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Nekesa Afia Books In Order

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Publication Order of Harlem Renaissance Mystery Books

Dead Dead Girls (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Harlem Sunset (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Nekesa Afia is a twenty four year old mystery author that is best known for her debut novel “Dead Girls” that she published in 2021. She just finished her bachelors degree in journalism course and is now a student of publishing.
Aside from her writing, she loves to sew and has been making her clothes for years. She also does some swing dance or if not, she tries to keep herself busy trying to do or learn something. Afia is also a history fan who particularly loves the 1920s and the 1950s.

Afia was brought up in Alberta Canada and spent her childhood and teenage years in the 1990s and early 2000s. During this time, it was difficult if not impossible to find novels that had explicitly black characters.

When her parents brought home Jessi’s Gold Medal of the Baby-Sitters Club, it was the first time she ever saw a cover with a black girl. She would become a fiend of the series and now has more than three hundred novels from it.

She first thought she should write when she read a novel set in the prohibition era that had a Mary Poppins like character. One thing about Afia is that she never liked reading novels with perfect characters as they lacked excitement. As she read the novel, she knew that if she ever wrote her character would have to be the opposite of flawless.

As Nekesa Afia began writing the manuscript for “Dead Dead Girls” she had to keep all this in mind as she wanted to write about someone relatable just like she is.

Nekesa Afia, like many authors, started writing her novel during the National Writing Month (NANOWRIMO). She had just finished writing a romance manuscript and thought what better way to push the limits than to write a mystery.

During this time, she was watching a lot of Prohibition era set television shows and in college she was studying a lot of history. She thought the era interesting and set out to set her mystery in it.

Since she had always loved the Harlem Renaissance, she decided to set her work in Harlem. It was a time of growth in fashion, music and art as the generation that lived in Post World War II America had unbounded creativity and brilliance.

The populace was so much alive and fine that you could not have believed the world was a mess and that they were coming from a devastating war. They managed to find what made them happy and lived on their own terms.

She also read a lot which is a departure from her childhood when she did not read much. From her reading and experiences, Nekesa was determined to write a queer black character and she combined this with her love for puzles and mysteries to write “Dead Dead Girls,” the first of the “Harlem Renaissance Mystery.”

While Nekesa Afia was very determined, it would take her five years to write her manuscript. She changed the work wildly before it was submitted to rewriting and finessing to make it what it is today.

Having come from writing a romance, her biggest challenge was patience. While you can reveal a lot of information with a romance novel, she found that mysteries need careful planning and releasing the information at just the right time.

She finally managed to get her work published and is proud that she created characters that readers love.

“Dead Dead Girls” by Nekesa Afia is a novel set in Harlem during the Renaissance. It is a horrifying time as young girls are ending up killed on the streets.
Louise Lloyd is a young black girl who in her teenage years had endured a harrowing kidnapping. She is now trying her best to live a normal life and she has been successful for the most part. Her days are spent as a waitress at Maggie’s cafe while she spends her nights at the hottest speakeasy in Manhattan named the Zodiac.
According to some of her friends she has been running from her notoriety and past but she does not think that she is.
But then some girl is found murdered in front of Maggie’s and she has to face up to the fact that too many black girls have been getting murdered over the past several weeks.
She then gets into an altercation and gets arrested and she is given an ultimatum, help solve the murder mystery or be made an example of by the justice system. She has to take the case and soon goes toe to toe with a dangerous killer.
She may need to deal with her own prejudices and fears of New York society to save her life and apprehend a killer.

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