FICTION

A Spear of Summer Grass

Mira: Harlequin. May 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780778314394. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781460311905. F
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OrangeReviewStarIt's 1923, and Delilah Drummond is a modern woman who doesn't mind a little scandal, but the questionable circumstances of her soon-to-be ex-husband are better avoided. Sent by family to Kenya as a distraction, she finds this vast new world is perfectly suited to her particular habits and abilities. Strangely, it's the people, not the unfamiliar animals, who are the troublesome creatures, including the dashing Ryder White. Longtime fans prepare your happy dance, then make room for a legion of new followers as word of Raybourn's (The Dark Enquiry; Dark Road to Darjeeling) completely satisfying new stand-alone historical spreads. Characters with deeply interior flaws rising slowly to the surface and an exotic setting that creates its own sense of drama will make readers want to savor each page while desperately needing to know what happens next. Cultural details of the European community in Africa and the Creole community of New Orleans overlap in unexpected ways, meshing unexpectedly with lore of the Masai in Kenya.
VERDICT From sweetly touching moments requiring tissues to hot-blooded hunts for prey of both two and four-legged varieties, this book elicits the widest range of emotions, and does it with style.

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