Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery

Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery

by Jennifer S. Alderson
Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery

Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery

by Jennifer S. Alderson


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A museum researcher must solve a decades-old mystery before she becomes the killer’s next victim in this riveting dual timeline thriller set in Papua and the Netherlands.

Agats, Dutch New Guinea (Papua), 1961: While collecting Asmat artifacts for a New York museum, American anthropologist Nick Mayfield stumbles upon a smuggling ring organized by high-ranking members of the Dutch colonial government and the Catholic Church. Before he can alert the authorities, he vanishes in a mangrove swamp, never to be seen again.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 2018: While preparing for an exhibition of Asmat artifacts in a Dutch ethnographic museum, researcher Zelda Richardson finds Nick Mayfield’s journal in a long-forgotten crate. Before Zelda can finish reading the journal, her housemate is brutally murdered and ‘Give back what is not yours’ is scrawled on their living room wall.

Someone wants ancient history to stay that way—and believes murder is the surest way to keep the past buried. Can she solve a sixty-year-old mystery before decades of deceit, greed, and retribution cost Zelda her life?

  • Awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion by indieBRAG's readers in December 2018
  • One of Amy's Bookshelf Reviews' Top 20 Books of 2018
  • Winner of a Chill with a Book Readers’ Award, June 2018
  • A Women Writers, Women’s Books magazine’s Recommended Reads for March 2018
  • New Apple’s 2018 Summer Book Awards, Official Selection Mystery/Thriller category
  • BookLife Prize for Fiction 2018, Mystery/Thriller category, rating 8.50
  • Art, religion, and history collide in this edge-of-your-seat museum thriller, Book Two of the Zelda Richardson Mystery Series. The novels in this series can be read in any order.

    Product Details

    ISBN-13: 9789083001128
    Publisher: Traveling Life Press
    Publication date: 04/01/2019
    Series: Zelda Richardson Mystery Series , #2
    Pages: 264
    Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.55(d)

    About the Author

    Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. Before settling in the Netherlands, she traveled extensively around Asia, Oceania, Australia, and Central America. Her love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning Zelda Richardson Mystery Series. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

    Table of Contents


    Author’s Note

    How to Survive on Land and Sea

    Human Remains project

    Asmat bis poles

    We don’t do sensationalism

    Diary of a missing anthropologist

    Returning to Dutch New Guinea

    New job prospects

    An unexpected discovery

    Computer problems

    The Anti-Colonial Brigade

    Bad news

    Tropenmuseum in upheaval

    An acquisition trip to Ow

    Zelda seeks guidance

    Mission Museum Steyl

    Asmat baptisms

    Paving the way

    Breaking with the past

    Have faith

    Reprimanding Zelda

    Asmat rituals and ethnic art dealers

    A missing collection

    Restitution of our ancestors

    Setting priorities

    Exceptions to the rule

    Fishing in Kopi

    A fifty-year-old dispute

    Did you spill the beans?

    Considering blackmail

    Can’t this wait?

    Date night

    Break-in at the Tropenmuseum

    Nick Mayfield’s journal

    Give back what is not yours

    A letter to Pepijn

    Quality above quantity

    Lashing out

    Surveying the jungle

    Gallery Visser

    Ancestor worship

    Shady provenance

    The physical anthropologist’s hut

    MS Bali III

    Pepijn calls the police

    A welcome opportunity

    At your service

    A DNA match

    Sins of the past

    Sculptures from the Rainforest

    Reading Group Questions


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