A POCKET FULL OF DEAD by John Wyllie

A POCKET FULL OF DEAD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

West African Dr. Quarshie (""Akhana's popular criminal investigator"") and Mrs. Quarshie (""that toothsome lady"") are such agreeable sleuths that it's a pity Wyllie won't give them a solidly human mystery-drama to star in. Here things start out well enough, with urban Dr. Q. answering a village kinswoman's appeal for help: various villagers have been non-violently killed (and their bodies prepared for burial); others keep hearing voices and having weird daydreams. Evil spirits or ""man-mischief""? As soon as the Quarshies (adopted son too) start investigating, however, the local corrupt government steps in and the story slides into kidnap formula, with Quarshie and a white woman sharing a hostage cell. As almost always with simplistic Wyllie, the ultimate guilt is put on bad outside-Africa influences, and the writing is similarly heavyhanded--especially since a flat-dull sentence is plucked out from each chapter to be used as an epigraph. Only those firmly interested in the detailed West Africa milieu will forgive all that for the sake of those nice Quarshies.

Pub Date: March 10th, 1978
Publisher: Doubleday