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The Boy Who Stole the Leopard's Spots (Amanda Brown, #3)
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The Boy Who Stole the Leopard's Spots (Amanda Brown #3)

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  198 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
A decades-old murder, a strange superstition, an enormous snake, and one giant secret are about to rock thee beautiful Belle Vue to its core.

It is a time of great upheaval for the Belgian Congo, and Belle Vue is not safe from the changes. But there are more pressing problems as an unsolved disappearance brings up issues for some of the denizens of the village. Add to that
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Kelly Knapp
Apr 28, 2012 Kelly Knapp rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: history buffs, African literature buffs, High School students studying slavery and segragation
Recommended to Kelly by: Goodreads Firstreads giveaway.
First, I must say that this book has it all: mystery, budding romance, familial and societal conflict, mythos of some of the African tribes, evangelism, hypocrisy, suicide, and even a resurrection.

However, this is neither a book about religion nor evangelism. It is a historical fiction relating a story about a set of twins (an unwanted, evil abnormality in early African tribes) whose father loves them so much he defies the tradition of his people and refuses to let them be killed.

It is a story a
Feb 17, 2013 Lexy rated it it was ok
This book is part of a trilogy, a fact which is not at all obvious when you read the blurb. The author made many veiled references to prior events which must have happened in the past books but since I haven't read them, I had no idea what she was talking about. The author's writing style didn't sit well with me - I felt like she was simply telling me things instead of showing me. The characters were very one dimensional, with no development over the course of the novel, and the storyline failed ...more
Aug 07, 2013 Debbie rated it really liked it
These books are not mysteries in the usual sense. Actually they aren't mysteries at all. They are a delightfully humorous and thoughtful take on cultural differences in the Belgian Congo in the late 1950s. Young missionary Amanda Brown loves her employee Cripple, wife of the local unsuccessful witchdoctor, but the two of them seldom see eye to eye. There are also very serious discussions about the place of the colonizers in Africa, the differences between the local Protestants, Catholics, and be ...more
Mindy Danylak
Jun 13, 2012 Mindy Danylak rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Folksy, fire-side story-telling writing style; vivid descriptions; humorous inter-personal exchanges; interesting exploration of cross-cultural engagement. This book didn't blow me away but I enjoyed reading it. My favorite part: that Cripple speaks Latin! And the author's notes at the end -- she talks about her childhood, growing up as the child of Mennonite missionaries in the Belgian Congo where and her father was offered a drum made with a skin that included a belly button!
May 21, 2017 Leslie rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, 100books2017
Kind of glad to be done with this series. I enjoyed the characters but this sequel had too many holes in the plot and some of it just didn't make any sense to me.
Cathy Cole
Apr 02, 2012 Cathy Cole rated it really liked it
First Line: It was much cooler in the canyon that lay in front of, and below, the village.

Legends surround the birth of twins to a king in the Belgian Congo of the 1920s. This was the time when headhunters and cannibals still followed the old ways, a time when the birth of twins was a bad omen that must be dealt with swiftly. Due to his cunning, the king's twins both survived and grew to manhood.

Fast forward to the late 1950s. As independence for the Congo grows nearer, even the remote town of B
Jul 26, 2012 Judie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tamar Myers spent her childhood in what was then The Belgian Congo where her parents were missionaries.

THE BOY WHO STOLE THE LEOPARD'S SPOTS, the third of a series of novels based on her experiences there, takes the reader into a small village in 1958 with some flashbacks to 1935.

