Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey

Title: Wife of the Gods
Author: Kwei Quartey
ISBN: 9781400067596, Random House, 2009
Genre: Police Procedural
Rating: B+

First Line: Inspector Max Fiti had great significance in a place that had little.

In a grove of trees outside a small village in Ghana the body of a young woman has been found. Eager to close the case, the local police have charged a hapless teenager with her murder. A person of influence contacts the police in Accra, and thus Inspector Darko Dawson is sent to Ketanu to investigate. Dawson is not all that willing to go. He does not want to leave his beloved wife and son, and he definitely does not want to return to the village where his mother disappeared when he was a small boy.

Dawson is an interesting and flawed character. His Achilles' heel is said to be his love of marijuana, but I think both heels are afflicted. He has a tendency to let his anger take control, and as a result he does things that he knows are wrong-- and some of those things could have an adverse effect on the cases he investigates. His smoking habits and his anger both show him to be a person who is willing to overlook laws that he doesn't like-- not the best of traits for a police officer. His heart is in the right place, so this trait is just enough to give him an edge...just enough for me to keep a suspicious eye on him.

I enjoyed this book a great deal. I loved learning about the country and customs of Ghana, and how people are trying to educate the population about AIDS. Although I found the murderer a bit too easy to identify, there were so many layers to the story that I didn't mind.

Dawson, his family, the country of Ghana, and the endless possibilities of mystery and enlightenment make this series one to watch.


  1. I barely skimmed this review because I'm reading it now for a review on Friday. So glad that you liked it. I'll be back later to read this post more carefully. (I hate to be influenced before I've written my own review.)

  2. I've been interested in this book because it is set in Ghana - I'm glad to see it's good.

  3. I hate when the murderers are too easy to pick out, but I find that I am generally very good at discerning who they are early on...Dunno if that's because I read too many crime/mysteries or because I am unconsciously seeking out clues in the writing.

  4. I read this back in April, and gave it my highest rating - 5 stars - in my review. I guess I'm not as adept at picking out murderers 'cause I was tricked until close to the end. I found the characters delightful, the plot well woven and the setting fascinating. Can't wait for the next one and hope it becomes a viable series.

  5. A double flawed detective as the main character sounds good to me. I like that it's set in Africa. One gets to learn a little bit along with the fun of reading.

  6. I love this: "I think both heels are afflicted"! I will have to keep my eye out for this one.

  7. I've added this to my wish list! Thanks for the review, it sounds great.

  8. I haven't heard of this book before. I wonder how it would compare to the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books?

  9. I really liked this one too - the fact that Dawson is so flawed, but inherently a good guy makes him so much more interesting!

  10. I read this book over the weekend and really enjoyed it. I don't read a lot of mysteries, so I wasn't looking for clues, the story just rolled out naturally for me.

    I loved the setting and learned so much about the customs of the area, and how ancient beliefs still influence.

  11. Beth--I'm glad you're reading it, too. I avoid reviews of the same book before I've written my own, too. :)

    Kathy--I think two of its major strengths were the setting and the customs of the people.

    Serena--I think it's probably because we read a lot of crime fiction. Consciously I don't set out to deduce whodunit, but I find out that I do anyway.

    Tina--I'm with you. I really enjoyed this book, and I hope it turns into a series because I can't wait to read the next one!

    Margot--Quartey does an excellent job of integrating the customs of the people into the story.

    Belle--Must mean he walks a bit funny, eh? ;)

    Laura--I hope you enjoy it!

    Alyce--In my personal opinion, it's much better than Smith's series. Although Smith's series is good, I find it too precious (pun intended)at times to read very much of.

    "Swede"--I agree, flawed is much better to read about than perfect!

    Dawn--I love how much I learned about Ghana and its people from the book!


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