Kwei's Blog: Latest News

THE WAIT IS OVER

At last, today the trailer for DEATH BY HIS GRACE makes its debut. DBHG is the 5th novel in the Inspector Darko Dawson series, and in many ways, it marks … Continue reading

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DEATH BY HIS GRACE–THE VIDEO

On or around Saturday, March 4, 2017, the trailer for the fifth Inspector Darko novel, DEATH BY HIS GRACE, will premiere. It will hint at the themes in the story, … Continue reading

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GOD, MARRIAGE, & MURDER: A deadly trinity

For a few years now, Ghana has topped many lists of the most religious countries in the world with 96% of West African nation’s population staking a claim to a major … Continue reading

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DESERT NIGHTS, RISING STARS

The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference is an annual creative writing conference at Arizona State University that brings together writers, readers, and lovers of literature for three days of … Continue reading

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AFRICAN SAFARI–Part 2

Zaina staff member Zahir Alhassan picked me up from Tamale Airport for the 2.5 hour journey to Zaina Lodge. The journey was once a torturous 5 hours over an unpaved … Continue reading

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AFRICAN SAFARI–Part 1

My first African safari was when I was a kid. I went to one of the national wildlife parks in Kenya with my mother and brother. We saw several warthogs … Continue reading

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KALAHARI

The Ohio Library Council held their 2016 annual event at the Kalahari Resort at Sandusky in Ohio. Of course, the real Kalahari is a desert in southern Africa. I had … Continue reading

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SUNSHINE NOIR

You all know about Nordic Noir, right? It’s a tradition of realistic crime fiction written in a cold, often gray, snowy setting. A group of writers including me has come … Continue reading

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DESTINATION MYSTERY

Laura Brennan interviewed me a couple of weeks ago for her podcast series, Destination Mystery. Laura features a new author regularly every week, exploring an extraordinary variety of mystery settings–from … Continue reading

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GHANA GOLD

Watch this video by Afua Hirsch, formerly of The Guardian, UK. It gives insight into the new Inspector Darko Dawson novel, GOLD OF THE FATHERS.   Also, check out my … Continue reading

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WINNERS OF THE RIDDLE CONTEST

The riddle contest proved very difficult and although we had several good guesses, only two people were able to come up with the correct answer. Here was the riddle: Don’t feel … Continue reading

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I’M A VRO MAN

Okay, that’s a bad pun just to draw attention to my book launch party at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, CA last Saturday, May 28. Watch the fun slideshow below capturing … Continue reading

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MEM DAY WEEKEND

If you’re in SoCal, do drop by at Vroman’s Bookstore for a Mem Day Weekend Party, raffle and book signing.  Food will be by the famous Camille and there’ll be … Continue reading

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Great Bookstores, Wine & Cheese

On Saturday, May 14, I had a book signing and discussion at Marcus Books in Oakland. This venerable bookstore has been around for more than half a century.   Blanche … Continue reading

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BRAND NEW CONTEST

Hello, readers! For this contest, you need to read GOLD OF OUR FATHERS and carefully too. So, purchase, borrow or steal–okay, don’t steal–a copy and give it a read. Publishers Weekly … Continue reading

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PLAYTIME IN AFRICA

Every so often, one comes across an extraordinary endeavor that must be talked about and given prominence. This one appears in my fiction, and now I want to talk about … Continue reading

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“GOOF” COFFEE MUG WINNERS

Last weekend was the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books where I was at the Mystery Ink and Mysterious Galaxy booths for book signings. Sixteen people signed up for my mailing list … Continue reading

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LA TIMES–RAIN OR SHINE

A few photos from the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on April 9 & 10, 2016. People came, despite the rain on Saturday 4/9/16.  

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SURPRISE!

I knew I would be signing at three different venues at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (LATFOB). What I wasn’t initially aware of was mega-giant publisher Penguin Random House will … Continue reading

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TOUR SEASON–1

The next Chief Inspector Darko novel GOLD OF OUR FATHERS hits stores April 26, 2016. Starting about now through the end of the year there’ll be events associated  with it–book … Continue reading

WEEK IN REVIEW

February 28 – March 6 The week started Sunday with the #OscarSoWhite, which I boycotted on principle (not that I ever watch a complete Oscar–they go on forever.) I heard … Continue reading

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CONTEST WINNERS

My apologies for the long silence after launching the latest contest. My Mac went out of commission for more than a week, and blogging on a tablet is too cumbersome … Continue reading

