PositiveThe AV ClubThe legacy that underscores HarperCollins’ reprint of the novel last month—as the first-known detective novel penned by an African American author—is a largely posthumous one. The witty thriller, entombed in humor and the spirit of Prohibition-era Harlem, has become a testament to the author’s underexplored potential ... The suspects outfit this mystery with their own potential motives for attempting to murder the fortune teller. Their colorful testimonies work overtime to furnish a story with little action. They also contribute to a portrait of the Harlem Renaissance, the epicenter of Black art, enterprise, and culture. Science, religion, and cultural mythos are as embedded in the world of this story as they were in the era itself ... So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise when some of these perspectives come across as antiquated ... But they’re also honest snapshots of dated ideologies, unfortunate blips within an overall compelling storytelling.