Of Beneath The Marula Tree

Beneath the Marula tree

Beneath the Marula tree is an African murder mystery novel by Ravayi Marindo. The novel is a sequel to Frangipani in the mist.

Following the events of the Mamvura Murders (from the first book), Michael Mafuri resumes his duties at Mamvura and this time to head the rural division of a Violent Crimes Unit. When suspicious suicide cases of seemingly happy women start piling up Michael Mafuri and his team once again finds themselves at the center of the storm…

The Good

The story flows smoothly from the previous book so that it feels like you are just resuming from a previous chapter. While you won’t need to have read the first book to enjoy this one, it certainly helps the character story arc to know the backstory from the book before.

The book has some very strong feminism themes, there’s even a subplot involving a group of feminists and the are issues which come out as the investigations into the suicides progress to qualify or justify why one would have a reason to commit suicide…

While it’s still a murder mystery, again it has elements of fantasy and romance as Michael tries to find how to make the perfect marriage proposal to one from a matrilineal tribe.

The Bad

The book is not as thrilling as the first and a significant part of the plot seems to be on the bias which makes characters make emotive assumptions based on gender and race. Even the level-headed characters at times made illogical deductions, but again in the fictional world as in the real world that’s probably how we behave with emotion clouding judgement

The Ugly

The bags you will have under your eyes if you wade into this read immediately after finishing Frangipani in the mist as you wont be able to put this book down till you get to the bottom of things.

As a reflection of society, it really paints the police in an unforgiving light.. also suicide trigger warning.

Final Thoughts

The African murder mystery genre is not a common one, so this book is a breath of fresh air, which still manages touch on important themes yet still be a thrilling read with a hint of a ghost story…..



    1. It’s thrilling ride, the kind that once you start you won’t put it down… Well I’m not sure you might find it in any library without some arrangement as its a self-published work, but it is available on Amazon 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ravayi is so underrated, I am reading a fourth book by her and I am in awe…
    Her genre is a refreshing change from the usual suspects in Zimbabwean literature… I mean we can have our own modern day Zimbabwean investigative crime thriller before this I think the last local thrilling read were O level set-books Rovambira, Sajeni Chimedza…
    This almost reminded me of those Pacesseters of old and it’s set mostly in Zimbabwe


  2. I never try out any story involving murder scenes but tje descriptions given here seem to be giving this book a different take of mystery.
    The credit to African writers who have mastered the art of telling societal difference in their best way possible..
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. By any chance you also don’t watch horror movies? 🤣 just checking
      What sort of books do you read?
      Yep I’m always in awe of African writers willing to try up genres And show that it isn’t only the main stream genres that follow socially conscious stories

      Liked by 1 person

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