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AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS

Brand new contest! This weekend marks 80 days until the worldwide release of the 4th Darko Dawson novel, GOLD OF OUR FATHERS (“GOOF”), and in about 80 days you can … Continue reading

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REALITY BITES IN THE DARK

I wrote about the on-off cycle of electricity in Ghana in my last post. After arriving in Ghana on Jan 6, the lights in my area stayed on continuously and … Continue reading

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Travels To The “Dark Country”

The term “Dark Continent” is an antiquated (and to many, offensive) euphemism for Africa that once got veteran NPR broadcaster Jean Cochran into trouble when she used it on air. Now … Continue reading

CHRISTMAS BOX SET WINNERS!

Last week I launched a new contest, a kind of geographical word quiz. The prize was the Darko Dawson four-book Christmas box set. The question was: Take the name of one … Continue reading

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CHRISTMAS BOX SET

Last week, six smart people won a Darko Dawson Box Set for correctly answering one of two questions in my Cerebral Detective post. These were the questions: #1. Livor mortis, … Continue reading

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THE TECH AGE: Lead Us Not Into Distraction

With smartphones, laptops, tablets and the like, we feel a need to be constantly connected to the Internet, or to something or someone. Have you ever accidentally left your phone … Continue reading

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The 100-Page Threshold

I am writing my novel DEATH BY HIS GRACE (release 2017)  and it is going agonizingly slowly. You see, there’s this 100-page threshold for me whenever I write my novels … Continue reading

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GOLD OF OUR FATHERS–DREAM TEAM “CHARACTORS”

CHARACTER + ACTOR = “CHARACTOR” A sketch of the main characters in the fourth Darko Dawson novel Gold Of Our Fathers (“GOOF”), coming out Spring 2016. Next to each sketch is a … Continue reading

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THE CEREBRAL DETECTIVE

Ten Times I beg, dear Heart, let’s Wed!                                             … Continue reading

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THE SURVEY RESULTS ARE IN

Thanks for a great response to the survey put out a couple of weeks ago. Here are the results: Kwiksurvey_blog Lots of observations can be made about the responses, but … Continue reading

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DAYS (AND NIGHTS) IN THE LIFE OF A DOCTOR

I’ve been asked if I ever blog about “my other life” as a physician, to which I replied, no. My default is the writing life, but since so many writers … Continue reading

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DETECTIVES TO REMEMBER (AND ADMIRE)–PART 2

A detective from fiction whom I greatly admire is Kurt Wallander. By now, Wallander and his creator Henning Mankell have both attained legendary standing. Three different actors–two Swedish (Krister Henriksson, Rolf Lassgard) and … Continue reading

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A DETECTIVE TO REMEMBER–Creating an unforgettable sleuth

A memorable detective in crime fiction stays with the reader long after the novel is completed, no matter to which one of the four archetypes the sleuth belongs: The amateur (Miss … Continue reading

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NOW WHAT?–How to conquer post publication depression (PPD)

The Syndrome In his satirical article, Timothy Hurley describes a syndrome he calls Post Publication Depression (PPD). I love this kind of tongue-in-cheek “report, ” but in fact Post Publication … Continue reading

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“I CAN’T PUBLISH THIS!”–And other reasons why you should keep on writing

In 1929, when William Faulkner submitted an early version of his novel Sanctuary,  the publisher wrote back,  “Good God, I can’t publish this. We’d both be in jail.” He was referring … Continue reading

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WHAT IS IT ABOUT CRIME FICTION?

Mystery, thriller and crime novels are the most read fiction genre, and have been for some time. However one source says that romance novels make more money. If both statements … Continue reading

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PARCHED CALIFORNIA: AN AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE

No doubt, there’s drought California Governor Jerry Brown has declared that his state’s four-year drought has reached a state of emergency, and he has issued an executive order mandating a 25 … Continue reading

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CRIME FICTION WORLD TOUR: G is for GHANA

Ghana is located on the coast of West Africa. Its southernmost tip, Cape Three Points, is closest to zero than any other world land mass in three aspects: zero latitude … Continue reading

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TEN MURPHY’S LAW THINGS ABOUT WHEELCHAIRS YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE KNOWN

Having recently undergone a minor orthopedic procedure, I’m at home on temporary disability staying off my feet (and writing), and I’ve become quite adept at zipping around the house in … Continue reading

