Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen
Berkley Books, 2019. Hardcover, 304 pages.
Picking up just days after Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding, Love and Death Among the Cheetahs, is the story of Georgie and Darcy’s honeymoon. At a garden party hosted by the queen, Darcy surprised Georgie with the fact they will be flying to Kenya on their honeymoon the next day. However, Georgie soon realizes it is cover for one of Darcy’s assignments. Still, they plan to enjoy the trip and make that a priority.
Once in Kenya, they find themselves among the Happy Valley set, a group of rich expatriates who call the valley home. These aristocrats are flamboyant, think they are above the law, and love wild parties. After one of those parties, a British lord turns up dead alongside a road and Darcy and Georgie are the ones to find the body. Is the murder connected to Darcy’s investigations? Or is it because Lord Cheriton was the biggest womanizer and cheat of the Happy Valley set?
It was wonderful to see how Darcy and Georgie started their life together. And setting the story in Kenya was amazing since that setting is open to so many amazing stories of life on safari and in the bush. As a mystery, I found parts predictable but the aforementioned aspects of the story made up for it.
Bowen addressed some tricky situations over the course of the novel. One had to show how the Happy Valley set conducted their lives, which seems like something out of modern-day Hollywood. However, that group also thought themselves racially superior to the native Africans. Bowen addressed both sides of the issue by having Georgie be uncomfortable with how the natives were treated and having normal conversations with the Africans and by having one native supporting character readers can gain insights from. With everyone realizing war was again in the future, Bowen also addresses how the characters were responding to the rise of Fascism in Europe with characters on both sides of the issue. Addressing either situation is tricky, but managing to address both in the same novel and do it well is a feat.
Have you read other books in this series? If so, what did you think? If not, might you and why?
This review is based on an advanced reader copy provided by NetGalley. The novel will be released on August 6, 2019.