Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Witch Doctor's Wife by Tamar Myers

The Witch Doctor's Wife is the first in Tamar Myers's Belgian Congo mystery series. Set in the Belgian Congo shortly before its independence, Amanda, a young missionary lady, flies into a small village placed on either side of a waterfall. She is supposed to learn how to run a missionary guest house so that the previous caretakers can retire. But nothing is that easy.

The story starts with a plane crash and the discovery of a large diamond - not on the same page and not involving the same people. The local witch doctor, whose name is Their Death, has two wives. The first wife is named Cripple. The witch doctor's Baby Boy found the diamond and was using it for a teething toy when his father realized what it was. Due to governmental restrictions, Their Death cannot own or sell the diamond. He tries to sell it through a white contact, but the whole thing falls apart rapidly, and not only for Their Death.

Cripple decides to work for Amanda at the guest house. The housekeeper hired by the previous caretakers is an African man named Protruding Navel. He and Cripple do NOT get along. By the end of the story, Cripple is accused of - and admits to - a murder she did not commit. Amanda has to figure out how to keep Cripple from a death sentence. As for the diamond, its disposition is not told until the epilogue.

This book is different than other Tamar Myers books and is well worth the read.

Kathi Linz

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