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SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION (OR LESS?): REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING AND DARKO DAWSON

According to David Oyelowo (don’t panic–the pronunciation is simple: “Oh-Yellow-Woe”) who plays Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the current film Selma,  it was through divine intervention that he got the role. … Continue reading

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GETTING ALONG WITH YOUR DOCTOR: TEN TIPS

Doctors are expected to display and cultivate a good “bedside manner, ” but you as the patient can also take certain measures to help make your doctor visit(s) successful and … Continue reading

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THE EBOLA PLAGUE: African heroes and martyrs

During the height of the Ebola panic, nurse Kacie Hickox, who cared for Ebola victims in Sierra Leone, was forcibly quarantined in New Jersey on her return to the United … Continue reading

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GOLD OF OUR FATHERS

In the novel GOLD OF OUR FATHERS (April 2016 release), Darko Dawson comes face to face with a world of which he had only passing knowledge: the world of small-scale, … Continue reading

FROM IRENE TO BAGHDAD CENTRAL

Here is a nice review of crime fiction from all over the world. This is also very much in line with the international flavor of my publisher, Soho Press.

FIFTY AUTHORS TO WATCH IN 2014

Forensic Outreach, a publication I had not heard of before, has an interesting list of the top 50 best crime writers to watch for in 2014. They come from all around … Continue reading

Win a free T!

Some nifty giveaways will be starting soon with purchase of my novel MURDER AT CAPE THREE POINTS. For the period October, 1 – 31, 2014, the giveaway is one of these … Continue reading

WORLD MYSTERY TOUR: “C” is for CALIFORNIA–Part One

So many mysteries and thrillers are set in California. I will pick ones that are of note for one reason or the other, and my apologies for anyone that I … Continue reading

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WHAT TO DO ABOUT “WRITER’S BLOCK”

I’m asked about writer’s block often enough at book signings. I’m never quite certain what the person’s concept of the phenomenon is, and personally I dislike the phrase. What is … Continue reading

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DETECTIVES AND THEIR SIDEKICKS:FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Holmes and Watson, Poirot and Hastings, Wolfe and Goodwin, Morse and Lewis, Lynley and Havers–these are some well-known detectives and their sidekicks in crime fiction. In contemporary times, Inspector Darko … Continue reading

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CRIME FICTION : WORLD TOUR “B” is for BOTSWANA

Botswana is notable for a number of reasons besides being the setting for murder mysteries. It’s a landlocked country in southern Africa (not to be confused with the country of South … Continue reading

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CRIME FICTION:THE WORLD TOUR “A” is for Australia

Half of the most venomous snakes in the world are found in Australia. I share this piece of trivia because murder by snake has always intrigued me. To my knowledge, … Continue reading

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CRIME FICTION:THE WORLD TOUR

Join me on my A-Z of the places in the world in which crime fiction is set. Many of the authors who put their stories in these locales publish with … Continue reading

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E-READERS AND THE RUMORED DEATH OF PAPER

For some time, the doom and death of paper books–hardcovers, paperbacks–have been predicted with the arrival of e-readers and e-books. However on my recent trip to Stockholm, when I deliberately … Continue reading

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NEW CONTEST

A new contest is on, and the prize is one of the T-shirts shown above in sizes, M, L and XL. Supplies are limited. There are two ways to enter to … Continue reading

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BOOK EVENTS

CERRITOS LIBRARY & VROMAN’S BOOKSTORE On Sunday March 16 2014, I joined fellow authors Natalie Baszile and Terry McMillan for a presentation, panel and book signing at Cerritos Library in … Continue reading

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THE ERA OF MAC-3P HAS ARRIVED

The onset of the era of MURDER AT CAPE THREE POINTS was signaled by the arrival at my doorstep today of a box of  24 hardcover personal copies shipped from … Continue reading

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PICTURE TOUR OF A DEEP SEA OIL RIG

After landing at the West Leo oil rig, we had a safety briefing in the heli admin lounge. That’s SOP for any arriving crew. Then I was shown around by … Continue reading

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THE REAL HELICOPTER–AND NO WATER LANDING: (Part Two)

As we approached the helicopter for boarding, the propeller(s) had already started up. It’s made very clear that one must never approach from the front or the back of the … Continue reading

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THE REAL HELICOPTER–AND NO WATER LANDING: Part One

