Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Devil-Devil by Graeme Kent. Devil-Devil Kella and Conchita Mysteries 1 3. It's not easy being Ben Kella. As a sergeant in the Solomon Islands Police Force, as well as an aofia, a hereditary spiritual peacekeeper of the Lau people, he is viewed with distrust by both the indigenous islanders and the British colonial authorities. In the past few days he has been cursed by a magic man, stumbled across evidence of a cargo cult uprising, and failed to It's not easy being Ben Kella.
In the past few days he has been cursed by a magic man, stumbled across evidence of a cargo cult uprising, and failed to find an American anthropologist who had been scouring the mountains for a priceless pornographic icon. Then, at a mission station, Kella discovers an independent and rebellious young American nun, Sister Conchita, secretly trying to bury a skeleton.
The unlikely pair of Kella and Conchita are forced to team up to solve a series of murders that tie into all these other strange goingson. Set in the 60's in one of the most beautiful and dangerous areas of the South Pacific, Devil-Devil launches an exciting new series. Hardcover , pages. Kella and Conchita Mysteries 1. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Devil-Devil , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This started off really strong and I loved learning about the different cultures of the Solomon Islands, but I didn't get those feelings of shock, thrill and excitement that I would normally expect from a book of this genre murder mystery and it seemed almost anti-climactic.
This book was perfect for Singapore. I couldn't quite get my head into a space with Norwegian Wood , where I could imagine snow. This book filled it. So what about it? This book had 1 major error that I had problems getting past. All these intelligent islanders, were sent to Australia for an educat This.
All these intelligent islanders, were sent to Australia for an education.
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Not, definitely not, 4X. Because Queenslanders can't spell Beer! So with all that aside. Traditional culture vs colonial culture clash. Hiking around the bush in the heat and the humidity. The fact that there were too many fallible characters that any one of them could be the killer. You like the main character Ben Kella. He is straddling a world that is drastically changing, which he knows and has to balance them both. He is the traditional peace keeper of his traditional culture, yet a policeman of the new world order. You respect him and empathise with him. Same with Nun-face yes I called her nun-face.
I call everyone whats-his-face if I don't know their name and I have no idea how to pronounce the rest of her South American name, so nun-face will have to do. You respect her for what she is doing and where she is. Also, as much of me resents it, in the s it was probably the most amount of independence she was going to get as a woman, to become a nun and end up in the Pacific.
Nice Pacific Island read? It gives you perspective, and education it comes with a map inside! For more reviews visit http: Feb 20, Shomeret rated it really liked it Shelves: I was fascinated by the idea of a mystery taking place in the Solomon Islands, so I couldn't wait to read this one.
I loved both the protagonists. Both Sergeant Kella and Sister Conchita are mavericks who do what's right even if they get into loads of hot water as a result. I also really liked the customs and rituals from the native culture which Kent shares with us in this book. It reminded me of The Coroner's Lunch which takes place in Laos and also has a protagonist who participates in traditi I was fascinated by the idea of a mystery taking place in the Solomon Islands, so I couldn't wait to read this one.
It reminded me of The Coroner's Lunch which takes place in Laos and also has a protagonist who participates in traditional practices like Sergeant Kella. Yet I felt that Kent is more distant from his characters than Colin Cotterill. So it lacked immediacy and dramatic intensity for me. Oct 05, Josie rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed reading this "who dunnit" murder mystery set in the Solomon Islands.
Having been to Honiara this year it was easy for me to picture the scene. I loved the rebellious young American nun, Sister Conchita. Always good to have a spunky nun in a story! The writing for me was enjoyable in a relaxed narrative. I also enjoyed the mystical side intwined into the story along with the goodies and the baddies. Will certainly look for the other books in this 3 part series. Oct 08, Dlmrose rated it liked it Shelves: Feb 28, Pamela Bronson rated it it was amazing.
I love this book because it has a slew of interesting, believable characters, two very likable protagonists, a intriguing, complicated plot, and a fascinating setting: Sergeant Ben Kella uncomfortably bridges two worlds and two worldviews as the highest ranking native policeman in the islands, as well as the aofia, or hereditary peacemaker and effectively head of his tribe. His British bosses don't know quite what to do with him: He has a new acquaintance, the brash, curious, young American nun Sister Conchita, who shares his independence of mind, desire to right wrongs, and tendency to stick one's nose into everything.
