IQ by Joe Ide

If you read IQ, by Joe Ide, and are reminded of Sherlock Holmes, you’re not wrong. Ide grew up in South L.A. and devoured the Conan Doyle stories. His creation, Isaiah Quintabe, is a young black man almost destroyed by grief and rage when his older brother/surrogate parent Marcus is killed by a hit-and-run driver. He turns his ferocious intelligence to elaborately choreographed robberies with his friend, the smart-talking and reckless Dodson, but by the time the story opens, he is the genius and freak of his East Long Beach neighborhood, an underground and unlicensed private eye called on to solve the problems the cops won’t touch. When Dodson talks him into investigating the attempted hit (by a freakishly huge killer pit bull) of a neurotic, burned-out rapper,  Isaiah is thrown into the path of a crazed dog breeder, treacherous flunkies, and a former Miss Meaty Burger who wants to parlay her badonk into Kardashian-style fame. It’s a highly original and entertaining thriller, with sharp humor, great dialogue, and an unexpectedly deep emotional portrait of a young man struggling with grief and trying to do good.

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