In MURDER AT CAPE THREE POINTS, the opening scene takes place around an oil rig some 37 miles  off Ghana’s coast. There are two dead bodies in a canoe and … Continue reading

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HOW TO ESCAPE FROM A SUBMERGED HELICOPTER–Part 2 Life imitating art

In my prior post, I talked about my upcoming visit to an oil rig during my trip to Ghana February 2 – 14. To do that, I need to have … Continue reading

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AFTER THE CRASH: HOW TO ESCAPE FROM A SUBMERGED HELICOPTER (Part 1)

In Murder at Cape Three Points, a canoe drifts into the restricted space around a deep sea oil rig carrying unusual cargo: two dead bodies. Charles Smith-Aidoo and his wife … Continue reading

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WHERE’S MY SOLAR POWER?

I had solar panels installed on my roof in October 2013. All the wiring has been done, I have had (to my knowledge) two post-installation inspections, which supposedly have certified … Continue reading

SAVE THE DATE!

Sunday March 16 at 2 p.m., I’m appearing at a meet-and-greet author event held by the Orange County Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, along with Terry McMillan and Natalie Baszile. … Continue reading

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A GYM CAST OF CHARACTERS

Four times a week I wake up early (5 am, sometimes even 4:45) to go to my neighborhood gym before I get to writing. I’m practically useless in the evening … Continue reading

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IS 2014 THE YEAR OF THE AFRICAN WRITER?

Looks like it’s hip to be an African writer in 2014, particularly in the diaspora. Publishers are snapping up their books like hotcakes. The Africa Report has an article called Words … Continue reading

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HOW MANY HOURS IN A DAY?

I ask that rhetorically because in 2014, I plan to add more stuff to my schedule and blog more often. Until now, I’ve blogged “big things, ” like my trip … Continue reading

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GHANA GOLD

I was in Ghana during August-September of 2013 to research illegal gold mining, which will be the background for the 4th Inspector Darko Dawson novel. See my previous posts for … Continue reading

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MURDER AT CAPE THREE POINTS cover unveiled

The jacket design for the third Darko Dawson novel has been released. A super job, in my opinion, by the team at Soho Press. I’m very happy with it. Note … Continue reading

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MURDER AT CAPE THREE POINTS Cover Design Unveiled

The jacket design for the third Darko Dawson novel has been released. A super job, in my opinion, by the team at Soho Press. I’m very happy with it. The … Continue reading

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ALL THAT GLITTERS: ILLEGAL GOLD MINING IN GHANA–Chapter Four

  Environmental Devastation The pit mine above is one of the first I saw, and I was staggered by the breadth. I had seen photographs and videos of such alluvial … Continue reading

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ALL THAT GLITTERS: ILLEGAL GOLD MINING IN GHANA–Chapter Three

1. Getting set 2. Expeditions to the hinterland ________________________________________________________________ 1. Getting set Kumasi was the base from which I launched all my expeditions to the gold mining areas. I had … Continue reading

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ALL THAT GLITTERS: ILLEGAL GOLD MINING IN GHANA Chapter Two–Laying the groundwork

After South Africa,  Ghana is the second largest gold producer in Africa, and over the last eight to nine years, thousands of people from China have streamed into Ghana, once … Continue reading

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ALL THAT GLITTERS: LEGAL AND ILLEGAL GOLD MINING IN GHANA Chapter One–Going back in time

During August-September 2013, I was in Ghana researching illegal gold mining in that country as I prepare to write the fourth Inspector Darko Dawson novel, Gold of Our Fathers (title only … Continue reading

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UPDATING MY CV

An MD normally follows my name, but I will now add CCW, CCT,  CTW, and CTP,  which stand for Certified Canopy Walker, Certified Crocodile Tamer, Certified Toad Whisperer, and Certified Truck-Pusher.  Certified Canopy Walker (CCW) … Continue reading

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NORTH BY NORTHWEST

Kumasi is the second largest city in Ghana. I used Kumasi as a base from which to launch my excursions to areas where illegal alluvial gold mining is practiced. More on … Continue reading

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SIGHTS OF ACCRA 2013

Accra is the capital of Ghana, and the largest city in the country with an estimated urban population of around 4 million. It has the kind of personality and character … Continue reading

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A ROOM WITH A VIEW…OF PEACOCKS

In Ghana as anywhere else, there are hotels, and then they are hotels. You can stay at somewhere like this–moderately priced and uninteresting: Or here, expensive and uninteresting: But wherever … Continue reading

