Edgar-finalist Hall’s rollicking 19th Stanley Hastings mystery (after 2013’s Stakeout) takes the hapless New York City PI and his wife, Alice, to Zambia and Zimbabwe on safari. Accompanying them are such diverse characters as a nubile young woman and her overprotective sibling, an American couple who live in Paris, two large women traveling together, and a cocky young man and his sullen friend. While misadventures with wild animals, cameras, canoes, and outdoor toilets preoccupy Stanley, he’s alert enough to spot that the staff member found dead under a tree of sausage fruit has not perished by accident. When other deaths follow, the cash-strapped tour operator, fearing for his business, asks Stanley to ascertain if they are related and if the group is traveling with a killer. Hall’s smooth style, ready sense of humor, and unusual take on murders in an untamed yet confined setting provide an enjoyable outing for armchair travelers. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/2014 Release date: 11/01/2014 Genre: Fiction
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