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Strange Gods: A Mystery (Vera and Tolliver #1)

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3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  70 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
In early 20th century British East Africa, there are rules for the British and different ones for the Africans. Vera McIntosh, the daughter of Scottish missionaries, doesn't feel she belongs to either group; having grown up in Africa, she is not interested in being the well-bred Scottish woman her mother would like her to be. More than anything she dreams of seeing again t ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by Minotaur Books
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Susan in NC
Mar 20, 2017 Susan in NC rated it really liked it
4.5 stars for me - this was a wonderful book, part historical murder mystery, part romance. I've never read this author before but saw the sequel Idol of Mombasa at my local library; once I realized there was a first book in the series I knew I had to start with Strange Gods (I always like to read series in order).

The setting is British East Africa in 1911, and the novel opens with native workers discovering the dead body of a popular Scottish doctor face down among the coffee plants, a native
...more
Dana
May 21, 2016 Dana rated it it was amazing
I give this book 8 out of 5 stars. It is an extraordinary read. The story moved quickly and I wanted to race through it to find out what the wonderfully engaging characters would do next. But then the gorgeous images of a wild and exotic Africa in the early 20th century would capture me as if I watched the scene play out in technicolor, and I would have to slow down and read each word. I hated, just hated to see it end.

Vera McIntosh, born in Africa, is the daughter of Scottish missionaries. Her
...more
Connie Smith
Sep 23, 2016 Connie Smith rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dina Wood
Shelves: own, inscribed
Annamaria Alfieri is a true successor to Edith Pargeter (Ellis Peters) in the genre of historical mysteries. Strange Gods is set in Kenya a few years prior to the outbreak of WWI. The story is peopled with characters who straddle two or more worlds and who are struggling to discover who they are and where they belong. Although the novel contains three primary characters, Kenya and the Kikuyu people play as important a role as any of these three. Fortunately, this novel is the first of a series s ...more
Heather
Nov 30, 2015 Heather rated it liked it


Vera's uncle is the doctor at the Scottish mission where Vera lives.  His body is found with a Masaai spear in his back.  The colonial government wants a suspect in custody rapidly and seizes upon a local witch doctor who has been highly critical of the white doctor.  The African people know that he would never have done this in this manner.  A cursory investigation points at several English suspects but this is not acceptable to the local authorities.

Vera, Justin Tolliver an English policeman,
...more
Linda
May 03, 2016 Linda rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Since I am always on the lookout for good mysteries set in foreign locales, I was delighted to recently find myself seated next to Annamaria Alfieri at the Agatha Awards banquet. Her historical mystery series set in British East Africa in the early 1900s sounded just like something I would enjoy. And enjoy I did. Strange Gods is chock-full of interesting, well-developed characters. The setting is culturally intriguing and the history only vaguely known to me.

Vera McIntosh is the daughter of Sco
...more
Charty
Aug 02, 2016 Charty rated it liked it
More like 3.5. A solid historical mystery. I enjoyed the setting in British Africa and felt like the author did a good job at depicting the tensions between the different Native tribes and the British interlopers, particularly the attitudes and entitlement of the British settlers. She also did a nice job of painting the beauty and natural mystery of the landscape and animals.

The mystery was solidly done and I didn't guess the murder right away. The main leads, Justin Tolliver, a second son and p
...more
Leslie Roper
Feb 08, 2017 Leslie Roper rated it really liked it
What a well-written mystery of early 20th century Africa; for the most part that is. The love story was a bit much. The novel mixed historical characters with the fictional. If you have read Out of Africa or West With the Night you will probably enjoy this. The description of Africa is loving and vivid.
Garryvivianne
Oct 16, 2014 Garryvivianne rated it liked it
Young Vera McIntosh, daughter of Scottish missionaries in British ruled Africa, feels she belongs to neither the British or Scottish group. She was born in Africa & loves everything about it. She has met police officer, Justin Tolliver & is much infatuated with him. He has what she knows is honor & justice for all peoples.

Her uncle's body is found with a tribal spear in his back. Tolliver & his lieutenant, Libazo, a tribal officer, set out to find the actual murderer, as Tollive
...more
Gina
Apr 15, 2015 Gina rated it liked it
This mystery, set in early 1900s East Africa, offers a view of colonial era Africa. A young British police officer, Justin Tolliver, is investigating the murder of a Scottish doctor working out of a missionary hospital. Although his superiors want to prosecute a local medicine man for the murder, he thinks that the culprit might be one of the White settlers. To complicate matters he finds himself attracted to the victim's attractive niece.
Julie
Jul 17, 2014 Julie rated it liked it
Too much of everything, not enough of anything. The murder mystery? I didn't care who done it. The romance? Generally unsatisfying. And the descriptions of Africa? Left me wanting more. There is a reason Agatha Christie left romance out of her stories.
Jen Well-Steered
Read this with a rather large grain of salt, as she appears to have made up some of her facts. For example, she makes the claim that the UK Prime Minister has to be an Anglican and that's why Tony Blair didn't convert to Catholicism until he was out of office. Wrong on both counts!
Mary G.
Aug 11, 2014 Mary G. rated it liked it
A really nice mystery. Very much like the golden age of mysteries.
Jane
Jan 20, 2017 Jane rated it liked it
A solid, old-school mystery, not too much blood or suspense, but nicely plotted and with
lovely descriptions of the Kenyan landscape.
James Hockenberry
Nov 26, 2015 James Hockenberry rated it it was amazing
Very poignant portrayal of Caucasian influence in Africa in history and in human behaviors. Details are exquisite. You feel as if you are there, right there...Enjoy!
KelleReads
Nov 29, 2015 KelleReads rated it really liked it
This seems well set up to be an interesting series. Good characters and an interesting setting- 1911 East Africa.
Lisa Brown
Jan 12, 2016 Lisa Brown rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
it was more of a romance than a mystery which is fine and I enjoyed it, I was just expecting more of a mystery.
Elizabeth
Apr 06, 2016 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries, kenya, 1910
A somewhat stilted prose affected my enjoyment of the story.
Milly Cent
Milly Cent rated it it was ok
May 08, 2015
Betsy
Betsy rated it really liked it
Nov 28, 2014
Hesterly Black Buckley
Hesterly Black Buckley rated it really liked it
Jun 28, 2014
Jennifer
Jennifer rated it liked it
Feb 04, 2017
Kerry Schafer
Kerry Schafer rated it it was amazing
Jul 05, 2016
rosie
rosie rated it liked it
Mar 08, 2015
Kerrie
Kerrie rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2015
Darcy Wright
Darcy Wright rated it it was amazing
Apr 13, 2015
DJ
DJ rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2016
Sheila York
Sheila York rated it it was amazing
Sep 07, 2014
Shelly Sydnor
Shelly Sydnor rated it really liked it
Sep 10, 2014
Paula Globerman
Paula Globerman rated it liked it
Feb 09, 2017
nikkia neil
nikkia neil rated it really liked it
Mar 19, 2017
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Annamaria Alfieri is the pen name used by author Patricia King for her mystery novel City of Silver, set in 1650 in the wealthy Peruvian (now Bolivian) city of Potosi.
More about Annamaria Alfieri...

Other Books in the Series

Vera and Tolliver (2 books)
  • The Idol of Mombasa (Vera & Tolliver #2)

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