Monday, July 13, 2009


All readers have experienced it at one time or another: coming across a book that makes their hearts beat a little faster, one that makes their eyes shine... a book that they just have to read. If they're very lucky, they have a network of fellow readers who point them in the direction of good books.

This past week, I reviewed The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu by Michael Stanley, the second in an excellent mystery series set in Botswana. Tina of Tutu's Two Cents stopped by, read my review and happened to say something along the lines of "Hey, you might like to read Wife of the Gods."

If you know anything about me, you have to know that I did my mouse an injury in looking up this title. What I read made my heart beat a little faster, it made my eyes shine, and before I knew what hit me, I clicked "pre-order". Let me tell you about it. You might want to track down a copy for yourself. Just don't hurt your mouse!

I don't just find the cover appealing, the book sounds right up my alley. Here's what author Kwei Quartey has to say about his book and its setting:

Wife of the Gods, a novel, is set in Ghana, where I grew up. It is a land of great disparities: privilege and disadvantage, wealth and poverty, high education and illiteracy. There is also a mixing of cultures that may sometimes clash. For example, contemporary, “westernized” medical practice contrasts with traditional healing in which treatments combine lotions and potions with the invocations of the gods, the warding off of curses, and the neutralizing of perceived witchcraft.

In Wife of the Gods, these cultural webs are woven into a murder mystery. The book title itself conjures up in the mind the connection of the physical, tangible world with a realm in which gods dwell. For some in Ghana, the two coexist in everyday life. In the story, a young woman is murdered and protagonist Inspector Darko Dawson soon discovers that some people believe the death is the work of a curse from the gods, or of witchcraft. Darko is a detective. It’s his job to be skeptical, but as he tries to sort through these claims on the path to the shocking truth, his mettle is truly tested.

The belief in the supernatural comes to involve Darko in a personal way. His son, Hosiah, suffers from congenital heart disease. The boy’s grandmother, and the traditional healer to whom she takes him, both believe that evil spirits are occupying the boy’s chest and causing his symptoms.

A physician myself, I would have a well-packaged medical explanation of the mechanism of the Hosiah’s illness, but the evil spirits theory seeks to clarify the why as well as the how. Wearing my writer’s hat, I examine these supernatural notions with curiosity and fascination, realizing that it is as difficult to prove that curses and evil spirits do not exist, as it is to prove they do.

It’s been popularly said that once you’ve been in Ghana, you can’t get Ghana out of you. Wife of the Gods is infused with the flavor of the place, the sights and smells, the traditions of drumming, dancing and libation pouring and the disparities of life that I took for granted as I was growing up in Ghana. Those disparities are rich material for the telling of a mystery story.

I'm really looking forward to getting this book and reading it. Africa is becoming a hotbed of whodunits, and mystery lovers like me can only be happy about that!

From time to time, I'll be spotlighting a "Eureka!" here on Kittling: Books. It's all part of being a member of that network of readers.


  1. I smile every time I see a new button or piece of art you've made! You're doing so good! I love it.

    I'm on the Wife of the Gods tour for TLC in August. I haven't started it yet. I hope it's good.


  2. Sounds like a good find Cathy, I'll look forward to your review. I haven't read much mystery fiction set in Africa - only McCall Smith and Deon Meyer so far. But I do have Michael Stanley's first book here on Mt TBR.

  3. I'm looking forward to reading this one as well!

  4. Cathy - I love that you found a book and shared it, and now we're all going to look for it too!!!

  5. I find the cover of that book very appealing too. I'll wait for your review before I decide to get it or not.

  6. What a great new feature - and your button is adorable!

  7. I like the way the author describes his novel. Such good writing! This should be a very good read for you.

  8. I hope you enjoy WIFE OF THE GODS. I'm scheduled to review The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu here shortly, and I'm excited to read all the great reviews.

  9. I love your Eureka! button - very cute. Wife of the Gods sounds like a great find - I'm looking forward to your review. I really need to check into the Michael Stanley series, too!

  10. I got an ARE of this book through LibraryThing and reviewed it recently. I thought it was very good and look forward to the next in the series! Hope you enjoy it.

  11. Thanks for the "tip." **Charlie mouses his way over to Amazon . . .**

  12. Ooooh - sounds good! Awaiting your review!

  13. I highlighted this one over the weekend!

  14. Sheri--I hope you enjoy the book, too. I think that's one reason why I steer clear of tours...what if I don't like the book??? I'm taking baby steps with the buttons, so I'm glad you like them. You're The Master!

    Bernadette--I would've gotten the book today if I hadn't been at a WNBA game instead. I'll get it tomorrow. I'm looking forward to what you think of A Carrion Death!

    Nicole--Let's hope we both enjoy it!

    Kate--We all have a part in feeding each other's addictions to books! :)

    Dorte--I'm so glad you like the feature AND the button! :)

    Margot--You're seems like a "good fit" for me. :)

    Jenn--I certainly hope you enjoy Goodluck Tinubu. I'll keep an eye out for your review!

    Belle--By all means, please check out the Michael Stanley series! And thanks...I'm glad you like the button. :)

    Terri--Thanks for letting me know that you liked the book. I seem to have missed your review, so I'm going to have to go back and take a look for it!

    Charlie--Hopefully you were kinder to your mouse than I was! ;)

    Jenclair--I'm noticing that we tend to enjoy the same types of mysteries, so keep your fingers crossed! :)

    Beth--Great minds think alike, eh?


Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!