Death seeps its wily way into every corner of the living world in this lyrical novel by Mozambican writer Mia Couto. At the start of Under the Frangipani, the narrator, a dead man, is assigned to occupy the body of a police inspector who is investigating the murder of the director of an old people's refuge housed in a former Portuguese fort. Dreamily narrated, but sharp in outline, Couto's novel is a richly rewarding real-life fable set far from the world as Western readers know it. Trans. from the Portuguese by David Brookshaw.