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The Cabinda Affair (1949)
por Matthew Head
Combines a strong sense of locale, compelling tension, psychological probing, and mordant wit. Mr. Head deserves a front rank among modern mystery writers - New York Times World War II is over but Hooper Taliafero is still in Africa, tying up Uncle Sam's loose ends. The latest end is in Cabinda, a tiny Portuguese colony with gaily painted buildings and a history of slave-trading. Hoop should have a pleasant stay at the home of the local administrator - the beer, after all, is cold, and the women beautiful - but the other guests are an unpleasant mix of hangers-on, including a shady lawyer and an overly chummy Brit on constant look-out for a loan. When one of them is murdered, Hoop calls in Dr. Mary Finney, the Miss Marple of the tropics. As usual, Hoop is a bit fuzzy on the details, but the formidable Dr. Finney has both stellar sleuthing skills and a .45 in her necessaries bag. Both will come in handy if she's to sort through the tangled threads of the Cabinda Affair...
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