Each Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first part of a book that she is reading or thinking about reading. This week I'm sharing the first few paragraphs of Devil-Devil by Graeme Kent. My mystery group is reading books set in Asia and the South Pacific for our August meeting. This book is the first in a mystery series set in the Solomon Islands of the 1960's. I've been planning on reading this series (which it seems only has 2 books) for a long time and it fits our upcoming theme perfectly. Let's see what you think:
Sister Conchita clung to the sides of the small dugout canoe as the waves pounded over the frail vessel, soaking its two occupants. In front of her the Malaitan scooped his paddle into the water, trying to keep the craft on an even balance. Sister Conchita could see the coastal village a hundred yards away. The beach was crowded with islanders. She wondered whether it had been worth the perilous sea journey just to see the shark-calling ceremony when all she wanted was a shower and a meal. Of course it was, she told herself severely. If she intended serving God in the Solomons then she had to get to know everything about the islands.
The half-naked islander in front of her suddenly gave a scream of terror. Turning he thrust the paddle into the sister's hands and dived over the side of the canoe, disappearing into the frothing white foam. Sister Conchita sat rigid with apprehension, the pitted wooden blade clutched loosely in her hands. Bereft of the islander's control, the canoe started pitching and swinging wildly.
It's not easy being Ben Kella. As a sergeant in the Solomon Islands Police Force, as well as an aofia, a hereditary spiritual peacekeeper of the Lau people, he is viewed with distrust by both the indigenous islanders and the British colonial authorities. In the past few days he has been cursed by a magic man, stumbled across evidence of a cargo cult uprising, and failed to find an American anthropologist who had been scouring the mountains for a priceless pornographic icon. Then, at a mission station, Kella discovers an independent and rebellious young American nun, Sister Conchita, secretly trying to bury a skeleton. The unlikely pair of Kella and Conchita are forced to team up to solve a series of murders that tie into all these other strange goings on. Set in the 60's in one of the most beautiful and dangerous areas of the South Pacific, Devil-Devil launches an exciting new series.
Do you think you'd keep reading? Is this an area of the world that you think would make a good setting for a mystery?