Annamaria Alfieri

Critically Acclaimed Historical Mystery Author

now AVAILABLE in paperback! 

Invisible Country

Paraguay, 1868

A war against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay has devastated Paraguay. Ninety percent of the males between the ages of eight and eighty have died. Food is scarce. In the small village of Santa Caterina, Padre Gregorio advises the women of his congregation to abandon the laws of the church and get pregnant by what men are available. As he leaves the pulpit, he discovers the murdered body of Ricardo Yotté, one of the most powerful men in the country, at the bottom of the belfry.

Suspects abound…but to avoid having an innocent person dragged off to torture and death, a band of villagers undertakes to solve the crime. Each carries secrets they seek to protect from the others, while they pursue their quest for the truth.

Lyrical, complex, and meticulously researched, Annamaria Alfieri's Invisible Country is an ingenious cross between Isabel Allende and Agatha Christie.

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Invisible Country

The Romanian Edition is Available!

Strange Gods

Review for Strange Gods in Romanian

"Alfieri illuminates the complexities and cruelties of the colonial rule while giving readers an engrossing romance and mystery."

- Booklist

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Strange Gods, Romanian Edition

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 narrate Strange Gods, and when I first heard his recording, I was stunned by the result. In Dennis's 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 and 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.

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Where next for Vera and Tolliver?
I completed the next in the African series-A Death on the Lord's Day-some time ago. Complications of changing publishers have kept it under wraps. Readers have asked me for more of V&T, and I promise you more is on the way. We used to use the word "glacial" to describe things that moved painfully slowly. Now we are pained by how terribly fast the glaciers are moving. I can safely say that moving at "publishing speed" wins my vote to be the new metaphor for the most frustrating pace on the planet. Snails gallop by comparison. Tortoises are far less tortuous. Or torturous for that matter.

A Death on the Lord's Day

Soon to be published. Stay tuned.