Young girls are disappearing from the villages around Timbuktu. The sisters in a Catholic mission on the outskirts of the city fear that the ancient slave trade has been revived. Fortunately, one of the sisters has a couple of friends...
Enter Stevens and Muntaka, a most unlikely and endearing pair of investigators. Together again for the first time since their Leo Africanus adventure, the impulsive American lawyer and wily Nigerian judge find themselves up to their ears in intrigue. From the tower of the great Sankoré Mosque to the dim recesses of Ahmed's Café de Timbuktu they scour the city for clues. In the process they stumble across two other sides of an historic and nefarious African trade triangle. Not to mention the long-dead explorer Alexander Gordon Laing and the mysteriously bisected letter.
In a novel of wide-ranging imagination and good-natured humor, David Smith takes us again into the heart of Africa, where the unexpected is commonplace and the past refuses to stay put.
About the Author
David Smith was born in the village of Saranac Lake, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains. After graduating from Harvard college and Harvard Law School, he spent eighteen months serving as an advisor to customary courts in West Africa. Since then, Mr. Smith has traveled widely in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, where he has been a consultant to the governments of various developing countries. He is now Vice-dean of the Harvard Law School, and lives in Belmont, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.