Kelly James Dancing with the Witchdoctor

ISBN 13: 9780060186272

Dancing with the Witchdoctor

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9780060186272: Dancing with the Witchdoctor

In a series of moving and powerful stories based on her experiences as a private investigator, Kelly James draws us into the mystery that is Africa. A lone woman searching for the lost, she exposes us to a world where truth is ephemeral, and where compassion, though frail, still bleeds through the grit and dust.

In "Detour" she investigates the apparent suicide of a beloved coffee plantation owner in Kenya. In "Gorillas and Banana Beer," James ventures into the jungles of Rwanda to catch a glimpse of the nearly extinct mountain gorillas, only to struggle for survival against merciless poachers in a village of forgotten children. In "Beira," at the edge of Mozambique and anarchy's ground-zero, James searches for a lost woman and her daughter. "Witchdoctor" takes James deep into Turkanaland, otherwise known as "hell on earth," to find a woman doctor who has disappeared. James's sanity and life hang in the balance in a surreal and ferocious closing to this compelling debut work.

Dancing with the Witchdoctor is a testimony to the strength of women, one that reveals how even in a land where flesh withers in the sun, there is no better proof of humanity than when it is on the brink.

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Review:

Kelly James has been an international private investigator on five continents, but it was in Africa that she realized her "greatest adventures and most memorable insights into the human experience." Given the scope of her work--investigating murders, missing persons, safari accidents, and tangled multinational affairs in the face of such obstacles as lions, famine, kidnappers, and tribal warfare--James takes adventure and insight into territory barely imaginable to the rest of us. The result is a stunning quartet of tales of her most memorable adventures.

In the opening story, "Detour," James travels to Mombasa, Kenya, to determine whether the death of a remarkable coffee plantation owner was suicide or murder and to hunt for a missing inheritance. Along the way she discovers a mysterious, top-secret school in the jungle. On a "pleasure" trip to Rwanda to see mountain gorillas, accompanied by a morose American teenager, James is caught in gorilla-poaching crossfire and faces the sort of impossible questions Africa so frequently poses--whose life is more valuable, that of an African child or a baby gorilla? In Beira, a coastal city in Mozambique, she and her friend David are given one day to search for David's missing mother and sister while the Russians pull out, guerrilla fighters approach, and a mass demonstration circles the wreckage. And in the final dramatic story, James just barely survives renegade Turkana warriors, 120-degree heat, starvation, crocodiles, broken ribs, and a head injury in the search for the lost Dr. Kali, an English-educated Turkana witchdoctor. James is truly an audacious explorer--skilled not only in a number of languages but also in living with almost nothing and in the most hostile of environments. She is also tough on her clients. However, just when you think you're reading nothing more than a very good mystery, complete with colorful international characters and whodunit conundrums, accompanied by a woman long on smarts and balls but short on compassion, she thrusts you squarely into the heart of Africa, where it is impossible not to feel deeply. These are haunting stories written by a remarkable woman who knows not only how to live a life of risk, but how to tell a terrific story. --Lesley Reed

About the Author:

Kelly James is an international investigator. She also gives seminars on international business culture and, when time allows, lectures to third world university women on the international job market. Aside from English, James also speaks Swahili, Zulu, Spanish, and Greek. She lives mostly in Mexico.

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James, Kelly
Published by William Morrow & Company (2001)
ISBN 10: 0060186275 ISBN 13: 9780060186272
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Book Description William Morrow & Company, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U. S. A., 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Illustrated by Smith, Doug (Woodcut on Jacket) (illustrator). Stated First Edition. In this autobiographical series of seven moving short stories based on her experiences in Africa, Kelly James draws us into the mystery and adventure that she experienced. She navigates among warring political factions, poachers, tribesmen, witchdoctors, prostitutes, the poverty stricken, and the sick. In these pages she exposes us to a world where truth is ephemeral, where compassion, though frail, still seeps through the grit and dust. "Witchdoctor" captures a journey into the author's own heart of darkness. This is the author's debut book. ; 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 001322

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