Sleep Well, My Lady (An Emma Djan Investigation Book 2)
Quartey’s second book in the “Emma Djan Investigations” series (after The Missing American) opens in an upscale enclave in Accra, Ghana. The gardener of up-and-coming fashion designer Lady Araba finds her murdered. The investigation into her death is quickly botched by inadequate forensics and, more significantly, political maneuvering. Shortly before her demise, Lady Araba was linked romantically to the alcoholic talk-show host Augustus Seeza, the only son of a powerful judge, Julius Seeza. When the official investigation falters, Lady Araba’s Aunt Dele brings the case to Emma Djan’s firm, and she and her colleagues take on the case. They probe Lady Araba’s past and dig up some significant dirt about her family and the abuse she endured as a child from her father, an Anglican priest. Emma must sift through the facts to find out the truth about Lady Araba’s death. VERDICT This engaging and well-developed mystery will appeal to readers looking for a solid police procedural with compelling characters and an international setting. The local culture is vivid, and a glossary at the end aids readers with unfamiliar words.
This second Emma Djan novel, following the acclaimed series debut (The Missing American, 2020), finds the Ghanaian PI on the job when fashion icon and social-media celebrity Lady Araba is murdered in her lavish home. Emma’s agency is approached by Araba’s Aunt Dele, who claims her niece’s relationship with TV talk show host Augustus Seeza was turbulent and that he was with her the night she died. It turns out that there are several people with strong motives, including Araba’s own father, a noted preacher, who sexually abused her as a child. Emma goes undercover to unmask the real killer and free Araba’s driver, who was falsely accused of the crime and has been languishing in jail. The story is brilliantly executed by moving forward and back in time, although Emma’s fans might wish she had a bigger role. Quartey, also the author of the Darko Dawson series, is one of the strong voices in the current wave of African crime fiction, which provides relevant insight into a continent anxious to maintain its unique identity yet thrive in the twenty-first-century world.
— Jane Murphy
In Quartey’s terrific sequel to 2020’s The Missing American, PI Emma Djan takes on a nearly year-old cold case—the murder of high-profile fashion icon Lady Araba in the bedroom of her lush mansion in a gated community known as the Beverly Hills of Accra, Ghana. Lady Araba’s aunt doesn’t believe her niece’s chauffeur, who was convicted for the killing, is guilty. Emma and her colleagues at the Yemo Sowah Agency assume various undercover identities—as housekeeper, cop, construction worker, professor, journalist, interested house buyer—in an effort to narrow the long list of possible culprits, including family members, several lovers, and an alcoholic TV talk show host. Stops at the morgue and a forensic lab, as well as an ongoing search for a unique murder weapon, contribute to the dark atmosphere. Along the way, Quartey skewers Ghanaian politics, religion, and the law. Smooth prose complements the well-wrought plot. This distinctive detective series deserves a long run.