Love and Death Among the Cheetahs

Rhys Bowen (The Victory Garden, Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding) has finally sent Lady Georgiana and her new husband, Darcy O'Mara, on their honeymoon. When Darcy tells Georgie that he wants to surprise her, she never expects him to choose Kenya as their honeymoon destination.

The newlyweds arrive in Happy Valley, the center of British colonial society, only to discover that things aren't quite what they seem. First of all, Darcy confesses that he came to Kenya at the behest of the government, in search of a jewel thief, and Georgie is appalled to discover that partner-swapping is the main theme of the parties among the elite.

Things get more complicated when a local landowner is brutally murdered. Naturally, Darcy and Georgie get involved in the investigation, and learn a lot more about the sexual habits of their neighbors than they ever wanted to know. Soon it seems like someone is targeting Lady Georgiana as the next victim. Will they survive their honeymoon?

Rhys Bowen has aptly captured the hedonistic culture of the decadent final days of English rule in Kenya. As Bowen notes in the introduction, modern readers will be appalled at how the British speak about the local Kikuyu and Maasai, but her historical accuracy is spot-on. Lady Georgiana's typically lighthearted adventures take on slightly more sinister undertones than usual in Love and Death Among the Cheetahs, although nonetheless enjoyable. This will definitely appeal to fans of historical fiction and mystery alike. --Jessica Howard, bookseller at Bookmans, Tucson, Ariz.

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