The president of an emerging African nation, Akhana, is murdered, and Dr. Quarshie is directed by his uncle, the Akhanian Minister, to discover who and -- more politically urgent -- why. Quarshie's investigation encompasses reflections on African identity and empathic uses of village religion and mores before the clue -- illicit diamond trade -- surfaces. Atmospheric and leisurely -too much so, perhaps, for mystery fans who just want to get on with it. . . .