Welcome to the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Fowl Murder (A Kenya Kanga Mystery) by Victoria Tait. Stop by each blog on the tour for interviews, spotlights, reviews and more!
A shooting on the savanna. A tragedy she’d rather forget. When past and present collide, will she survive to see her future?
Fowl Murder (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
by Victoria Tait
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Fowl Murder: A Cozy Mystery with a Determined Female Amateur Sleuth (A Kenya Kanga Mystery)
1st in Series
Publisher: Kanga Press (July 21, 2020)
ebook, 190 pages
Kenya, 2016. Semi-retired vet Rose Hardie just wants to enjoy her golden years and care for her disabled husband. But her peace of mind shatters when a forgotten confidant returns and reopens a case where Rose pulled the trigger. With her memories of the poacher’s shocking death flooding back, she barely catches her breath before her childhood friend is brutally murdered.
Braving blackmail and entrenched corruption, the tireless woman dives headfirst into helping the victim’s son solve the crime. But when the lead suspect is killed, Rose’s plans for a peaceful life end up dead and buried…
As her own traumatic history unravels, can Rose catch a killer before she becomes the next victim?
Fowl Murder is the first book in the compelling Kenya Kanga Mystery series. If you like determined heroines, unpredictable twists and turns, and vivid African settings, then you’ll love Victoria Tait’s pulse-pounding tale.
Character guest post Rose’s Introduction to Nanyuki
Welcome to Nanyuki. I’m Rose Hardie. I hope your journey from Nairobi was not too tiring… or terrifying. Calm, considerate driving is not a skill most Kenyans have and it is made worse by long sections of single carriageway around bends and up and down hills, an increasing number of slow-moving trucks, and the impatience of most drivers to overtake.
You have probably noticed that Kenya is a very different country from that which you are used to. Although the average income is above the world average, those at the top have a lot, whilst a third of the population live below the international poverty line. There is an increasing number of cars, but you will have seen many people walking as you travelled from Nairobi, or crammed into the white minibus-taxis called matatus. Some may even have been riding in donkey carts.
Kenya is in East Africa and has a population of around 50 million people. It borders the Indian Ocean, with fabulous white sandy beaches, and near its centre Mount Kenya rises to 17,000 ft. Jump in and I’ll show you around. I’m afraid my Land Rover Defender is rather rustic compared with the Toyota Land Cruiser you arrived in, but it’s done me well over the years.
This is the parking lot for Nanyuki Mall, which is one of our modern buildings. It contains the town’s main supermarket, Nakumatt. The queue to the right is for the Safaricom shop: they are the main telecoms company in Kenya. Everyone carries a mobile phone these days.
Let’s start at Dormans coffee shop so you can freshen up and grab a drink, and perhaps something to eat, before I show you round. This is the main highway which you travelled on from Nairobi. It runs through the centre of Nanyuki before continuing north. You may have seen a signpost for Moyale as you left Nairobi, a town on the border of Kenya and Ethiopia.
Mount Kenya is on our right. I’m sure you had some magnificent views on your journey this morning. Mornings are usually better for viewing the mountain as clouds tend to gather and obscure it in the afternoon, particularly in the rainy season. There is still a little snow visible on the peak.
Nanyuki was founded in 1907 by British settlers. It grew economically mainly due to the farms it served throughout Laikipia county. Over to the left is the old railway which once linked the town with Nairobi.
Did you see the yellow sign with a red banner proclaiming ‘Equator’ as you entered the town? Nanyuki lies on the equator, but at 1,950 metres, or 6,400 ft, above sea level it is also the 14th highest town in Africa. I guess you didn’t expect that? Be careful as you may feel the effects of the high altitude, particularly if you drink a lot of caffeine or alcohol, or exert yourself.
The buildings are set back from the main highway facing parallel secondary access roads. As you can see there is a range of styles and building sizes. Over to the right is a row of original single-storey shops with tin mabati roofs. The buildings go back quite a long way as the front section used to be a shop or workshop and the family lived behind it. On the left are still some single-storey buildings containing smaller shops, such as tailors, hardware stores and a few local eateries.
A lot of new buildings have been constructed over the past five, even ten, years. The largest are constructed with small shops, often facing an internal alleyway, built on the ground floor with flats and offices built above. I can’t believe how tall some buildings are now, at least seven storeys.
Here we are and there’s a free ‘free’ parking space in front of the coffee shop which is through that arch. The coffee shop is on the left portion of the building, a lovely but expensive gift shop is in the middle and the end door leads to a travel agents and offices of a small internet company. As the weather is fine, shall we sit outside? The table my younger friend Chloe and I usually sit at, in the far corner, is free.
If you’ve finished your coffee I’ll show you a bit more of Nanyuki. We’ll drive; it’s easier and quicker than walking. Watch out for the street hawkers when you step outside. They are harmless but it can be off-putting having various people thrust wooden giraffes or beaded bracelets in your face and shouting at you to buy them.
We’re back on the main highway heading north. The next town of any size is Timau, about fifty minutes away. Sorry about that bump. Potholes are constantly opening up in the road. They are filled with earth but it is washed out as soon as we have a heavy rainstorm. On the right is the police station. The original building is the singlestorey brick one, but lots of temporary offices and buildings have been constructed, particularly at the back. I am not sure what the abandoned cars are doing. They’ve been rotting away in the compound for years and make it look untidy.
I’ll pull over here. These are the gates to my church, Christ the King Catholic Church, which you can see rising above the wall. It is a large solid building by Nanyuki standards. Over to the right is the green Safaricom branded wall of the Nanyuki howround, where the Agricultural Society hold a show each May. It attracts of visitors despite only a few animals being displayed. The rest of the year it is the main base for the British Army who train in Laikipia, and further north at Archers Post.
I’ll turn around and take you to the market. That’s the prison on the left and on the right are low quality stone shacks with mabati roofs. Yes, I am afraid families do live there on dirt floors, as you can see from that toddler sitting in front of a building wearing dirty ragged clothes.
This is the fruit and vegetable market with its stalls of lopsided wooden tables. As you can see some have strung pieces of plastic above them, supported on spindly poles to provide some protection from the sun. Feel free to have a look around. They won’t mind you picking up a piece of fruit, just smile politely and if you would like to buy something let me know. Otherwise I’ll meet you back here.
Its getting hot outside. Why don’t I drive you to your hotel? You’re staying at the Mount Kenya Safari Club so you should have a very enjoyable stay.
About Victoria Tait
Victoria Tait is an exciting new author launching her Kenya Kanga Mystery series. She’s drawn on 8 years living in rural Kenya with her family to transport her readers to a world of curiosity, community and conspiracy. The Kenya Kanga Mystery series brings to life the beauty of the Kenyan landscape, the magic of its wildlife and the warmth of its people.
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