Someone is trying to kill Sister Conchita, and since the aofia is charged with protecting the defenseless, Sgt Kella must find out who and stop him; he also needs to solve several murders and find a missing anthropologist. I enjoyed this book so much that I immediately started reading it again, though part of that is because the plot is so tricky I didn't quite get it the first time. It has inspired me to learn everything I can about Solomon Islands, though this book is still my best source for such knowledge. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel One Blood soon.
Despite its educational value, I personally probably wouldn't give this book to a young teenager because of the suggestion bolstered by a Catholic priest that all faiths are valid, and the implication that recreational sex is fine. There are two sex scenes, not really explicit. Think of Sister Bertrille and Carlos from "The Flying Nun" set not that much later in an "exotic" tropical location also and you'll get the idea, though that's not an exact parallel. Sister Conchita is very much the pre-feminist model of the early 's, dodging bullets, engaging generally in events more suited to Mrs.
Pollifax than the Singing Nun. Kella, the local bi-cultural between two worlds super cop, didn't impress me all that much; then again, I find "dual identity" angst grati Think of Sister Bertrille and Carlos from "The Flying Nun" set not that much later in an "exotic" tropical location also and you'll get the idea, though that's not an exact parallel. Kella, the local bi-cultural between two worlds super cop, didn't impress me all that much; then again, I find "dual identity" angst grating in general. The one character whom I particularly liked was Father Pierre, who'd lived in the islands for many years, and was suspected as having "gone native" in his respect for indigenous beliefs.
Cardboard British officials, and nasty, violent villains round out the lot. I'm not sorry I bought the book, just that I don't see myself going on with the series. So, this one's recommended At Your Own Risk if you're interested in trying out a series set in a remote locale. As a note on the audio narration, Price-Lewis does a decent job with local and English voices, but her American repertoire seems limited to a Boston accent for Sister Conchita that sounded almost Brooklyn-ish to me. She re-uses almost the exact same voice for the two American males who appear later in the book, making them seem almost cartoonish, especially since one is an academic, and the other specifically identified as being from Chicago.
The exotic setting of the Solomon Islands lends enchantment to this thriller and the pairing, albeit tentatively, of the native Sergeant Ben Kella and the American nun, Sister Conchita, works well. Their relationship is often puzzling but there is plenty of humour and also mutual respect.
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Set in the miscellaneous array of characters is sometimes difficult to take in and what they are doing is also sometimes confusing. But perhaps the latter is what we should expect from a thriller! Sergeant K The exotic setting of the Solomon Islands lends enchantment to this thriller and the pairing, albeit tentatively, of the native Sergeant Ben Kella and the American nun, Sister Conchita, works well. Sergeant Kella sets out to find an American anthropologist who has disappeared in the hinterland while searching for a priceless erotic icon. It turns out that there is smuggling ring dealing in artefacts and Kella and Conchita eventually uncover it and arrest the main man, despite attempts being made on their lives along the way.
In addition a series of seemingly unconnected murders take place and it is all credit to Sergeant Kella that he discovers what they are all about, something which could, possibly, escape the reader, including this one! But overall the setting and the strange array of characters keeps the attention until the end. Apr 04, Holly rated it it was ok. This book started really well and promised to be an interesting read but ultimately let me down.
I loved the historical and cultural context and background to the story, would have liked a bit more focus on that. However, the plot was fairly random and complex with a whole load of characters that I couldn't keep track of, few of whom seemed realistic or relatable. About half way through I became bored and spent the rest of the book looking forward to finishing it Feb 17, Phair rated it really liked it Shelves: While the mystery itself was almost hum-drum complex but far from exciting , I loved the unusual setting and time period. These are characters and a culture I will enjoy getting to know as the series progresses.
Loved the south-seas feel of it. This is going to be an interesting series to follow. Jun 02, Beth rated it it was amazing. He is a member of the Solomon Islands Police Force and he is an aofia, a spiritual peacekeeper of the Lau people, a role for which he was chosen when he was a child. Kella is an educated islander, hand-picked by his teachers at the Catholic school to attend a university in Australia. All of these steps have guaranteed that Kella is accepted by neither the islanders nor the whites, especially those members of the British government who still control the Solomon Islands.
Sister Conchita of the Marist Mission Sisters has no such conflicts. An American and a Catholic by birth, she is a missionary by choice, a choice made willingly and bolstered by a deep commitment to the people she serves in the Pacific Islands. Bound by a vow of obedience to her bishop and to the director of her order, she is, nonetheless, blatantly outspoken and inclined to act before giving full consideration to the consequences.
