African mysteries

African mysteries worth reading

Africa Scene

Michael and Joanne Hichens write a monthly column Africa Scene in The Big Thrill in which they interview a contemporary writer who is African or whose setting is Africa. You can read their latest column here.

All of the recent articles plus other articles on other international writers can be found here.

Book of the Month

Femi Kayode’s debut novel Lightseekers set in Nigeria is featured in September’s Africa Scene. Three students are beaten and set on fire by a mob angry about the gangsterism they associate with the nearby university. But is that the whole story? Motivated by a real murder of four students, this is a twisty whydunnit.


Take a look at, or follow, our Goodreads page for our reviews and thoughts about (mainly) African mysteries and thrillers here.

Elspeth Huxley

One of the earliest writers of mysteries set in Africa was Elspeth Huxley (of Flame Trees of Thika fame). She wrote three mysteries in the 1930s.

  • Murder at Government House (1937)
  • Murder on Safari (1938)
  • Death of an Aryan (USA); The African Poison Murders (1939)

James McClure

James McClure was a South African journalist who left his homeland for the United Kingdom because of apartheid. He wrote a wonderful series featuring Afrikaner Lieutenant Tromp Kramer and Zulu Detective Sergeant Mickey Zondi. Several of his books were banned in South Africa because this police team was multi-racial.

  • The Steam Pig (1971)
  • The Caterpillar Cop (1972)
  • The Gooseberry Fool (1974)
  • Snake (1975)
  • The Sunday Hangman (1977)
  • The Blood of an Englishman (1980)
  • The Artful Egg (1984)

He also wrote a delightful thriller set in Lesotho.

  • Rogue Eagle (1976)