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Emma Djan Investigations Series

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Accra private investigator Emma Djan's first missing persons case will lead her to the darkest depths of the email scams and fetish priests in Ghana, the world's Internet capital.

When her dreams of rising through the Accra police ranks like her late father crash around her, 26-year-old Emma Djan is unsure what will become of her career. Through a sympathetic former colleague, Emma gets an interview with a private detective agency that takes on cases of missing persons, theft, and infidelity. It’s not the future she imagined, but it’s her best option. 


Meanwhile, Gordon Tilson, a middle-aged widower in Washington, DC, has found solace in an online community after his wife’s passing. Through the support group, he’s even met a young Ghanaian widow he’s come to care about. When her sister gets into a car accident, he sends her thousands of dollars to cover the hospital bill—to the horror of his only son, Derek. Then Gordon decides to surprise his new love by paying her a visit—and disappears. Fearing for his father’s life, Derek follows him across the world to Ghana, Internet capital of the world, where he and Emma will find themselves deep in a world of sakawa scams, fetish priests, and those willing to kill to protect their secrets.

Winner of the 2021 Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel
A 2021 Edgar Nominee for Best Novel
A 2021 Strand Magazine Critics Awards Best Novel Nominee
An NPR Favorite Book of 2020
A Washington Post Best Thriller and Mystery Book of 2020
Amazon Best Book of the Month in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense


A much-deserved Edgar nominee, set in Accra, Ghana...great series potential.”
–The Boston Globe

“Remarkably rare . . . a gem of a debut.” 
—The Washington Post

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In the follow-up to the acclaimed series debut The Missing American, PI Emma Djan investigates the death of a Ghanaian fashion icon and social media celebrity, Lady Araba. 

Hard-hitting talk show host Augustus Seeza has become a household name in Ghana, though notorious for his lavish overspending, alcoholism, and womanizing. He’s dating the imposing, beautiful Lady Araba, who leads a selfmade fashion empire. Fearing Augustus is only after her money, Araba’s religious family intervenes to break them up. A few days later, just before a

major runway show, Araba is found murdered in her bed. Her driver is arrested after a hasty investigation, but Araba’s favorite aunt, Dele, suspects Augustus Seeza was the real killer. Almost a year later, Dele approaches Emma Djan, who has finally started to settle in as the only female PI at her agency. To solve Lady Araba’s murder, Emma must not only go on an undercover mission that dredges up trauma from her past, but navigate a long list of suspects with strong motives. Emma quickly discovers that they are all willing to lie for each other—and that one may still be willing to kill.

Nominated for the Sue Grafton Memorial Award
A Washington Post Best Mystery and Thriller of 2021
CrimeReads Most Anticipated Crime Fiction of 2021
An Amazon Best of the Month Pick for January 2021

Brilliantly executed . . . Quartey, also the author of the Darko Dawson series, is one of the strong voices in the current wave of African crime fiction.

“A tightly narrated detective crime fiction novel . . . The Emma Djan series is a welcome addition to both the African crime fiction catalogue and the international crime fiction scene.”
—Crime Fiction Lover (UK)


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When a whirlwind romance leads to a brutal murder and the disappearance of a young Nigerian woman, PI Emma Djan resorts to dangerous undercover work to track her down in Accra.

Just as things at work are slowing down for PI Emma Djan, an old friend of her boss’s asks for help locating his missing daughter. According to her father, Ngozi had a bright future ahead of her when she became secretive and withdrawn. Suddenly, all she wanted to do was be with her handsome new beau, Femi, instead of attending law school in the fall. So when she disappears


from her parents’ house in Nigeria the middle of a summer night, they immediately suspect Femi was behind it and have reason to believe the pair has fled to Accra.

During Emma’s first week on the case, Femi is found murdered at his opulent residence in Accra. There are no signs of Ngozi at the scene, and fearing the worst, Emma digs further, discovering that Femi was part of a network of sex traffickers across West Africa.
Emma must figure out which of Femi’s many enemies killed him, but more urgently, she must find Ngozi before she, too, is murdered in cold blood.

“Kwei Quartey's Last Seen in Lapaz is a true reward. A daring, ingenious thriller propelled by strong women, ceaseless intrigue and scintillating prose.”
—Kalisha Buckhanon, author of Speaking of Summer

“From Lagos to Ghana, and through the Sahara to Libya, Last Seen in Lapaz is a story that is as gripping as it is important.”
—Leye Adenle, author of
Easy Motion Tourist

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Coming September 3, 2024, available for

Vicious hate crimes are rocking the LGBTQ+ community in Accra, and prejudice and politics threaten to stymie PI Emma Djan’s investigation.

Author Kwei Quartey tackles a real-life—and deeply personal—issue as an anti-gay bill threatens to tear Ghana apart.

Marcelo Tetteh, a twenty-seven-year-old LGBTQ activist, is butchered  one night after being lured on Grindr to a deserted building site. With rampant homophobia in Ghana, Marcelo’s wealthy father doesn’t trust the Ghana Police Service to find the killer, so he goes to the Sowah Private Investigators Agency for help, partly because he still feels guilty for disowning his son when he came out.

Emma is assigned the case, but quickly learns of a complication that prevents her from teaming up as usual with Jojo, her trusted colleague. Emma is the only one at work who knows Jojo is gay, and now he reveals something else: for some time, Jojo was dating Marcelo, the victim.

Working with Manu, whom she’s never gotten along with, Emma goes undercover in the International Congress of Families, a powerful organization seeking to criminalize homosexuality in African countries. As Emma infiltrates the ICF, she uncovers a web of deceit and hypocrisy and discovers that the mastermind behind the murders is someone much closer than she ever imagined. Emma must race against time to unmask the killer, protect the vulnerable LGBTQ+ community, and bring justice to the victims, all while navigating the dangerous waters of politics, power, and personal secrets.

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