Saturday, October 15, 2011

Does anybody know of any good African crime novels?

I am a big fan of your basic hard boiled detective novel. One of the best things about mysteries is their attention to local detail. This can be a region, a city, or an ethnicity. Burke's descriptions of Louisiana, Parker's Boston, Hillerman's Navajo Nation, Tamar Meyer's Mennonites, Randy White's Florida, and others all come to mind. But, the genre seems to be American centered. Sure there are a few exceptions such as Gorky Park which takes place in the USSR. Even the few exceptions, I know about, however do not cover Africa south of the Sahara. Now Africa seems to be a ripe continent for the genre. There is crime in big cities like Johannesburg, Lagos, and Nairobi. There is also political intrigue and under handed dealings. But, most of all there is a lot of interesting cultural background that could support such stories. So does anybody know of any good African crime novels?


Nina said...

African crime novels - not as common as those set elsewhere in the world, but there are a few of them.

Nunn, Malla: A beautiful place to die, Let the dead lie. [Settings in post WWII South Africa]

Quartey, Kwei: Wife of the gods, Children of the street [settings in Ghana]

Parkes, Nii Ayikwei: Tail of the blue bird [literary, but a mystery, set in Ghana]

Works by Deon Meyer [South African] and Roger Smith [South African]; Mukoma wa Ngugi - Nairobi heat.

Hope this helps.

J. Otto Pohl said...

Thanks a lot. I will look for them.

Susan Barnes said...

What about Alexander McCall Smith?
Not hard boiled detective but they are based in Botswana.

Allyn Brosz said...

I'd second the recommendation of Deon Meyer.