Believed by her bishop to be fully occupied by her various duties — looking after the native sisters, exporting the carvings made by the boys in the mission school, keeping the books for the mission station, supervising the medical center, inspecting the other schools in the region, and running the farm — Sister Conchita has no time to get into trouble. Sister Conchita and Ben Kella could not be more different in their approaches to life but when they are brought together through strange circumstances, they make a formidable pair.
The American nun, new to the islands, makes an interesting first impression when she takes on John Deacon, one of the few white ex-patriots living in the Solomons. John Deacon smuggles antiquities by mixing priceless objects with copies made by school boys destined to be sold in down-market gift shops in Australia and Hawaii. Being called out by a nun, a Praying Mary, in front of his hirelings earns Sister Conchita a powerful enemy.
Ben Kella has a very different problem.
Devil-Devil (Kella & Conchita Mystery 1),Graeme Kent | eBay
Professor Mallory, an American anthropologist, is missing. It is while Kella is watching the mission cemetery, looking for whoever was unearthing bones for the curse, that he meets Sister Conchita smuggling a skeleton into the cemetery, rather than out of it. There is just too much trafficking in bones, curses and all.
The story is full of interesting people living in a part of the world very much underrepresented in crime fiction. Graeme Kent provides an absorbing look at the world in , a world only fifteen years beyond World War II. The Allies were successful in driving the Japanese out of Guadalcanal but only after six months of heavy fighting.
Ben Kella is in his early thirties in the book but was a soldier fighting with the British against the occupying Japanese forces when he was only fourteen. Communication among the far-reaching communities in the Solomon Islands are conducted by radio each night. The British still control the islands as part of the British empire.
The author makes frequent reference to the Marching Rule, which may be a corruption of the term Maasina Ruru which refers to emancipation from the colonial government by the British. The movement may well have grown out of the respectful treatment the islanders received from African-American soldiers with whom they worked. The islanders formed the Solomon Islands Labor Corps which assisted with the allied war effort between and Airfields were built on the islands to allow tanks, refrigeration units, guns and ammunition, communication instruments, clothes, and food to be delivered to support US troops.
Later, some of the same things were dropped from cargo planes onto the islands.
The dark skin natives believed all these benefits came from black American soldiers who marched off the islands to battle but would be reborn and return to lead the islanders against their oppressors. I do love the internet and I love writers who love the countries about which they write and so teach their readers about the people and their customs. Who says mysteries are mindless entertainment?
Soho publishes books that are unfailingly entertaining and absorbing, showcasing the works of authors who live and breathe the atmosphere of the countries they bring to life on the pages of their books. If it is from Soho, it is worth reading. Enjoyable mystery set in the s Solomon Islands. Ben Kella is a man between two worlds. He is the aofia or peacemaker for his tribe on the island of Malaita, but has also received a western education and chosen a career in the colonial police force and his traditional religion.
Sister Conchita is a mission sister from Boston whose overactive curiosity is frowned upon by the order. When a traditional ghost speaker pronounces the death of an old man to be murder Kella knows the police commissio Enjoyable mystery set in the s Solomon Islands. When a traditional ghost speaker pronounces the death of an old man to be murder Kella knows the police commissioner isn't going to take it seriously, unlike the discovery of the skeleton of a white man who went missing during WWII. And when the old man's grandson is found dead in the holy sanctum of a neighbouring tribe, Kella also knows that the events are related because this many events just don't happen in quick succession on Malaita.
And why is someone trying to kill Sister Conchita? I quite enjoyed this although I am not a crime novel person. But to learn something about islands far far away is always worth reading. I really liked Kella.. Bonus was the map which I used quite often: May 19, Emmaa22 rated it liked it Shelves: Read this, the first of 3, out of order, but actually enjoyed this more than the first one Iread no.
The island setting is fascinating and intriguing and the characters are interesting and engaging. I enjoyed this - looking forward to reading more of this series. A wonderful read, the story just flies along. It very vividly recreates an atmosphere of s South Pacific to me. Decent start to the series. I'd like to see more heart, but the sense of place was there. Too much focus on local language, traditions etc that could not relate to. Mar 01, Susan rated it really liked it. As these conflicts play themselves out between the characters they are internalized by police Sergeant Ben Kella.
This is the first of a very unusual series that also portrays the development of a young missionary in her sensitivity to the spirit of place. Dec 02, Felice rated it liked it. My affection for reading about other countries and cultures often leads me to mystery novels. This time my search led me to Devil-Devil by Graeme Kent. A first for me this mystery is set in the Solomon Islands. Could this be a win-win for me? No additional import charges on delivery.
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