Annamaria Alfieri
World Book


The audio versions are available!

Strange Gods

In early 20th century British East Africa, there are rules for the British and different ones for the Africans. Vera McIntosh, the daughter of Scottish missionaries, doesn’t feel she belongs to either group; having grown up in Africa, she is not interested in being the well-bred Scottish woman her mother would like her to be. More than anything, she dreams of seeing again the handsome police officer she’s danced with. But more grisly circumstances bring Justin Tolliver to her family’s home.

Strange Gods Audiobook Cover

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The Idol of Mombasa

The British don’t belong in Africa. Their skins are too pale, their clothing too heavy and elaborate, their morality all wrong. And yet, here they are in 1912 in the British Protectorate of East Africa, tangled in an uneasy peace with the Sultan of Zanzibar.

Much of the tangle in this new mystery in Alfieri’s East Africa series concerns the slave trade. The British have outlawed it, but, well, it’s all a matter of who you know and who you owe, isn’t it? That slippery morality infuriates Vera Tolliver, a Scottish missionary’s daughter and the bride of an English police officer, whose job it is to enforce the law…after he figures out what it is.

The Idol of Mombasa Audiobook Cover

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The Blasphemers

Justin Tolliver is on the brink of an enormous change. The younger son of an English peer –– that is, the son with no money and no prospects –– he had joined the police force in British East Africa, full of dreams of bringing his majesty’s justice to a dark and savage world. But it’s 1913, and with his faith in the British government in tatters, Justin is opting instead for life as an African farmer and a newly minted family-man. It is his wife, Vera, who has helped him put aside images of darkness and come to see Africa, instead, as all but lit from within. Even as Justin is embracing Africa, Vera’s faith in the land is being tested, as she is brought face-to-face with terrible brutalities and her own naiveté. There are murders, yes, and Justin and Vera will take a hand in solving them. But when the crimes are solved, and the killers brought to justice, Justin and Vera and eventually their young son will have to reckon with levels of injustice far beyond anything they had understood.

The Blasphemers Audiobook Cover

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The Story Behind the Voice

The audio for the first in my Africa series––Strange Gods––has been available for some time. The voice artist who narrated Vera and Tolliver #1 did such a marvelous job that I knew I wanted him to record the other books in the series.

Dennis Kleinman is a South African, living in LA, who has the right soul, the right voice, and ALL the right accents to do a superlative job of reading Vera and Tolliver. Audible chose him to read Strange Gods, and when I first heard his recording, I was stunned by the result. In Dennis’ voice, my own characters became even more real to me than they were in my imagination. The Scots, the English, the tribal people all sound exactly right to me when Dennis reads their dialogue. He also puts just the right emotional ring to what they are saying.

Once the audio rights to Idol of Mombasa and The Blasphemers reverted to me, Dennis went to work, doing his magic on characters that presented new challenges: Arab and Swahili voices, Midlands English, as well as tony British aristocrats. The results are superb.