When she is 40 years old, the tribal chief's favorite wife gives birth to twin sons. They are her first children but the birth of twins is considered unnatural by the tribesman. They believe that one of the babies is an
This is another "new-to-me" author and book I was introduced to courtesy of this year's Malice Domestic conference. While this was the third book in the "Amanda Brown" series, I didn't feel like I needed to have read the first two to enjoy this book. The story takes place primarily in 1958 in the Belgian Congo, shortly before independence, but also includes chapters that flashback to 1935. Past events eventually meet up with the present and it becomes clear why the book began the way it did. Wha ...more
Jul 03, 2012 Thien-Kim rated it liked it
I’m on vacation working on my summer reading list. I read most of The Boy Who Stole the Leopard’s Spots by Tamar Myers on my flight to Louisiana last week. I’m really glad I took print copies of books to read on the plane. There’s usually 10-20 minutes before take off and landing when no electronics are allowed. That’s about 20-40 minutes I wouldn’t be able to read on my e-reader or phone. I don’t know about you all, but I can read a lot in 20 minutes.

So instead of napping on my flights, I read.
Adele Symonds
sent to me by for review

This is a beautifully written, excellent book about murder, superstition, cannibalism, relations between whites and natives, priest and missionaries, slaves and free. A lot of ground is covered in this novel set in the Belgian Congo in two time zones, 1958 and flashbacks to 1935.

The characters are vivid and real and even though I have never been to the Congo I now feel as though I have. The descriptions are so crisp and clear I feel I could draw a
Nov 25, 2012 Lizzy rated it liked it
A deliciously quiet read. Very vivid and interesting characters. Good humor along with a historical background of Belgian Congo. I love Cripple! I love the cross cultural exchanges, such as this: "Her face was red, which is a clear sign that a mukelenge is angry or that you have surprised her on the toilet." I was amused often and enjoyed the author's insights and the PS at the end. Here's another favorite line: Not even a suckling babe dared to breathe, nor an old man break wind.

I didn't reali
Jul 27, 2012 Nmdb22 rated it liked it
this book interested me because of its setting in the Congo, and the local color and flavor are worth the read. however, the heroine if you can call her that, a young white missionary woman from South Carolina, doesn't so much "solve" the mystery as "stumble upon" the explanation for it. and truly, local people do not, in my experience, spend very much time thinking about the difference between protestantism and catholicism or defending their own beliefs. i was not impressed enough to read any o ...more
May 16, 2013 Linda rated it liked it
Another new "find" thanks to Malice Domestic 25. Set in the Belgian Congo in the late 1950s the book paints a picture of contrasts--sometimes with humor but other times with an overwhelming malevolent aura. Missionaries, Catholic and Protestant, vie for the souls of the natives. Belgians, born in Belgium and the Congo, jockey for social status with other foreigners while the various native tribes have their own issues to face with pending liberation from Belgium. An unsolved murder from the past ...more
Debbie Maskus
This book appealed to me, even though I have read other novels by Tamar Myers, which I did not relish. I had read Tamar Myers Pennsylvania Dutch series, as I enjoy stories about the Amish, and of course, I adore mysteries. The book, Hell Hath No Curry, was a big disappointment to me. I feel that Myers is more in her element writing stories about African village life. The writing is lyrical and dwells on village life in Africa. The novel covers many experiences by the various individuals in the v ...more
Harpercollins Canada
It's stop #9 on Summer Passport and we're in Africa!

Welcome to Africa! Our first stop is the Democratic Republic of the Congo!

A beautiful young American missionary, a local Belgian Congolese police chief and the local village's witch doctor are all tied together in the mystery of the evil omens that have beset the village. From a decades old murder to superstition to an earthquake that quite literally cuts the village in half, suggest that more lives will be lost before the true killer is found.
Mar 14, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
A bit disjointed. The mystery aspect didn't show up until the very end of the book. Then it felt almost felt like an afterthought, with nobody actually solving the mystery (which turned out to be not much intrigue at all), but instead everything just falling into place. What saved it for me was the insight into life in the Congo (Africa holds a special place for me). The author's own experiences growing up there really shine. It's more general fiction than mystery.
May 29, 2012 Dan rated it it was ok
Although listed as a mystery, this story is more of life in the Belgian Congo (circa 1958). There are also chapters that alternated to the same area during 1935. Author Tamar Myers using her own experiences to write a descriptive narrative of what it was like during this turbulent time. Other than that, I didn’t care for the plot (no mystery) or feel for the mail characters. IS it because I haven’t read the first two books in the series? Not sure, but I will not go back to read them either.
Norma Huss
May 01, 2014 Norma Huss rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, historic
This is the third of Tamar Myers Africa books. Since she grew up there, she knows what she's writing about and it definitely shows. This story rambles between times from 1935 to 1958. The characters are natives (especially Cripple, the devout heathen), the American Protestant missionary, and the many Europeans, mostly Catholic, some there with the church and others for diamonds. Of course, the boy is there (who grows up). It's an earthy tale of intrigue, religion, and mystery.
These are my thoughts on an uncorrected proof I received via Goodreads giveaway...

