If You Like….

Since I have The Ashford Affair very much on the brain right now, if you like books set in Kenya, you’ll probably like….

— M.M. Kaye’s Death in Kenya, a 1950s set murder mystery;

— Along similar lines, Elpeth Huxley’s Murder on Safari and Murder at Government House, classic 1930s mysteries by the Kenya-bred British writer.

— Personally, I’m a big fan of Huxley’s fictionalized narrative of her childhood in Kenya, The Flame Trees of Thika;

— Sticking with the mystery theme, there are also Suzanne Arruda’s Jade Del Cameron mysteries, starting with Mark of the Lion;

— I couldn’t leave out Chinua Achebe’s classic Things Fall Apart.

Have you stumbled across any good novels set in Kenya?


  1. Amanda on July 9, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Okay, I don’t have any awesome novels to suggest…but that being said, one of my favorite picture books is called “Owen and Mzee: The True Story of an Amazing Friendship.” It’s about a tortoise and a baby hippo who bonded after the hippo was rescued in a tsunami, and it was written by a dad and daughter who visited them in the zoo they are at in Kenya. I read this when I was 23–well before I had kids–and the tears were gushing out of my eyes when I read it. Totally worth a read:)

  2. HJ on July 10, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Well, it’s not a novel, but it’s an excellent book about Europeans in Africa, and what Africa was like in the early days of colonisation, when it was relatively unspoilt: West with the Night by Beryl Markham. She was one of the first female aviators.

    I love all the books you’ve mentioned (except for the last, which I haven’t read). MM Kaye’s series of “Death in” books superbly capture what it was like for Englishmen and their families posted abroad between the wars.

  3. Randy on July 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Things fall apart was actually set in Nigeria, not Kenya. I also wanted to suggest the purple hibiscus by chimamanda ngozi adiche (for the girl in you),although it is also set in nigeria. A great book set in kenya has to be the river between by Ngugi WA thiongo. A sad love story but still beautiful

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