found dead and her best friend is the main suspect. I had enjoyed Dead Dead Girls, the first book in this series (the author’s debut novel), and found Harlem Sunset, its sequel, stronger and with a better flow to the storytelling. I found there were some interesting supporting characters and a good mystery that did keep me guessing for a bit, and had elements of it surprise me how it played out. I also love how Afia’s love of dancing and sewing comes through in her writing all throughout the book with the deliberate intention of including descriptions of Louise’s outfits, and all the dancing the characters do. (I almost want to hazard a guess that emerald green is one of the author’s favourite colours! It’s a very specific shade to note on several different occasions!) Overall enjoyed it and looking forward to seeing what Louise Lloyd gets up to in book 3 :)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mindie

    A follow up to Nekesa Afia's Dead Dead Girls. Poor Lottie is plagued by death. When one of the girls who survived her childhood kidnapping with her shows up on her birthday, Lottie is happy for the chance to catch up after the Bar she is working at closes. The next morning Lottie and her friends wake up soaked in blood with no memories, and it is up to Lottie to figure out what happened before the police frame them for murder. An intriguing proceedural mystery with interesting characters. Harlem A follow up to Nekesa Afia's Dead Dead Girls. Poor Lottie is plagued by death. When one of the girls who survived her childhood kidnapping with her shows up on her birthday, Lottie is happy for the chance to catch up after the Bar she is working at closes. The next morning Lottie and her friends wake up soaked in blood with no memories, and it is up to Lottie to figure out what happened before the police frame them for murder. An intriguing proceedural mystery with interesting characters. Harlem and NYC in the 1920s plays heavily into the story and adds a depth beyond the average hard boiled murder mystery. Lottie is a smart, strong, and interesting character and while I definitely screamed "no don't go in there" more than once, she is not stupid. I will definitely recommend this series. I'm excited for the next installment.

  20. 4 out of 5

    The Page Ladies

    With the horrors of the Girl Killer behind her, Louise Lloyd is eager to usher in her 28th year with her girlfriend and best friend by her side. When one of the girls Louise was kidnapped with, reintroduces herself, Louise is wary to connect. By the next morning, Nora will be dead, Rosa Maria Moreno covered in her blood, and no one can remember what happened. Harlem Sunset is a suspenseful, and engaging historical mystery! Louise is a likeable character; she's smart and witty but flawed and is With the horrors of the Girl Killer behind her, Louise Lloyd is eager to usher in her 28th year with her girlfriend and best friend by her side. When one of the girls Louise was kidnapped with, reintroduces herself, Louise is wary to connect. By the next morning, Nora will be dead, Rosa Maria Moreno covered in her blood, and no one can remember what happened. Harlem Sunset is a suspenseful, and engaging historical mystery! Louise is a likeable character; she's smart and witty but flawed and is figuring out who she is. The author did a nice job of bringing the characters and the period of time to life. The clubs, the dancing, the language! It was easy to picture! So far the series is turning out to be a fun and entertaining adventure!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    Kindle Copy for Review from NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group. I received a free, advance copy of this book and this is my unbiased and voluntary review. Harlem in 1927 is not a safe place. For Louise Lloyd life should be good with a new job at a club. The past never stays hidden as she is reunited with someone from her less than happy past when they were held kidnapped. One night will become a nightmare as the friend will be murdered and all signs seem to point at her best that is found the Kindle Copy for Review from NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group. I received a free, advance copy of this book and this is my unbiased and voluntary review. Harlem in 1927 is not a safe place. For Louise Lloyd life should be good with a new job at a club. The past never stays hidden as she is reunited with someone from her less than happy past when they were held kidnapped. One night will become a nightmare as the friend will be murdered and all signs seem to point at her best that is found the next morning covered in blood. Will there be more blood spilled and why did it happen? It is a page turner that will surely captivate the reader into another time in history.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    In this follow-up to Afia's Dead Dead Girls, amateur sleuth Lou is back and dealing with the psychological toll of her last case. I greatly appreciate that this book doesn't shy away from those consequences, but at the same time gives us an exciting new mystery to contend with. In addition to bringing back the wonderful feel of Jazz Age Harlem, and favorite characters from the last book (Rafael!), we get to meet great new characters, some of whom are not what they appear to be... I can't wait to In this follow-up to Afia's Dead Dead Girls, amateur sleuth Lou is back and dealing with the psychological toll of her last case. I greatly appreciate that this book doesn't shy away from those consequences, but at the same time gives us an exciting new mystery to contend with. In addition to bringing back the wonderful feel of Jazz Age Harlem, and favorite characters from the last book (Rafael!), we get to meet great new characters, some of whom are not what they appear to be... I can't wait to see where Lou goes next!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie | stephonashelf

