Of Frangipani in the mist

Frangipani In The Mist

Frangipani in the mist is an African murder mystery novel by written by Ravayi Marindo. Funfact: Ravayi’s name means to read or to count, so definitely destined for this.

A  Zimbabwean surgeon with bright prospects Tango Ayanda gets entangled with the law, becomes an international fugitive, trouble follows her when she tries to lay low in her ancestral home Mamvura; a sleepy rustic area where nothing ever happens and suddenly murders rock the tranquil village which has secrets of its of own. Michael Mafuri recently transferred from Harare to head the rural outpost suddenly has his work cut out for him to solve the Mamvura Murders in this fast-paced crime thriller.

The Good

Frangipani in the mist is a thrilling read that will have you hooked from the very first page, you wont know what to expect in this modern-day Zimbabwean murder mystery. The book explores crime and corruption while also giving a social commentary of life in Zimbabwe and its challenges but it’s not all gloom and doom, hope and honesty can be found and even love…

While it’s set in modern Zimbabwe, Mamvura has a traditional feel but with undertones of an African Fantasy as the village gives off a vibe reminiscent of Wakanda from Black Panther well minus the vibranium though there is a class of bow and arrow totting fearless warrior women similar to the Dora Milaje, oh yes its a very feministic novel.

The Mamvura Royal house follows a matrilineal line and is ruled by a Chieftess which also affords the novel to challenge patriarchal stereotypes in this story which is also about identity. And speaking of such stereotypes there’s a man with three wives who gave me some Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives vibes as he struggled to keep his house in order.

Frangipani in the mist has some interesting characters whose story arcs navigate the complexities of balancing tradition and modern life, greed and need…

The Bad

The way some characters just jumped to conclusions, wrong conclusions will have you rolling your eyes had some people behaved rationally the book could have ended by the third chapter, case closed, but well where would have been the fun in that?

It’s a fast-paced read and as you get towards the end you find the plot will still have outstanding issues which would not possibly be adequately resolved in the number of pages left and so the last pages of the book feel like it was a bit rushed or was edited to make it shorter and had some details didn’t make the cut to keep the page “low” and at 412 pages its not what one would call a short read.

The ugly

They say literature can be a reflection of society and this book wont make one like the police, the corruption and disregard of police procedures by some of the cops including the superiors will have you exasperated. Of course, they aren’t all bad, Michael Mafuri and his team are a breeze of fresh air…

Frangipani in the mist is an addictive read once you pick it up, you cant put it down its been a while since I had a book that I read thinking just one more chapter until I realized with the first rays of the sun shining that had been reading throughout the night.

Fair warning don’t start reading this book if you have deadlines, it will get ugly.

Final Thoughts

I chuckled as I read the author bio on how “She frequently gets murderous thoughts, which she channels into murder mysteries.” Well after spending hours and hours in a queue one can get murderous thoughts.

If you are looking for an African murder mystery and you love the smell of frangipanis, then I would definitely recommend this read.

~B

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