The World of Mules
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Category Archives: Botswana Mysteries
When Inspector Modise had time to work his way through the events of that night, he would wonder at how such a violent ending had evolved from his original and simple plan to spy on and then deport Lenka and his people. Perhaps it would have been clearer if he had been raised in the plains of the United States where thunderstorms can, if the conditions are right, turn into deadly tornados which will tear a path of destruction and devastation over miles of land and threaten every living thing in their way. Or, if he had lived close to the sea where the convergence of certain otherwise benign barametrics can produce the “perfect storm” which will race across miles of sea sinking ships and even reordering the very nature of the ocean ecosystem. How was he to know that the presence of a dangerous woman in the person of Irena Davidova, the stubbornness of an American entrepreneur, the unpredictability of a wounded and betrayed hired killer, the fearlessness of an otherwise ordinary game ranger, and the heartlessness of the Bratva culture would all collide and create so much havoc in a few hectic hours on an otherwise ordinary night on the Chobe River?
Launches July, 2106
A corpse is found in Botswana’s Chobe National Park. The cause of death for the male victim was a gunshot. Chobe National Park game ranger Sanderson and police officer Kgabo Modise team up to investigate the homicide.
Sanderson’s mind is not on the case as her son is dying of pneumonia caused by AIDS. On the other hand, Modise is euphoric about the opportunity to use his FBI trained skills. He knows he is expendable to work this case as his superiors are more focused on the World Cup overflow from host South Africa that could lead to a crime wave especially smuggling.
Reapers Fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective series may be interested in a very different take on Botswana in Ramsay’s second mystery set in that country (after 2009′s Predators). When the body of a man who’s been shot to death turns up in the Chobe National Park, female game ranger Sanderson, whose son is dying of AIDS-related pneumonia, ends up investigating the crime along with Kgabo Modise, an American-trained police officer seeking to apply the expertise he acquired from the FBI. Modise’s supervisors are more concerned with the prospect that the upcoming World Cup matches in neighboring South Africa will lead to an increase in smuggling. Ramsay complicates the plot a bit more than necessary with a Russian gangster and a cult that believes a compound called orgonite can heal the Earth, but his dark world view is a nice contrast to Smith’s. Publishers Weekly (Dec.)
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Predators: A Botswana Mystery
Leo Painter is the CEO of Earth Global, a large energy, mining and real-estate development firm. He and his party of company executives are traveling in Botswana to consult with the government of Botswana about accessing their extractable resources. Meanwhile, Sekoa, an aging, mortally ill lion, is being forced out by younger rivals and hyenas on the Botswana plains. The parallel stories unfold against the political and social backdrop of a modernizing Botswana.
“A bit rougher-edged than Alexander McCall Smith’s genteel “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series, this mystery will still attract his fans and those who like Michael Stanley’s Detective Kubu series (e.g., The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu ).” –Library Journal of Predators
“Through parallel stories, Ramsay’s clever stand-alone shows the ruthlessness of the business and the animal worlds without resorting to gimmickry. Ramsay (Impulse) matches keen characterizations with an obvious affection for Botswana, a complicated country that’s more than Alexander McCall Smith’s “quaint mysteries,” as one character observes.” –Publishers Weekly of Predators
Predators come in all forms in this stand-alone mystery by the author of the Ike Schwartz series. When Leo Painter, CEO of Earth Global, travels to Botswana to assess that country’s natural resources, Painter’s COO schemes to acquire enough stock in the company to take command. Ramsay parallels the story of these corporate predators with that of the real thing: an ailing lion, called Sekoa by the Botswanese, who teeters on the edge of losing his pride to a younger, healthier challenger. Painter, even with heart disease, is healthier than the AIDS-inflicted Sekoa, yet the CEO faces multiple challengers, including his bumbling stepson, who is urged on by his slutty wife to claim his just deserts. The law of the jungle, as portrayed here, is more straightforward than human behavior, and animals are altogether more admirable than people. There’s nothing subtle about the analogy Ramsay draws between animal and human predators, but his descriptions of the vivid landscape and its inhabitants win the day. An unusual, sometimes clumsy, but finally engaging mystery. –Michele Leber