Novel of the week: The Strange Crimes of Little Africa by Chesya Burke

My new novel of the week is The Strange Crimes of Little Africa by Chesya Burke, an exciting mystery set in New York City during the Harlem Renaissance. The novel follows the adventures of anthropology student Jaz Idawell as she tries to solve a murder alongside her best friend Zora Neale Hurston.

Burke is an amazing writer, creating a 1920s Harlem which crackles with life and energy and pulls the reader into that famous time period. The novel's characters are equally engrossing, with Jaz quickly endearing herself to the reader, who can't help rooting for her as she battles corruption, discrimination, and revelations which threaten to tear apart both her family and society.

While The Strange Crimes of Little Africa is a historical mystery, Burke's writings are well known within the SF/F and horror communities, with her short story collection Let's Play White being one of the best first collections released by a new genre author in recent years. Even though this isn't a SF/F or horror novel, genre fans will likely enjoy Burke's mystery, as will any fan of mysteries and historical novels.

I also hope that Burke will write more stories featuring Jaz Idawell, who is a protagonist who would benefit from an entire series of novels.

Highly recommended.