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The Congo Venus by Matthew Head
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The Congo Venus (1950)

by Matthew Head

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A painter causes a scandal by (as we would say) photoshopping --painting the face of a local beauty on a version of Botticelli's Venus, implying an intimate relationship which did not exist --but the woman involved turns up dead. Dr. Mary Finney, a sturdy and smart medical missionary in he Congo, investigates. To me, this was the most interesting of Head's Finney series. ( )
  antiquary | Jun 7, 2015 |
A very beautiful and very naive woman disrupts an African town until and after her murder. Although the locale is the Belgian Congo and the protagonists are very American, the overall effect is rather like that of a Maigret novel. Good characters, believable plot, and one excellent comic scene (a string-quarter recital). I was surprised by the lack of piety in the missionaries, but I suspect the author was drawing on experience. ( )
  Coach_of_Alva | Nov 14, 2011 |
The beautiful, blonde Liliane Morelli, naive and socially inept, scandalises the inhabitants of Leopoldville. Dr Mary Finney, her missionary friend Miss Emily, and the young supply clerk, Hooper, investigate Liliane's death.

Exotic setting in the Belgian Congo, well-drawn eccentric characters, and entertaining dialogue make this well-plotted mystery a good read. ( )
  pamelad | Sep 11, 2009 |
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