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Introducing Mukoma Wa Ngugi’s ‘Nairobi Heat’

Press Release:

Author: Mukoma Wa Ngugi
Publisher:  Cassava Republic Press
Publication date: August 2013
Pages:  127pp
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-978-50238-4-8
Edition:  First
Subject: Crime fiction

Cassava Republic is excited to present the first novel in its Cassava Crime Series, Nairobi Heat by Mukoma Wa Ngugi. A gripping mystery thriller set in one of the most vibrant cities in the world, this book will compel readers to turn page after page until the end.

Nairobi Heat coverWhen a young white woman is found dead on the doorstep of a Rwandan professor in Madison, USA, Ishmael Fofona, an African-American detective, is quickly on the case. Following an anonymous tip-off, the detective soon finds himself chasing shadows in the “Nairobbery” underworld, where violence is a part of everyday life, money can put you above the law and police shoot first and ask questions later.

As the mystery deepens, Ishmael teams up with a local detective named O. But all is not as it seems, neither with the professor – a hero who saved thousands during the Rwandan genocide – nor with the NGO money that swirls around him. In Nairobi, as Ishmael comes to quickly learn, knowing the truth will set you free – if it doesn’t get you killed first.

With a shift in setting, Mukoma reimagines the classic Noir genre in a fresh and surprising way. In the ordered chaos of a typical African city, the standard tropes of cynical police bosses, mysterious women and unexpected plot twists, are recombined and re-imagined. Mukoma’s keen eye for culture and history means that this is a crime that could not have happened in any other place.

The book does more than entertain, however; it takes a critical look at critical social issues – from the corrupting influence of superfluous aid money, to the meaning of justice in a disordered world, as well as the enduring legacy of colonialism in modern Kenya.

Mukoma Wa Ngugi is a Kenyan writer and poet whose works have appeared in Tin House Magazine, Brick Magazine, Kwani?, and Chiumurenga. He has a BA in Political Science and English from Albright College, as well as an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University and an MA in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He serves as the coordinator for the Toward an Africa without Borders organisation and is also columnist for the BBC’s Focus on Africa Magazine.

Mukoma Wa NgugiFirst published in South Africa, the US and Kenya, Nairobi Heat brings its fast-paced storytelling to Nigeria in this beautifully crafted edition from Cassava Republic Press.

The book is for sale on our website, Konga, Buyam and Jumai and bookshops (check our website for list of retail outlets nationwide) For more information, contact: or call: 0818 580 2634 (Abuja) or 0818 580 1657 (Lagos).

African Writer Magazine
African Writer Magazine
African Writer Magazine. Since 2004.

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