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UPDATE ON “DEATH AT THE VOYAGER HOTEL”

  D@TVH went on Nook today. The other sites where it’s available are Amazon.com and Smashwords.com. Nook is Barnes & Noble’s e-reader and e-bookstore, just as Kindle is Amazon’s e-reader and … Continue reading

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“DEATH AT THE VOYAGER HOTEL” COMES TO KINDLE

As of July 30, 2013, the e-novella Death at the Voyager Hotel became available on Amazon’s Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle, don’t worry. You can still read it by using … Continue reading

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SWIMMING SAFETY

The previous blogs have talked about my upcoming e-novella, DEATH AT THE VOYAGER HOTEL and how it’s based on an idea sparked by the tragic death of Phylicia Moore, found dead in … Continue reading

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SNEAK PEEK AT “DEATH AT THE VOYAGER HOTEL”

For a preview of the novella Death at the Voyager Hotel,  check out Hometown-pasadena.com to read the prologue.

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HOMETOWN PASADENA

Pasadena has been home for me for about eight years, although I have lived in southern California much longer than that. Besides myself, the one other mystery writer that I … Continue reading

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DYING FOR A SWIM

THE BACKGROUND TO THE E-NOVELLA,  DEATH AT THE VOYAGER HOTEL The Voyager Hotel in  capital of Ghana” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accra” target=”_blank”>Accra is located in the busy central Tudu district. It’s a hub of … Continue reading

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DEATH AT THE VOYAGER HOTEL – THE E-NOVELLA

Death at the Voyager Hotel,  my new e-novella, is scheduled to come online in August 2013. It will be available on several devices including your computer, cell phone, and e-reader, e.g. the … Continue reading

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BEN AFFLECK, THE CONGO, YOU, AND YOUR iPHONE

  What do you…. your beloved smartphone….      Ben Affleck, and…. the Democratic Republic of  the Congo have to do with each other? Maybe you used your iPhone to look … Continue reading

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QUARTEY GOES TO SOHO

DEALS Publishers Marketplace – February 21, 2013 – Kwei Quartey’s MURDER AT CAPE THREE POINTS, a detective Darko mystery to Juliet Grames at Soho Press in a two book deal … Continue reading

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WILL THE NEXT POPE BE AFRICAN?

The startling resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is the first since 1415, when Pope Gregory XII stepped down to help resolve a schism in the Catholic Church. Well, the papacy must go on, so … Continue reading

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FROM HERE TO TIMBUKTU…AND BEYOND

Expressions like “from here to Timbuktu”  or “in the middle of Timbuktu” call to mind a long journey to a mythical or remote place. In fact, Timbuktu is a real … Continue reading

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WHY AFRICA IS TURNING TO CHINA

China and Africa are now trading with each other to the tune of billions of dollars. Read about it in the Huffington Post or FPIF.

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BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: EBOOKS AND PRINT BOOKS

In 2013, as I await news on a new publisher for my Darko Dawson series, I plan to write a couple of novellas in the form of electronic books, also known … Continue reading

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THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE

It can be tricky to set a story in a foreign country. The author has to reasonably represent the customs of the place without losing his or her readers. In … Continue reading

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PEOPLE, MACHINES, AND AN ELECTION

What country has had an end-of-year election and has been concerned about election fraud? The U.S., you say, which is the correct answer, but not the only one. Read all … Continue reading

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LESSONS OF HURRICANE SANDY

Here’s a slightly different take on Sandy, as appeared in my latest post at FPIF.org    

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AIDS IN AFRICA – correction & congratulations

  A sharp-eyed reader pointed out an error in my latest column post. The current number of HIV infected in South Africa is over 5 million, not over 23 million … Continue reading

AIDS IN AFRICA AND BLACK AMERICA

If Washington, D.C. were a country, it would have the 16th worst AIDS epidemic in the world. HIV infection in the nation’s capital stands at 3 percent, higher than many … Continue reading

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Update: Murder at Cape Three Points

I completed a second revision of Murder at Cape Three Points on Monday July 23. It came in at 387 pages (about 90, 000 words), trimmed down from 460 pages. Included on … Continue reading

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WEST AFRICA’S ROLE IN WWII

There is a not widely known twist in the story of the Second World War. When the Mediterranean became blocked off by Germany and Italy, Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill … Continue reading

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