Monday, January 16, 2023

Aubrey Nye Hamilton Reviews: Miss Knight and the Stones of Nairobi by Vered Ehsani

Vered Ehsani writes books set in and around Kenya. Her Society for Paranormals series combines adventure with historical fantasy, African mythology, shapeshifters, witches, and werewolves in a colonial Kenya setting. Timing seems to be a few years after the British East African Company was granted a charter in 1888 to develop African trade. The cover art for all 10 books is gorgeous.

The protagonist of this series is Mrs. Beatrice Knight Timmons, who uses Miss Knight professionally in her work as a paranormal sleuth. Miss Knight’s parents were a witch and a vampire; one brother is a shapeshifting demon and the other brother is a werewolf. Miss Knight’s usual mode of transportation is a flying horse. Miss Knight’s first husband Gideon Knight appears as a ghost whenever he chooses. Despite the characters’ paranormal qualities, they embrace classic British activities such as gardening and tea drinking. 

In Miss Knight and the Stones of Nairobi (Sterling & Stone, 2017), the seventh of ten books, Miss Knight is tasked with bringing a dead warrior back from the underworld to help fight the encroaching British, whom the natives called the People of the Fog. While she has the ability to enter the underworld and return, the God of Death does not like for her to undo his work, so she anticipates his resistance to her efforts. To assist with the job, a West African demon who is a frenemy of long standing accompanies her and provides a caustic running commentary. In the meantime her husband Simon Timmons has been arrested for questionable reasons and her much-loved cousin is in the late stages of pregnancy.

This book is hard to characterize: it is a cozy and a paranormal and historical fiction and a thriller. It is a light entertaining read, fans of humorous cozies will love it. However, a thread of fact runs through the story. Some of the secondary characters are based on real people. The indigenous people living in what would become Kenya did oppose the British invasion of their homeland. Toward the end of the book one of the warrior leaders tells Miss Knight that one day they would be successful in driving the British out but it would not be in her lifetime, no doubt a reference to the 1952 Mau Mau Uprising, which resulted in the nation’s break with Britain 10 years later. An afterword sorts fact from fiction.

For readers of cozies, humorous mysteries, steampunk, paranormals, and colonial African historicals.

·         ASIN: B01MSBUK5O

·         Publisher: Sterling & Stone (January 26, 2017)

·         Publication date: January 26, 2017

·         Language: English

·         File size: 1395 KB


Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2022 

Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

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