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Book: Rituals of the Dead - An Artifact Mystery (Adventures of Zelda Richardson) (Volume 3) by Jennifer S. Alderson

Book: Rituals of the Dead - An Artifact Mystery (Adventures of Zelda Richardson) (Volume 3) by Jennifer S. Alderson

categories: Book, Thriller, Suspense, Adventure, Historical Fiction, Cultural Heritage, Papua, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Museum Mystery, Anthropology, Amateur Sleuth Mystery




Jennifer S. Alderson

Author Jennifer S. Aldersonabout this book: When museum intern Zelda Richardson stumbles upon a missing explorer's journal, she gets pulled into a world of shady anthropologists, missionaries, art collectors, headhunters and smugglers, where the only certainty is that sins of the past are never fully erased. This captivating amateur sleuth mystery is set in the Netherlands and Dutch New Guinea (Papua)

Who would enjoy reading this book?
Readers who enjoy mysteries, history, cultural heritage, artifacts, anthropology or museums will probably love this book. Luckily reviewers have already pointed out that an interest in anthropology is not required as the mystery itself is quite gripping!

What inspired me to write this book?
Life is often stranger than fiction, and the coincidences that occur are sometimes extraordinary. In 2008, I worked on an exhibition of Asmat bis poles in the Tropenmuseum, two of which were collected by Michael Rockefeller in 1961. I also witnessed the opening of several crates of Asmat artifacts that had been lying in the depot of Rotterdam's Wereldmuseum (World Museum) for more than fifty years. Because a paradigm shift occurred while these objects were on a ship destined for the Netherlands, they were moved from the freighter to the depot and forgotten about.

During my internship, the Tropenmuseum (Museum of the Tropics) was also wrestling with an extensive collection of human remains, many of which were collected in the 1930s through the 1960s in Dutch New Guinea.

Because the chapters set in the Asmat region take place in 1962, I refer to historical events as taking place in "Dutch New Guinea." Nowadays, this region is part of the Indonesian providence of Papua. This is why I also refer to the government of Papua when alluding to contemporary events in the region.

These facts provided the context, and several actual museums the settings, for my artifact mystery. The resulting story, all of the characters involved, and the restitution cases discussed in this novel are figments of my imagination.


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   • Book Review: The Lover's Portrait - An Art Mystery (Adventures of Zelda Richardson Book 2) by Jennifer S. Alderson
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