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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician’ By Tendai Huchu

The Magistrate …

There was a knock on the door of the last house on Craigmillar Castle Road. The tat came before the rat, though the a-tat remained in pretty much the same place, producing a distorted, yet familiar sound, but then Alfonso Pfukuto, the knocker, was an ambiguous man. Nothing was quite what it seemed.

Alfonso waited a moment, whistling Fishers Of Men, his favourite ditty, and then pressed his ear against the door before bending down and pushing the flap on the letter box open and shouting, “I know you’re in there. It’s me.” He fidgeted, sighed, paced, knocked again and waited. Once, he’d been a welcome visitor. If they didn’t want to see him now, let them tell him to his face. He was a shameless man.

I needed to know just what Alfonso had done, or how things had changed in this household, that would mean he was no longer welcome to visit.

Now, I am but a short way into this book, yet already captivated by The Magistrate and his fellow Zimbabweans; The Maestro and The Mathematician, as they try to carve a place for themselves in the Britain that they call home.

You can read more about both book and author here


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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Harvee,

      I must admit, I wasn’t certain about the title of this book when I first saw it.

      However, having now started to get into the story, it is growing on me and is definitely a suitable title to reflect the excellent character building skills which Tendai brings to his writing.

      I am not sure just how big a part Alfonso plays in the storyline and he definitely isn’t an instantly likeable character … I shall just have to wait and find out!

      This will be the second Tendai Huchu novel I have had the privilege to read and I am looking forward to reading more from this Zimbabwean author.

      Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your visits.

  • This book interests me much more than the first by the author, which you mentioned in an earlier post. Like you, I want to know what Alfonso has done to prevent his friends (?) from opening their door to him! I look forward to your full review.

    I’m reading Bittersweet by Susan Wittig Albert (from her long-running China Bayles series). I’ll skip the prologue and give you the opening lines from Chapter One instead.

    “Sometimes it’s hard to know just when and where a particular story begins. Once you know the ending, you can trace it back to a dozen different starting points, places where you can say, ‘It all started here,’ or ‘This is where it began.’ But that’s not the whole of it, either – because each of those starting points is the ending of another story, which has a beginning somewhere else, which is the ending of yet another story. It’s like a vine. Sometimes you can’t untangle it.”

    • Hi Kelly,

      As I am still not too far into this story, it is a little early for me to draw any comparisons with ‘The Hairdresser Of Harare’, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There is some humour in the storyline Tendai is building for his characters, although it is very subtle and well introduced into the flow of the narrative. I am not too sure yet where Alfonso fits into the picture, but so far, The Magistrate at least, does seem to want to keep him at arms length!

      It sounds as though Susan Wittig Albert, is another name for my ‘Want To Read’ list, although as you are now on book 23 in the series, I am wondering how many of the stories you have read and do you need to read them in order?

      Those opening lines don’t seem to acquaint to a story which sounds as though it might be slightly humorous, although I do agree with them wholeheartedly. Untangling and getting to the nub of a story can often be quite difficult if you haven’t been involved right from the start. Heresay always tends to develop into ‘Chinese Whispers’ somehow!

      Thanks for sharing and I hope that you enjoy whichever herbal aspect this particular story features 🙂

      • This is a series I really think you might enjoy, Yvonne. I’ve always liked her books and have followed this series from day one (obviously, many years!). I always prefer reading series in order (and this is no exception), but will say she always does a great job in each book of introducing the reader to the principal characters and any pertinent information necessary in order to read it as a “stand-alone”.

        • Thanks for that Kelly.

          Book number 1 in the series is heading for my ‘Want To Read List’.

          Have a great Sunday 🙂

    • Hi Katherine,

      Tendai’s first book ‘The Hairdresser Of Harare’, was actually set in his country of origin Zimbabwe. However ‘The Maestro …’, whilst also about a group of Zimbabweans, is set in Britain, where they are aiming to settle to and make a better life for themselves and their families.

      That’s the story in a nutshell, although Tendai is doing an excellent job of building the personalities for his characters, so I am busy getting involved in their day to day lives and discovering answers to those many questions the book has raised.

      Thanks for stopping by, I always appreciate your comments.

  • Having just read this book myself I’m eager to compare our thoughts on it.

    Mazel Albright wanted one, just one cigarette. A couple of hard draws off a Lucky. Was that too much to ask?
    – The Solomon Twist by Dan Hammond Jr.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I gather from your short Goodreads summary and rating, that you had one or two reservations about this book, so I shall be interested to read your review. So far, and taking into account I am less than half way through, I am liking the whole tone of the narrative and the excellent character building. I have yet to work out where the storyline is going, so am hoping to avoid too many spoilers!

      I’m not generally one for humorous books, although I have read one or two ‘mystery capers’ before and thoroughly enjoyed them. The opening lines you quote didn’t really grab my attention either, however I decided that it would be churlish of me not to check out the book more closely … and am I pleased I did! My quick browse has turned into a half hour session, as I explored not only ‘The Solomon Twist’ but Dan’s debut novel ‘Delbert Judd’ and discovered more about this slightly quirky author.

      I recently spoke to Kelly about a book she has just finished about mental illness and categorically said that I couldn’t be persuaded to read books in the genre. However, the way the whole issue seems to have been approached by Dan in ‘Delbert Judd’, has completely caused me to rethink. It isn’t that I believe it to be an issue which should be laughed at, but the slightly humorous take on a very distressing illness, holds just enough pathos to give the subject more general appeal.

      I look forward to reading your thoughts about ‘The Solomon Twist’ and thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      In the few short pages I have actually read, Alfonso has featured a couple of times so far and I have to say that he is far from the most likeable of characters. He is too thick skinned to take a hint when he isn’t really wanted and appears to have no morals or scruples in business either.

      He hasn’t come into contact with all of the three main protagonists yet and I am not sure if he is going to, but they are not all as easy going as The Magistrate … so he needs to look out!

      Thanks for visiting and taking time to comment. It is always great to catch up with you and I hope that you have a great week ahead 🙂

Written by Yvonne