cover image The Headhunter's Daughter

The Headhunter's Daughter

Tamar Myers, Morrow, $13.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-199764-8

Rarely have good intentions wrought more disastrous results than in this captivating Belgian Congo adventure, by turns comic and suspenseful, a worthy sequel to its predecessor, The Witch Doctor's Wife (2009). In October 1958, reports of a white girl living among the Bashilele tribe of headhunters shock young American missionary Amanda Brown; her dashing police captain suitor, Pierre Jardin; her conniving maid, Cripple; and the rest of the diamond-mining outpost of Belle Vue. Could the self-possessed teen known as "Ugly Eyes" be the same Belgian who vanished from the community as an infant 13 years earlier? In any case, what should become of her? Answering these questions proves unexpectedly complex as well as surprisingly dangerous. Myers (Butter Safe than Sorry and 17 other Pennsylvania Dutch mysteries) spins an engagingly devious yarn, but what truly elevates this effort is the warmth with which she evokes the now-vanished Congo where she spent much of her childhood. (Feb.)