African mysteries

January 18, 2010 | Peggy

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In spite of the phenomenal success of the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series there have not been a lot of murder mysteries set in Africa, particularly by Africans. So I was excited to read a new mystery set in Ghana, a country I visited two years ago.Wife of the Gods

Wife of the Gods, by Kwei Quartey, is a not only a good mystery in an exotic setting but is a picture of Ghana's rural-urban divide, or to say it another way, an illustration of the conflict between the modern and the traditional. Inspector Darko Dawson lives in the capital city and works for the national police force. He is sent to a remote village to help solve the murder of a young female medical student. He finds that traditional beliefs are well-entrenched, including the system of trokosi, where young girls are offered to fetish priests (becoming Wives of the Gods) as a way to change their families' fortunes.

Dawson is a flawed character; he has anger management problems, perhaps due to his mother's disappearance some twenty odd years before. Other characters exhibit equally human characteristics. It's an engrossing read.

Other African mysteries:

Blood Safari Beautiful place to die Second Death of Goodluck TinubuSun by Night