Strange gods

Annamaria Alfieri

Book - 2014

"In early 20th century British East Africa, there are rules for the British and different ones for the Africans. Vera McIntosh, the daughter of Scottish missionaries, doesn't feel she belongs to either group; having grown up in Africa, she is not interested in being the well-bred Scottish woman her mother would like her to be. More than anything she dreams of seeing again the handsome police officer she's danced with. But more grisly circumstances bring Justin Tolliver to her fami...ly's home. The body of Vera's uncle, Dr. Josiah Pennyman, is found with a tribesman's spear in his back. Tolliver, an idealistic Assistant District Superintendent of Police, is assigned to the case. He first focuses on Gichinga Mbura, a Kikuyu medicine man who has been known to hatefully condemn Pennyman because Pennyman's cures are increasingly preferred over his. But the spear belonged to the Maasai tribe, not Kikuyu, and it's doubtful Mbura would have used it to kill his enemy. Tolliver's superior wants him to arrest the medicine man and be done with it, but Tolliver pleads that he have the chance to prove the man's guilt. With the help of Kwai Libazo, a tribal lieutenant, Tolliver discovers that others had reasons to hate Pennyman as well, and the list of suspects grows. Annamaria Alfieri's Strange Gods is the first in a new series. Romantic and engaging, this mystery captures the beauty and the danger of the African wild and the complexities of imposing a culture on a foreign land. "--

Saved in:

1st Floor Show me where

MYSTERY/Alfieri Annamari
1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor MYSTERY/Alfieri Annamari Checked In
Subjects
Genres
Mystery fiction
Published
New York : Minotaur Books 2014.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
"A Thomas Dunne book."
Physical Description
viii, 274 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781250039712
1250039711
Main Author
Annamaria Alfieri (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

A Scottish doctor is found dead on the grounds of a mission complex in 1911, in the British Protectorate of East Africa. A tribesman's spear protrudes from his back. The scene points to multitudes of motives in a country divided by tribal warfare and rankling under British colonial rule. The doctor ran afoul of the local medicine man when people started preferring Scottish to tribal medicine. And the doctor's love life, loaded with cast-off lovers, could make him a target for murder staged as tribal payback. On one level, Alfieri has concocted a riveting whodunit. But the colonial African setting makes it much more: the British district commissioner, who wants the whole explosive business pinned on a local and wrapped up as soon as possible, is a symbol of colonial injustice. Two transplanted Scots stand in his way: Justin Tolliver, a young assistant district superintendent of police, and Vera McIntosh, the victim's niece, who has grown up in Africa and who informally helps Tolliver in his investigation. Alfieri illuminates the complexities and cruelties of colonial rule while giving readers an engrossing romance and mystery. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

After three standalone historicals set in South America, Alfieri (Blood Tango) turns to 1911 British East Africa for a whodunit stronger in concept than execution. When someone fatally spears Dr. Josiah Pennyman, who worked at the Scottish Mission hospital outside Nairobi, District Commissioner Cranford wants the killing pinned on the local witch doctor, who resented Pennyman's infringement on his turf. But Pennyman's idealistic assistant, Justin Tolliver, insists that a genuine investigation be carried out. Since Pennyman was a notorious rake, Tolliver has a number of jealous husbands to consider as suspects. The romance that develops between the bland Tolliver and the equally bland Vera McIntosh, who was the victim's niece, doesn't add much—nor does the appearance of real-life aristocratic big-game hunter Denys Finch Hatton. Even the scenes of encounters with wildlife come across as perfunctory. Readers interested in the premise will find the British TV series Heat of the Sun more satisfying. Agent: Adrienne Rosado, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"In early 20th century British East Africa, there are rules for the British and different ones for the Africans. Vera McIntosh, the daughter of Scottish missionaries, doesn't feel she belongs to either group; having grown up in Africa, she is not interested in being the well-bred Scottish woman her mother would like her to be. More than anything she dreams of seeing again the handsome police officer she's danced with. But more grisly circumstances bring Justin Tolliver to her family's home. The body of Vera's uncle, Dr. Josiah Pennyman, is found with a tribesman's spear in his back. Tolliver, an idealistic Assistant District Superintendent of Police, is assigned to the case. He first focuses on Gichinga Mbura, a Kikuyu medicine man who has been known to hatefully condemn Pennyman because Pennyman's cures are increasingly preferred over his. But the spear belonged to the Maasai tribe, not Kikuyu, and it's doubtful Mbura would have used it to kill his enemy. Tolliver's superior wants him to arrest the medicine man and be done with it, but Tolliver pleads that he have the chance to prove the man's guilt. With the help of Kwai Libazo, a tribal lieutenant, Tolliver discovers that others had reasons to hate Pennyman as well, and the list of suspects grows. Annamaria Alfieri's Strange Gods is the first in a new series. Romantic and engaging, this mystery captures the beauty and the danger of the African wild and the complexities of imposing a culture on a foreign land. "--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Feeling like a misfit in early twentieth-century British East Africa, Scottish missionary's daughter Vera assists the murder investigation of her uncle at the side of alluring police superintendent Justin Tolliver, who discovers unsettling inconsistencies in the case.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Feeling like a misfit in early 20th-century British East Africa, Scottish missionary's daughter Vera assists the murder investigation of her uncle at the side of alluring police superintendent Justin Tolliver, who discovers unsettling inconsistencies in the case. 10,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

In early 20th century British East Africa, there are rules for the British and different ones for the Africans. Vera McIntosh, the daughter of Scottish missionaries, doesn't feel she belongs to either group; having grown up in Africa, she is not interested in being the well-bred Scottish woman her mother would like her to be. More than anything she dreams of seeing again the handsome police officer she's danced with. But more grisly circumstances bring Justin Tolliver to her family's home.The body of Vera's uncle, Dr. Josiah Pennyman, is found with a tribesman's spear in his back. Tolliver, an idealistic Assistant District Superintendent of Police, is assigned to the case. He first focuses on Gichinga Mbura, a Kikuyu medicine man who has been known to hatefully condemn Pennyman because Pennyman's cures are increasingly preferred over his. But the spear belonged to the Maasai tribe, not Kikuyu, and it's doubtful Mbura would have used it to kill his enemy. Tolliver's superior wants him to arrest the medicine man and be done with it, but Tolliver pleads that he have the chance to prove the man's guilt. With the help of Kwai Libazo, a tribal lieutenant, Tolliver discovers that others had reasons to hate Pennyman as well, and the list of suspects grows.Annamaria Alfieri's Strange Gods is the first in a new series. Romantic and engaging, this mystery captures the beauty and the danger of the African wild and the complexities of imposing a culture on a foreign land.