    This one picks right up where the last one leads off, and it’s so seamless in the transition into this new story! This one continues with themes of identity, race, and family dynamics with the backdrop of NYC in the 20’s. Louise is such a lovable and fearless heroine, and I really enjoyed the continuation of her story!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gary A.

    An interesting read with some insight into life in Harlem during the 1920’s. I like the characters very much. I didn’t like or find believable that the protagonist would leave her gun behind while searching for her girlfriend and subsequently get into a car with the suspected murder.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Hoffman

    It's a great follow up to the first book in the series, Dead Dead Girl. It takes takes place in the period known as the Harlem Renaissance, which in the NYC borough of Harlem during the 20's and 30's, Winger's what if influential black writers, artists, and musicians. This picks up with sassy, independent, black heroine Louise Lloyd, after the events of Dead Dead Girls. Now she's the manager of a new club /speakeasy, then openly with girlfriend Rosa Maria, until another girl she knows, Nora Davi It's a great follow up to the first book in the series, Dead Dead Girl. It takes takes place in the period known as the Harlem Renaissance, which in the NYC borough of Harlem during the 20's and 30's, Winger's what if influential black writers, artists, and musicians. This picks up with sassy, independent, black heroine Louise Lloyd, after the events of Dead Dead Girls. Now she's the manager of a new club /speakeasy, then openly with girlfriend Rosa Maria, until another girl she knows, Nora Davies, is murdered.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tati Richardson

    I loved the first book Dead Dead Girls so much that I knew I would enjoy the follow up. Nekesa is really carrying on the tradition of Walter Mosley and Barbara Neely , esp setting this mystery at the beginning of the heart of the Harlem Renaissance yet it really talks about modern themes (.e. Louisa's struggles with her sexuality and Rosa, PTSD, etc) I cannot wait for Ms Afia's next book. I loved the first book Dead Dead Girls so much that I knew I would enjoy the follow up. Nekesa is really carrying on the tradition of Walter Mosley and Barbara Neely , esp setting this mystery at the beginning of the heart of the Harlem Renaissance yet it really talks about modern themes (.e. Louisa's struggles with her sexuality and Rosa, PTSD, etc) I cannot wait for Ms Afia's next book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    2429mudder

    Great read. I was enthralled, and was quickly sucked in to the narrative, and was surprised that the author is a Canadian. I will most surely keep her in mind for a solid escape, into the past with a different perspective.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I’m honored to get to call Nekesa a friend, and I’m so proud of her work! Harlem Sunset builds so much on the world created in Dead Dead Girls, and I can’t wait to see where Louise’s adventures take her next. (Definitely not a cozy.)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jenna hall

    The things that I hope would set this apart (queer, POC, 1920s Harlem) fell short. The language felt excessively anachronistic. And the writing is very YA with its foreshadowing (“she would never forget this moment”) and attempts at cliffhangers.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julie Klehr

    I’d give this like 2.5 stars. I enjoyed the authors writing style, but the plot was a little bogged down for my taste. I found myself skimming most of the pages by the halfway point and the big reveal at the end just wasn’t worth the build up for me.

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