About Looking for Evelyn

Looking for Evelyn (2017, Saraband), was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize for Best Published Novel 2018.

Chrissie Docherty returns to the southern Africa of her childhood and tracks down Evelyn Fielding, the woman at the centre of an explosive scandal involving a traditional colonial officer and a gifted black African artist. Together, the two women uncover the secrets that shattered a remote expatriate outpost in the Zambian bush in the 1970s. Switching deftly between the 1990s and the recent past, and set against a background of tense post-colonial race relations, political turmoil and witchcraft, Looking for Evelyn powerfully evokes the very special colours, sounds and smells of Africa.

‘If you’re looking for a holiday book to transport you to Southern Africa, this is it.’ – Scottish Daily Mail

‘A moving, rich read that skilfully combines the threads of the story, and brings Africa to life.’ – Sunday Mirror

This year’s perfect summer read, with a deliciously provocative mix of exotic locations, sexual scandal and the end of colonialism. …’The National

‘Set against the vivid backdrop of Africa, Looking for Evelyn is the compelling tale of a young woman returning to her childhood home to confront her past.’ – Sarah Maine, author of Between the Tides

‘A scintillating jewel of a novel: Ritchie’s dreamlike Zambian landscape explodes with the nightmarish secrets of the past. I was seduced by the sultry, dreamlike colours of Africa; hooked by the insistent drumbeat of menace that pulses through the novel.’ – Sandra Ireland, author of Beneath the Skin

‘Smooth prose and a dramatic story make Maggie Ritchie’s second novel a great read. The interweaving of narratives provides richness to this world of personal and political struggle.’ – Elizabeth Reeder, author of Ramshackle