A Fantastic Mystery Series from Ghana

Looking for a fresh mystery series to read? The novels below offer a very different take on a detective series since they’re set in Ghana written by an author who grew up there. The unique situations & traditional beliefs which are prevalent in Ghana provide different twists to the stories making the novels even more engrossing. During a discussion about the first book in the series, everyone rated the novel an 8, 9, or 10 out of 10 which mimics what the critics & other reviewers have said:

Vastly engaging . . . Apart from the thrill of the detecting, [the Darko Dawson Mysteries] offer an education in Ghana’s history, social life, eating habits and other customs.
— The Toronto Star

There are 5 books currently in the series with more planned. If you haven’t yet read one of these Ghanaian mysteries, we urge you to see what all the fuss is about. Happy reading!

Book 1

"Introducing Detective Inspector Darko Dawson: dedicated family man, rebel in the office, ace in the field—and one of the most appealing sleuths to come along in years. When we first meet Dawson, he's been ordered by his cantankerous boss to leave behind his loving wife and young son in Ghana's capital city to lead a murder investigation. In a shady grove outside the small town of Ketanu, a young woman—a promising medical student—has been found dead under suspicious circumstances. Dawson is fluent in Ketanu's indigenous language, so he's the right man for the job, but the local police are less than thrilled with an outsider's interference. For Dawson, this sleepy corner of Ghana is rife with emotional land mines: an estranged relationship with the family he left behind 25 years earlier and the painful memory of his own mother's inexplicable disappearance. Armed with remarkable insight and a healthy dose of skepticism, Dawson soon finds his cosmopolitan sensibilities clashing with age-old customs, including a disturbing practice in which teenage girls are offered to fetish priests as trokosi, or Wives of the Gods. Delving deeper into the student's death, Dawson will uncover long-buried secrets that hit much too close to home."

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Book 2

“In the slums of Accra, Ghana’s fast-moving, cosmopolitan capital, teenagers are turning up dead. Inspector Darko Dawson has seen many crimes, but this latest string of murders—in which all the young victims bear a chilling signature—is the most unsettling of his career. Are these heinous acts a form of ritual killing or the work of a lone, cold-blooded monster? With time running out, Dawson embarks on a harrowing journey through the city’s underbelly and confronts the brutal world of the urban poor, where street children are forced to fight for their very survival—and a cunning killer seems just out of reach.”

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Book 3

“Detective Inspector Darko Dawson returns to solve a complex mystery that will take him out of the city to the beautiful coasts of Ghana, where a grim double-murder seems to have larger political implications.

A canoe washes up at a Ghanaian off-shore oil rig site. Inside it are the bodies of a prominent, wealthy couple, Charles and Fiona Smith-Aidoo, who have been ritualistically murdered. Pillars in their community, they are mourned by everyone, but especially by their niece, Sapphire. She is not happy that months have passed since the murder and the local police have made no headway in figuring out who committed the gruesome crime.

Detective Inspector Darko Dawson of the Accra police force is sent out to Cape Three Points to investigate. The more he learns about the case, the more convoluted it becomes. Three Points has long been occupied by traditional fishing populations, but real estate entrepreneurs and wealthy oil companies have been trying to bribe the indigenous inhabitants to move out. Dawson unearths a host of motives for murder, ranging from personal vendettas to corporate conspiracies.“

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Book 4

Darko Dawson, Chief Inspector in the Ghana police service, returns in this atmospheric crime series often compared to Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels.

Darko Dawson has just been promoted to Chief Inspector in the Ghana Police Service—the promotion even comes with a (rather modest) salary bump. But he doesn’t have long to celebrate because his new boss is transferring him from Accra, Ghana’s capital, out to remote Obuasi in the Ashanti region, an area now notorious for the illegal exploitation of its gold mines.

When Dawson arrives at the Obuasi headquarters, he finds it in complete disarray. The office is a mess of uncatalogued evidence and cold case files, morale is low, and discipline among officers is lax. On only his second day on the job, the body of a Chinese mine owner is unearthed in his own gold quarry. As Dawson investigates the case, he quickly learns how dangerous it is to pursue justice in this kingdom of illegal gold mines, where the worst offenders have so much money they have no fear of the law. “

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Book 5

Set in Accra, Ghana, Chief Inspector Darko Dawson investigates the brutal murder of a high-society bride. In order to expose the truth, Darko must confront the pivotal role religion plays in Ghana—and wrestle with his old demons the investigation stirs up.

Katherine Yeboah’s marriage to Solomon Vanderpuye is all the talk of Accra high society. But when it becomes apparent that Katherine is infertile, Solomon’s extended family accuses her of being a witch, hounding her until the relationship is so soured Solomon feels compelled to order Katherine out of the house. Alone on her last night there, Katherine is brutally murdered by an intruder.

Chief Inspector Darko Dawson has personal as well as professional reasons to find the killer fast: Katherine was the first cousin of his wife, Christine, who is devastated by the tragedy. As Darko investigates, he discovers that many people close to Katherine had powerful motives to kill her, including: Solomon, her husband; James Bentsi-Enchill, her lawyer and ex-lover; and her filthy rich pastor, Bishop Clem Howard-Mills. In order to expose the truth, Darko must confront the pivotal role religion plays in Ghana—and wrestle with his old demons the investigation stirs up.“

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