From Powell's: In a shady grove outside the small town of Ketanu, a young woman--a promising med student--has been found dead under suspicious circumstances. Eager to close the case, the local police have arrested a poor, enamored teenage boy and charged him with murder. Needless to say, they are less than thrilled when an outside force arrives from the big city to lead an inquiry into the baffling case.
Detective Inspector Darko Dawson, fluent in Ketanu's indigenous language, is the right man for the job, but he hates the idea of leaving his loving wife and young son, a plucky kid with a defective heart. Pressured by his cantankerous boss, Dawson agrees to travel to Ketanu, sort through the evidence, and tie up the loose ends as quickly and as efficiently as possible. But for Dawson, this sleepy corner of Ghana is rife with emotional land mines. . . .
My thoughts: I'm not very far along in this debut African mystery, but I am finding Darko to be an interesting character who, although hardly perfect, is a family man who loves his wife and son. There are two mysteries: One is the contemporary death of a woman and the other is the disappearance of Darko's mother when he was young. And behind both is the mystery of Africa. I can't wait to finish this book, and I'll be posting a full review here soon.
I love the extras that are part of the book. There is a small hand-drawn map of the area, an author's note explaining customs and beliefs that might be unfamiliar to non-African readers, a glossary, and a pronunciation guide.
About the Author: Kwei Quartey was raised in Ghana by an African American mother and a Ghanaian father, both of whom were university lecturers. Dr. Quartey practices medicine in southern California, rising early in the morning to write before going to work. He is currently writing his next novel. (from the book jacket)
The author has a fabulous website with two podcasts and the video that I've embedded below. You'll also find reading group guides, excerpts, photos, and a blog.
Quartey is on a blog tour with TLC Tours this month. Click on the link to find full reviews and more information.
I hope the book trailer gets your attention. I loved the music.