When the archaeologist, history professor, and detective, Akin Olusanya, came for the second funeral observances of the late Chief Ayodele, in the village of Egbetun, east of Lokoja, in central Nigeria, he little suspected the events that would engage him during the several months that followed. For as he left to return to the University of Ilorin, where he was teaching, he witnessed an extraordinary event- the masquerade, Egun Oku, refusing to allow a woman, the textile trader, Mama Bisi, to reenter Egbetun village. After rescuing her from this danger, he dropped her off in Kabba and continued on his way. However, several weeks later, Mama Bisi’s daughter came to Akin’s office and begged him to help her to find her mother, who had still not returned to the village. Akin travels to the villages of Egbetun and Ogbodi and to the cities of Ilorin and Ibadan, following various clues in his attempt to find Mama Bisi, as well as to explain her disappearance. I just finished Mama Bisi. I loved the proverbs, the bus/taxi sayings, the cloth, and, most of all, the archaeologist/detective. I was going to read half today, and half tomorrow, but I read it straight through-it is wonderful! LaRay Denzer, Northwestern University
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