I've had a week off work and did a spot of reading catchup - so now I'm doing a spot of posting catchup, which will be followed by a spot of reviewing catchup. But the best thing was a chance to read this departure from the expected from Adrian McKinty.
From the Blurb:
Colonial New Guinea—1906: a small group of mostly German nudists live an extreme back-to-nature existence on the remote island of Kabakon. Eating only coconuts and bananas, they purport to worship the sun. One of their members—Max Lutzow—has recently died, allegedly from malaria. But an autopsy on his body in the nearby capital of Herbertshöhe raises suspicions about foul play.
Retired British military police officer Will Prior is recruited to investigate the circumstances of Lutzow’s death. At first, the eccentric group seems friendly and willing to cooperate with the investigation. They all insist that Lutzow died of malaria. Despite lack of evidence for a murder, Prior is convinced that the group is hiding something.
Things come to a head during a late-night feast supposedly given as a send-off for the visitors before they return to Herbertshöhe. Prior fears that the intent of the “celebration” is not to fete the visitors but to make them the latest murder victims.
It is 1906 and Will Prior is in self-imposed exile on a remote South Pacific island, working a small, and failing, plantation. He should never have told anyone about his previous existence as a military foot policeman in the Boer War, but a man needs friends, even if they are as stuffy and, well, German, as Hauptmann Kessler, the local government representative.
So it is that Kessler approaches Will one hot afternoon, with a request for his help with a problem on a neighbouring island, inhabited by a reclusive, cultish group of European 'cocovores', who believe that sun worship and eating only coconuts will bring them eternal life. Unfortunately, one of their number has died in suspicious circumstances, and Kessler has been tasked with uncovering the real reason for his demise. So along with a 'lady traveller', Bessie Pullen-Burry, who is foisted on them by the archipelago's eccentric owner, they travel to the island of Kabakon, to find out what is really going on.