5 of 5
Murder at Cape Three Points
336 pages; Soho Crime
Fans who enjoy The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books' armchair travel to Africa and large cast of eccentric characters, meet your new obsession: Kwei Quartey. His Ghana-set mystery, Murder at Cape Three Points, gives crime-fiction readers an inside look at life in the West African country, where rampant economic growth stemming from the country's natural oil reserves does little to alleviate widespread poverty. Despite the fact that his young son has just had heart surgery, Inspector Darko Dawson is sent by his superiors from the capital city of Accra down the coast to Takoradi to investigate a couple's murder near an oil rig. The man, an executive at Malgam Oil, and his wife, a member of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, were killed and left to float to the rig in a canoe. In addition to the murder and Dawson's domestic concerns, the story addresses issues of environmental dangers and economic inequality as an international oil company with no connection to the region drills in areas where people are barely eking out a living. Quartey provides such a strong sense of Ghana that you'll be wishing for a platter of kenkey, a staple food made from fermented corn, to keep you from biting your nails to the quick as Dawson winnows down the list of suspects to solve the mystery.
— Stephanie Klose