Wife of the Gods

Publisher Random House, July 2009

For fans of Alexander McCall Smith, a debut mystery novel set in West Africa that introduces a marvelous detective and a fascinatingly rich community

Set in Ghana, with the action moving back and forth between the capital city of Accra and a small village in the Volta Region, Kwei Quartey’s lively debut novel is the story of Detective Inspector Darko Dawson, a good family man and a remarkably intuitive sleuth who is sent to the village of Ketanu—the site of his mother’s disappearance, many years ago—to solve the murder of an accomplished young AIDS worker.

As the mystery unfolds we meet a rich cast of characters, including the Trokosi, young women (called Wives of the Gods) who are sent to live with fetish priests to bring good fortune to their families. As Darko explores the motivations and secrets of the residents of Ketanu, battling his own anger issues and concerns for his ailing son, it becomes clear that in addition to solving a recent murder, he is about to finally unravel the shocking truth about his own mother’s disappearance.

“With great artistry, Quartey takes us on a mystical trip through the heart of Ghana where we visit remarkable characters and find ourselves tangled in unfathomable mysteries.”
— Colin Cotterill, author of Curse of the Pogo Stick

“A sensitive novel of powerful family passions, set in the unique and vivid colours of Ghana. It is a complex mystery and with a detective that I hope we meet again.”
— Anne Perry, author of Buckingham Palace Gardens

“WIFE OF THE GODS is a gem. Memorable fiction is always about discovery, and this fascinating debut delivers much that is new. Kwei Quartey contrasts the modern against the ancient while portraying his native West Africa in a way that is always fresh and alluring. He introduces us to people we don’t know who live a culture we’ve never imagined, and he manages to offer the most elusive of fabulist gifts—an engrossing story we haven’t heard.”
— Stephen White, author of Dead Time

“Kwei Quartey’s wonderful Inspector Darko Dawson mystery, Wife of the Gods, brings to vivid life a character and a setting that no mystery fan should miss.”
— Charles Todd, author of A Matter of Justice: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

Wife of the Gods