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The Song Dog (Kramer and Zondi Mystery #8)

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  92 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
A unique mystery series that focuses not only on fascinating crimes, but also on the evils of apartheid in South Africa. When Lieutenant Tromp Kramer joins forces with brilliant Bantu Detective Sergeant Mickey Zondi to investigate an accidental murder, they are confronted by the mysterious and legendary Song Dog.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 1st 1992 by Warner Books (NY) (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 169)
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Dec 07, 2013 Craig added it
A recent event has prompted me to re-read the Kramer & Zondi novels of James McClure. They are set in apartheid South Africa. Tough and uncompromising they illustrate they practical relationship between a white and a black policeman of the time. They are also excellent examples of crime fiction of the police procedural variety. Featuring every shade of human venality, frailty and weakness, for me they provide perfect vehicle to illustrate the wasteful insanity of apartheid: The way the much ...more
Mar 18, 2014 nicdavdi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written 20 years after the publication of the first story in the series, The Song Dog is in fact a prequel to the Kramer-Zondi novels of James McClure. It fills in the back story of how and where the two detectives came to meet and begin to work together. Prequels of this kind are rare but not unknown. I'm not sure what moves an author to do so after twenty years and seven stories in the series; maybe a sense that the first book didn't address how two such characters got to work together in the ...more
Zeb Kantrowitz
Jun 25, 2014 Zeb Kantrowitz rated it really liked it
There have been seven previous books in the “Kramer and Zondi” series about the two detectives in Apartheid South Africa. This book (which is the last of the series) is about the first meeting of Kramer and Zondi, and how he Kramer got involved with ‘the Widow Fourie’.

Kramer has just been promoted to Lieutenant but has also been transferred from his home provide of ‘Orange Free State’ (the State) to Trekkersberg in Zululand. It’s a cultural change for Kramer that he wasn’t prepared for with the
Mariano Hortal
Publicado en

El otoño, con su tristeza inherente, es quizás una de esas épocas más propicias para leer cierto tipo de libros; en este caso se me antoja que las novelas negras pueden ser más que propicias para aprovecharlas en una de esas tardes lluviosas en las que tampoco apetece hacer mucho más que sentarse en un sillón, disfrutar de un buen café o infusión y, cómo no, de una buena novela policíaca.

Para ello hoy traigo tres recomendaciones de tres maestr
Oct 13, 2015 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: south-africa
Always interested in fiction about Africa. This book was hard to take as it is set in deepest Apartheid South Africa, just at the time Nelson Mandela has been arrested. A white policeman is sent to track down a murderer and, reluctantly, needs the help of a black policeman. As this is supposed to be set in the past, the language used towards and about the black characters is pretty hard to take. Not feeling like looking for other books by this author. Though the story is good.
Dec 18, 2014 Ignacio rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Novela criminal sin demasiada sustancia que se desarrolla en la Sudáfrica rural de comienzos de los 60. Esta ambientación es, quizá, lo mejor a pesar de que todo es muy liviano, sin apenas claro-oscuros. Es normal que los personajes protagonistas destaquen cuando todos a su alrededor se comportan como si tuvieran serias limitaciones mentales. Muy bien me van a tener que recomendar el resto de novelas de la serie para que continúe con ellas.
Luis Alberto Moreno
Jul 06, 2014 Luis Alberto Moreno rated it really liked it
Magnífica novela negra. Permite, además de disfrutar de una trama bien construida y unos personajes estupendos, tener de fondo el horror del apartheid
Elly Wendy
Oct 28, 2014 Elly Wendy rated it did not like it
just can't get through this one
Jim Naughton
Nov 14, 2007 Jim Naughton rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of mysteries
Thanks to James McClure's novels, I learned about apartheid in South Africa. Like Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, who wrote mysteries that illuminated life in Sweden, the McClure series was eye-opening. It also was very entertaining. I've long since lost the paperbacks I had (or, I hope, gave them to someone else who'd appreciate them) and wish I had them now because they were instrumental in making me want to read more about other cultures and other continents.
Peter Brooks
May 17, 2012 Peter Brooks rated it really liked it
James McClure's detective books are set in Pietermaritzburg in Apartheid South Africa, featuring two policemen, Kramer and Zondi. The plots are OK, and the writing not bad, what is excellent, though, is how they capture the zeitgeist.

The relationship between the white Afrikaans Kramer, and the black Zulu Zondi is brilliantly explored. The town, too, appears almost as a character.

Jun 07, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Song Dog by James McClure is as much about the South Africa in the early 60s as it is the mystery, which I found fascinating. Officially, this is #8 is the series, but it's actually a prequel, showing how Kramer and Zondi, the pair who anchor the series, first met, so it stood alone well for me.

Give this one a listen. I enjoyed it.
Apr 30, 2009 Caam rated it it was amazing
I had no idea about apartheid... I will definitely read more of his books, as the story itself is top-notch.
Jun 05, 2013 Roberta rated it it was ok
Too hyper macho for me.
Nov 15, 2008 Bernard rated it really liked it
At present, I have only the other Kramer-Zondi mysteries to go by -- but they paint a disturbing picture of South Africa under apartheid, which is probably more compelling than any of the mystery features.
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James Howe McClure was a British author and journalist best known for his Kramer and Zondi mysteries set in South Africa.

James McClure was born and raised in South Africa and educated in Pietermaritzburg, Natal at Scottsville School (1947–51), Cowan House (1952–54), and Maritzburg College (1955–58). He worked first as a commercial photographer with Tom Sharpe, who later wrote a series of celebrate
More about James McClure...

Other Books in the Series

Kramer and Zondi Mystery (8 books)
  • The Steam Pig
  • The Caterpillar Cop
  • The Gooseberry Fool
  • Snake
  • The Sunday Hangman
  • The Blood of an Englishman
  • The Artful Egg

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