adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $28.00

Buy for $28.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

“In this terrific series opener, Afia evokes the women’s lives in all their wayward and beautiful glory, especially the abruptness with which their dreams, hopes, and fears cease to exist.” (The New York Times)

The start of an exciting new historical mystery series set during the Harlem Renaissance from debut author Nekesa Afia

Harlem, 1926. Young Black women like Louise Lloyd are ending up dead.

Following a harrowing kidnapping ordeal when she was in her teens, Louise is doing everything she can to maintain a normal life. She’s succeeding, too. She spends her days working at Maggie’s Café and her nights at the Zodiac, Harlem’s hottest speakeasy. Louise’s friends, especially her girlfriend, Rosa Maria Moreno, might say she’s running from her past and the notoriety that still stalks her, but don’t tell her that.

When a girl turns up dead in front of the café, Louise is forced to confront something she’s been trying to ignore - two other local Black girls have been murdered in the past few weeks. After an altercation with a police officer gets her arrested, Louise is given an ultimatum: She can either help solve the case or wind up in a jail cell. Louise has no choice but to investigate and soon finds herself toe-to-toe with a murderous mastermind hell-bent on taking more lives, maybe even her own....

©2021 Nekesa Afia (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Tightly paced, razor sharp, and with a wonderful no-nonsense protagonist, Dead Dead Girls made me fly through the pages. Ms. Afia is one to watch." (Evie Dunmore, USA Today best-selling author of A Rogue of One’s Own)

"'Though she be but little, she is fierce.' Shakespeare might as well have been describing Louise Lloyd, the flawed yet fantastic protagonist in Afia's debut set in 1920s Harlem. I loved the world that Afia created and can't wait to follow Lou and her friends on their next adventure. Come for the wonderfully diverse and twisty mystery, stay for the amazing '20s slang and fashion.” (Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic and Adobo)

“A wholly original, unputdownable thrill ride of a debut from a writer to watch. You heard it here: Louise Lloyd is about to become your new favorite protagonist. Intensely paced and masterfully rendered, Dead Dead Girls is a glittering, irresistible mystery.” (Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of The Girls Are All So Nice Here)

More from the same

What listeners say about Dead Dead Girls

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    38
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Ambitious first novel

Nekesa Afia took a big bite in this novel - a quasi police procedural whodunnit set in 1920’s Harlem, with a black queer female main character. Character development is good, if occasionally repetitive. The story starts fairly strong, with occasional anachronisms popping up and with uneven use of some period slang that completely disappears by halfway through. The portions dealing with encounters with police and with white institutions definitely needed more research. This unfortunately leads to a serious breakdown as the investigation progresses and the story resolves. Even for prohibition era Harlem the plot falls apart with completely unbelievable situations. The author also obviously struggles with a glancing knowledge of pathopsychology that leads to anachronistic terminology, but very shallow characterization of her villain.
All that said, I think working on her trade and the assistance of a skilled editor could lead to some really wonderful stories in the future.
The narration by Shayna Small was really excellent.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

interesting read, narration lacks

I preordered this book and was super happy to give another black author support! I loved the general premise of the story and of course the time period is fascinating. However, I found it hard to read in the first half due to the narration. The young ladies voice is soothing, but I felt her style would have been better suited to a newer era book. The narration made me feel at times like I was reading about mafia characters, instead of African Americans in the 20's!! But otherwise excellent first book, can't wait for next part to see where miss Louise ends up!! Maybe married and moved on past the Rosa Maria thing...I didn't really feel that added anything to help the character evolve...

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Storyline

This was such a good listen.
It was predictable but I was still intrigued enough to listen all the way through.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

so much potential so much disappointment

I am an Avid Reader of historical fiction and mysteries, but this book had very little to offer in description of the Harlem Renaissance, never described the art or music or the amazing development of Black culture in Harlem in the 1920s that distinguished the time and place. She did not inform the audience about the struggles of all women during those times, let alone touch on the fact that the world was in the early days of the Great Depression, or even mention the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. Additionally, the book did not have a strong female protagonist, a good villain, or a good plot. The final reveal flopped around like a fish on a hook. The writer seemed very lacking in her research and the ending was truly tedious. In fact the whole book was tedious but I hung in there to the end only because it was supposed to be a good example of lgbtq literature. What a waste of one of my credits! If you're going to write a book that is set in the Harlem Renaissance, at least write a little bit about the Harlem Renaissance besides the fact that they're drinking moonshine at a speakeasy that is much more like a modern disco then a 1920s nightclub. I was tired of reading heterosexual literature and researched to find a historical mystery that had lgbtq characters and a strong female hero, but the characters as well as the plot was so horrible that I struggled to finish it. I held out hope all the way to the epilogue and never found satisfaction. My spouse suggests that the writer find a good editor and listen to her suggestions. I suggest that she spends more time researching the historical setting, developing characters, and formulating a decent plot for the mystery. I really wish I could give it 5 stars because i want LGBTQ writers to succeed, butIf I could give it no stars, I would.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Easily a 3.5ish Stars read

I loved the commentary on racism, privilege, sexism, and The real character development of the queer protagonist. There were several plot holes, unsupported twists or story elements, and a lack of context for relational issues between characters. Overall, I loved the historical fiction elements of this era and how they parallel modern day issues. The narration was a great example of a dynamic voice actor.

I am glad I pushed through and finished the read and even more excited the audible version was only 5.00..

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I love this story!!!

I am a fan of murder mysteries so when tou mix that with the Harlem Renaissance I am sold and they narration was wonderful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A fantastic idea...

I love the idea of this book and the setting is a great place to start a review of racism, sexism, gender identity, and privilege. It's worth reading it (or listening to it) just to look at that aspect. My only issue is the plot. It's a good story, but some of the plot elements kept the pacing very slow and I really had to push myself to keep going just so I could finish it. I would buy it again if I had lots of credits, but only if I had lots of credits.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome

I think the best part of the book was the historical facts. The story itself was bold, taboo, and rare. Will definitely be looking for another book by Ms. Afia.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for V. Nalbantian
  • V. Nalbantian
  • 06-05-21

interesting concept, poor writing

I tried, I really tried, to read this through, because the idea of a gay Black woman detecting in 1926 Harlem sounded so intriguing and it got a good review in the New York Times. I even pre-ordered it. What a disappointment! The writing is hackneyed, repetitive and boring. I was not interested enough to stay with it to find out who did it. Don't waste a credit on this.