A Death in Harlem: A Novel (Paperback)
In A Death in Harlem, famed scholar Karla Holloway weaves a mystery in the bon vivant world of the Harlem Renaissance. Taking as her point of departure the tantalizingly ambiguous “death by misadventure” at the climax of Nella Larsen’s 1929 best-selling novel Passing, Holloway takes readers back to the sunlit boulevards and shaded sidestreets of Jazz Age New York. A murder there will test the mettle, resourcefulness, and intuition of Harlem’s first “colored” policeman, Weldon Haynie Thomas.
Clear glass towers rising in Manhattan belie a city where people are often not what they seem. For some here, identity is a performance of passing—passing for another race, for another class, for someone safe to trust. Thomas’s investigation illuminates the societies and secret societies, the intricate code of manners, the world of letters, and the broad social currents of 1920s Harlem.
A Death in Harlem is an exquisitely crafted, briskly paced, and impeccably stylish journey back to a time still remembered as a peak of American glamour. It introduces Holloway as a fresh voice in storytelling, and Weldon Haynie Thomas as an endearing and unforgettable detective.
About the Author
“A Death in Harlem is both a period novel and a deeply contemporary story with a symphony of memorable characters. The musical, personal voice of Karla Holloway animates this gripping tale full of mystery, humor, and saturated with African American cultural memory."—Emily Bernard, Julian Lindsay Green and Gold Professor of English at the University of Vermont and author Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine