Book Review: Death by His Grace by Kwei Quartey

I have grown to love the Darko Dawson’s murder series ever since I picked up Murder at Cape Three Points a year ago by a mere stroke of luck in New York Public Library. I have been hooked since then.

Imagine my excitement when Kwei Quartey shared on his Facebook page that he was looking for fans to read the advanced copy of his new book and give their honest reviews. A lot of people commented under the post before I did. So, to beat the competition, I shared a link to my reviews of all his books and told him how much I would love to read his new book. Of course, I was among those he chose to read the book. And boy was I happy when I saw this book sitting beautifully in my mailbox. I received it last month but with my wedding planning and all I didn’t get a chance to open it until last Friday and I finished it on Tuesday.

Death by His Grace is set in Ghana just like the previous books. It’s about Katherine Vanderpuye, a beautiful married woman who sadly, can’t have a child. In any modern society, this will just be a bump in the road that the woman and her husband will jump through together. But in the African society, some people see this as a curse and always blame the woman even in cases when the man is at fault. Although, in this case, the problem is with Katherine. Unfortunately for her, she has a mother- and sister-in-law who don’t like her very much, and a husband who is easily manipulated by his mother. They accuse Katherine of being a witch who kills her babies while in the womb.

It’s apparently a cause for divorce and also a crime punishable by death to be infertile in Ghana because Katherine is not only harassed and tormented for not giving birth, she is brutally murdered on her last night in her marital home. Hotshot detective, Darko Dawson is called in to solve her murder. This case is very personal for Darko because Katherine is his wife’s cousin. Initially, Darko didn’t want to take the case due to fear of being biased but his family and boss encouraged him to.

Darko relunctantly leads the investigation and recruits the help of a new female detective to help him solve the case. The investigation reveals secrets, affairs, and many possible suspects which include Katherine’s bishop and church staff, her husband, old flame, and a paranoid stalker. Who killed Katherine and why? I had my guesses and narrowed it down to one but the culprit ended up not even being one of the people I suspected. Even Darko didn’t see it coming.

This book got me hooked from beginning to end. I give it 5 stars! I found it very hard to put down. It truly captured the Ghanaian daily living, struggles, high society and religious scene which amazingly, are similar to Nigeria, my birth country. This book is not long, I easily read half of the book my first day of opening it. I do love the fact that I wasn’t able to predict the murderer and boy oh boy, the ending definitely caught me off guard. It’s a true cliffhanger. I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to a new book the way I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series.


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