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Jackal and Hide by Victoria Tait

Title: Jackal and Hide (Kenya Kanga Mystery #4)

Author: Victoria Tait

Published on: 14th May 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Jackal and Hide is the fourth book in Victoria Tait’s Kenya Kanga Mystery series.

I have read and loved every book in this series. From Fowl Murder, Tusk Justice, Rhino Charge to Jackal and Hide, all are my favorite. Each and every book brings out the best in Mama Rose. From finally making peace to killing a poacher (Fowl Murder) to Mama Rose’s husband Craig’s health going from bad to worse, we readers see a lot of changes in the life of Mama Rose.

Jackal and Hide starts with Mama Rose and others (Thabiti, Chloe, Pearl and Marina) preparing for the Lewa Marathon. Rose’s son Chris is meeting his parents at the airport. While the trio are at the local airport café, they meet a honeymooning couple Robert and Nina. The newly married couple are participating in the marathon.

They all meet at the new lodge in Borana Conservancy (where Thabiti and Marina are currently working). Pearl, Thabiti’s sister, is also at the conservancy for a yoga retreat. The marathon goes smoothly and the next day, one of the guests go missing. Search teams are deployed but there is no sight of the missing guest. A day or two later, the missing guest’s mutilated body is found – the wild animals have chewed away pieces of the corpse. On conducting autopsy, it is found the victim was strangled to death. Mama Rose, with the help of Constable Wachira, Sam and Commisioner Akira, have yet another murder mystery to solve.

If I have to choose best of the best in Kenya Kanga Mystery Series, I would say Jackal and Hide. Victoria Tait is one of the best authors ever! Each book in the Kenya Kanga Mystery series is filled with mystery, action, a little bit of fun and much more. If you haven’t visited Kenya yet, do not worry. Read this series and you are in for a visual treat of the African wildlife.

Mama Rose is an assistant Vet and lives in Nanyuki, Kenya with her husband Craig and house-help Kipto. They have two adult children – Heather and Chris. Thabiti is Rose’s friend’s son. In Fowl Murder, we saw Thabiti discovering his mother’s dead body and Rose ended up solving the murder case. Pearl, Thabiti’s sister went through a bout of depression soon after and spent some time in the rehab. Chloe is the wife of a British soldier and Rose’s good friend. Chloe has had a series of miscarriages and often comes to Mama Rose for help (her relationship with her husband is strained.)

Craig was affected by polio in childhood and in the previous two books, we saw his health deteriorating. He’s had a stroke and is currently bed-ridden/wheelchair bound. In Jackal and Hide, we see Craig tagging along Rose to the Borana Conservancy. At the conservancy, a guest goes missing and is later found dead (murdered). Rose is torn between being at her husband’s bedside and solving the mystery behind the murder.

The mystery behind the murder kept me guessing until the end. When Mama Rose finds the missing piece of the puzzle, she confronts the killer. Their reason for murder sent shivers down my spine. Things that people do for money! Uff!

The story ends on an emotional note. The last two chapters made me cry – an unexpected change in the series plot. Victoria mentions she was crying as she wrote the final scenes. This unexpected twist is surely going to change a lot of things for the characters. I am looking forward to seeing what’s next for our darling Mama Rose.

Jackal and Hide is a completely engrossing, interesting and a riveting Cozy Mystery. If you are new to the series, I highly recommend you to start from the beginning (Fowl Murder).

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