"The Golden Coffin," by Emory Holmes II, in South Central Noir, edited by Gary Phillips, Akashic Press, 2022.
The publisher sent me a free copy of this book.
I occasionally lament the lack of historical mysteries in Akashic's Noir Cities series. This is a good one.
It's 1935. Prometheus Drummond, a young teenager, has hopped freight trains from his collapsed home in hopes of living with his Uncle Balthazar, the manager of a high-class Negro hotel in Los Angeles. His uncle gives him the post of factotum. "That mean, every damn thing I say is a fact. And if I point to a heap of satchels yonder but the elevator, I expects you to hop up and tote 'em where they needs to go. Fact-tote-um -- get me?"
Dialog is one of the strengths of the story. Another is the depth of detail Holmes gives us about life in South Central in the time.
As for crime, someone is murdering young Black women. Prometheus discovered one of the victims. The city and the police force isn't much interested, but a smart Negro cop named Kimbrow has figured out the pattern. Can they catch the bad guy before he kills again?
I have written enough historical mysteries to know how hard it is to avoid anachronisms but I have to say: according to the Google Ngram Viewer the phrase "media outlet" didn't arrive until decades after the time this story is set in. But that's about the only criticism I can make of this fine tale.