Books > Fiction > Looking for Evelyn

Looking for Evelyn

Maggie Ritchie


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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 today 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.

Prizes and awards

Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize 2018, SHORTLISTED

REVIEWS OF Looking for Evelyn

"The gentle pace of the novel is enhanced by the descriptions of the beauty of southern Africa, while Ritchie thoroughly yet succinctly covers the racial and political tensions of the time. If you’re looking for a holiday book to transport you to southern Africa, this is it." Julie Bryson, Daily Mail

"Gripping and thought-provoking... Richly atmospheric and blistering with tension." Zoe Strachan

"Maggie Ritchie paints a vivid picture of a complex Africa. A compelling read!" Sarah Maine

"A deliciously provocative mix of exotic locations, sexual scandal and the end of colonialism." Lesley McDowell, The National

“You can see, taste and feel the dusty red roads of the South African bush in this rich, evocative exploration of love, jealousy and betrayal in post-colonial Zambia in the 1970s.” Jackie Copleton

Trade information

  • Rights: UK and Commonwealth
  • BIC code(s): FA
  • BISAC code(s): FIC019000

Looking for Evelyn

About the author

Maggie Ritchie

Maggie Ritchie grew up in Zambia and is an award-winning author and journalist who has written for the Daily Mail, Times, Herald and Daily Record. She has an MLitt (Distinction) from the University of Glasgow and her debut novel, Paris Kiss (Saraband, 2015), won the Curtis Brown Prize, was runner-up for the Sceptre Prize and was longlisted in the Mslexia First Novel Competition. The German edition appeared on bestseller charts, and the novel has also been translated into Czech.

Praise for Paris Kiss:

“Flows from the page like a piece of art.” – Sunday Mirror.

“This makes a touching tale of friendship, love and betrayal set against a colourful backdrop of the Paris art world.” – France magazine.

“Compelling and seductive… a rather lovely tale.” – Connexion magazine.

“Jessie’s adventures as a woman artist in 1880s Paris completely captivated me. A wonderful story.” – Carmen Reid.

“An intense and satisfying story – an insight into the constraints on passionate and talented women in the Parisian art world at the turn of the century. It will haunt you.” – Sara Sheridan