The Case of the Ashanti Gold: A Joe Cinquez Mystery

Clifford Mason, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (258p) ISBN 978-0-312-12334-5
Just as Harlem ex-reporter Joe Cinquez decides to turn fully legal private eye (after packing a piece without a license for years), his sister-in-law approaches him with her concern about his brother, Phil, whom she believes is in trouble. She can't afford to pay Joe but he accepts her as his first client anyway; within a day he finds his brother's decapitated head in his closet and is attacked with a spear and a machete by a Zulu warrior in full tribal dress. Cinquez is pretty certain that the ruckus has something to do with a valuable golden stool mailed to him by his brother just before Phil's untimely death. Wtih the help of sultry Desiree Robbins, the head of NYU's African Student Union, whom he'd met flirting in Washington Square Park, Joe becomes embroiled in a complicated series of international political maneuvers, revolving around the stool's value both as a treasure of Ashanti kings and as a vehicle for South African gold-smuggling. Mason (When Love Was Not Enough) has written a clever, complex and well-executed mystery, but its characterizations are never altogether involving. December 26
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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