Why is it so flippin' hard to write a decent "review" of something I enjoyed reading so much? Let's see. I shall start with...I really liked this book. The characters came alive on the page. [Cripple, I love you.] It had a strong sense of place. [The Belgian Congo of 1958, with snatches of 1935 sprinkled throughout.] More please?
Oct 15, 2012 Kate rated it it was amazing
A very interesting story set in an interesting place and time: the Belgian Congo in (alternatively) 1938 and 1954. This is apparently the third book in this setting, with some of the same people. I will have to go back and check out the earlier books. Light but with good sociological observations.
Jun 15, 2014 Laura rated it liked it
A good book. Myers displays a thorough knowledge of her setting - the location, the conflicts between the native Africans and the foreign colonists, and the differences between Christianity and the tribal beliefs - and spins a compelling story with colorful characters. The ending was lacking something though
Mar 13, 2012 Patty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Each one of the books in this series is more exciting than the one before it. The plots are fresh and interesting, the politics and cultures ring true, the characters are engaging. I will certainly read every one of these African tales.
Mar 27, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it
This was my least favorite in the series. The book was still good, but at times it felt confusing and I wasn't sure who I was reading about. Cannabalism plays a role in this one, along with a Monsignor who has a few secrets. Of course Amanda Brown, Cripple and Peter Jardin are all there.
Aug 24, 2013 Tara rated it it was ok
I didn't connect with any of the characters, so it was hard to even care about finishing the book. It was a little tour into Congo in the 20th century, which was interesting. I'm not a big mystery fan, though, so I might not have been the right audience.
Apr 15, 2012 a_tiffyfit rated it it was ok
The ending was a bit abrupt, but I did like the back and forth story telling. It weaved together nicely and was well written. Cripple was definitely my favorite character: wise, sarcastic, mischievous, caring.
Lisa Bryant
Mar 06, 2015 Lisa Bryant rated it liked it
I didn't enjoy this one nearly as much as I did the previous two in this series. I think I'm only giving it 3 stars because of the continuing characters. I'm not sure what made it different but the story line wasn't nearly as entertaining as the others.
Aug 09, 2013 Judith rated it really liked it
Quirky and fun. Not a mystery at all, but the classification error didn't detract from the enjoyment. I will be reading more of this series.
Anna Wedel
Jun 15, 2015 Anna Wedel rated it liked it
Loved the storytelling in this book. The book is written with the African storytelling in mind, so does not necessarily have a start and an end to this book.
Aug 20, 2012 Robyn rated it liked it
Not your usual mystery; in fact, not much of a mystery at all. But an interesting read nonetheless.
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Tamar Myers was born and raised in the Belgian Congo (now just the Congo). Her parents were missionaries to a tribe which, at that time, were known as headhunters and used human skulls for drinking cups. Hers was the first white family ever to peacefully coexist with the tribe, and Tamar grew up fluent in the local trade language. Because of her pale blue eyes, Tamar’s nickname was Ugly Eyes.

More about Tamar Myers...

Other Books in the Series

Amanda Brown (4 books)
  • The Witch Doctor's Wife (Amanda Brown #1)
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