Introducing Margaret von Klemperer’s Debut Novel: Just a Dead Man
New from Jacana, Just a Dead Man by Margaret von Klemperer:
Amateur detection is not as straightforward as books and movies suggest – and in South Africa xenophobia and racism complicate the issues even more. Single mother and artist, Laura Marsh, finds this out when she tries to help a friend, Zimbabwean refugee and artist, Daniel Moyo, who is arrested for a murder committed close to Laura’s Pietermaritzburg home.
Concerned that Daniel has been arrested simply because he is a foreigner and was unlucky enough to find the body, Laura tries to help him. But a connection between Daniel and the dead man emerges, and the deeper Laura digs, the more complicated the situation becomes as she begins to realise that there are some very unpleasant and politically well-connected people lurking in the background of the case.
Laura’s actions put herself and other people at risk as the police seem unwilling to look beyond Daniel for a suspect. She also finds herself attracted to the Inspector in charge, even though she resents the police for their treatment of her friend. It will take another killing and a life-threatening situation for Laura before a resolution is reached.
As well as being a crime novel, the book touches on issues of xenophobia and racism in South Africa. It is also the human story of a woman trying to get on with her post-divorce life and bring up her sons as best she can on her own.
About the author
Margaret von Klemperer was arts editor of The Witness newspaper for 16 years until she decided to give up full time work and see whether she could write a publishable book. She is still the newspaper’s books editor. She was born in Britain but has lived in Pietermaritzburg with her husband, Julian, for more than 40 years. They have two adult children.