The Headhunter's Daughterby Tamar Myers
Tamar Myers returns to Africa in The Headhunter’s Daughter, the second book in her wonderful mystery series set in the Belgian Congo in the mid-twentieth century—a riveting and atmospheric follow-up to The Witchdoctor’s Wife. Raised in the Congo herself, the child of missionaries, Myers uses her intimate knowledge of the people, the/b>/b>
Tamar Myers returns to Africa in The Headhunter’s Daughter, the second book in her wonderful mystery series set in the Belgian Congo in the mid-twentieth century—a riveting and atmospheric follow-up to The Witchdoctor’s Wife. Raised in the Congo herself, the child of missionaries, Myers uses her intimate knowledge of the people, the culture, and the landscape to add richness to this stunning story of an abandoned infant raised by a tribe of headhunters—a masterful mystery that fans of Alexander McCall Smith and The #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency will adore.
The closer the Belgian Congo comes to independence in 1958, the more dangerous it becomes for the white population.
Young missionary Amanda Brown, who runs the guesthouse overlooking the spectacular falls in the mining town of Belle Vue, is doing penance for her role in a fatal car accident in her South Carolina hometown. Back in 1945, a white baby girl had vanished from her home. The mysterious Mastermind planned to hold her for ransom until his plans went awry when the baby was taken by a young Bashilele boy. Raised in the tribe, the Headhunter's Daughter has grown almost to marriageable age when her existence becomes known, and she's taken along with her native father back to the guesthouse by Amanda and Pierre Jardin, a dashing police captain in love with Amanda. Amanda's servant Cripple, along as a translator, realizes that great difficulties will face the Bashilele-raised child in white society. The townspeople are agog over the new arrival, who has not the slightest idea of how to live as a white person. When the Mastermind revives the kidnapping plan, the headhunter vanishes, and long-buried secrets come out before Cripple takes matters in hand.
The second in Myers' new series (The Witch Doctor's Wife, 2009) hides the Mastermind's identity well. But it's best read for the evocative descriptions of life in the Congo, where the author grew up, and the skillful portrayal of the vast disconnect between the white and black inhabitants.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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- 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Meet the Author
Tamar Myers is the author of the Belgian Congo series and the Den of Antiquity series as well as the Pennsylvania-Dutch mysteries. Born and raised in the Congo, she lives in North Carolina.
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In 1945 in the Belgian Congo, a Bashilele warrior on a headhunting quest finds an abandoned baby that he assumes is an ailing human due to her white skin and blue eyes. He takes the infant to his tribe to be raised as a member affectionately called "Ugly Eyes". In October 1958 in the Belgian Congo, rumors fly in the diamond-mining town of Belle Vue that a white teenage girl lives with the Bashilele tribe. American missionary Amanda Brown; her boyfriend police captain Pierre Jardin; and her scheming maid Cripple are stunned with the news of a Caucasian residing with the headhunters. The teen is brought to the outpost, which leads to everyone discussing whether "Ugly Eyes" is the Belgian infant who vanished thirteen years ago. They also debate what to do with the child as resolution of the problem is complex but surprisingly also dangerous. The Headhunter's Daughter is a fantastic Belgian Congo historical thriller that brings to life the then African colony with tender affection just like Tamar Myers did with the terrific The Witch Doctor's Wife. With a nod to the "white man's burden" rationale for colonization, the story line is character driven by Good Samaritans who learn first hand what paves the road to hell as nothing seems to go right for the pair or the girl they want to help. However though the American and her boyfriend drive the tale, it is the deep look at colonial Belgian Congo during the Eisenhower Administration that makes for a powerful Cold War era thriller. Harriet Klausner
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