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The Devil in the Bush (Paperback)
World War II is raging, but in this dusty backwater of the Belgian Congo, the biggest problem is finding a cold beer. That's the case, at least, for Hooper Taliaferro, a U.S. government gofer sent to Africa on a vague errand related to the war effort. What he finds at the failing Congo-Ruizi plantation won't help the Allies much. Like colonialism itself, the owner is dying of a slow poison, and neither his staff nor his sluttish wife can muster the energy to care. But along with Hooper arrives Dr. Mary Finney, a formidable missionary with both moral outrage and sleuthing skills to spare. The Devil in the Bush introduces Dr. Finney as a sort of blunt-spoken Yankee Miss Marple, with likable, lightweight Hooper as her faithful scribe.
About the Author
Matthew Head is the pseudonym of John Edwin Canaday (1907-1985), an art critic and writer. Canaday was a New York Times art critic for seventeen years and authored several monographs of visual art scholarship. Late in life he wrote restaurant reviews for the Times. Under the Matthew Head pen name he wrote seven mystery novels, three of which are set in the Congo and based on his experiences traveling there as a French translator in 1943. Canaday was born in Fort Scott, KS; his series sleuth, Dr. Mary Finney is said to be from Fort Scott as well.