(The Devil's Cigar)



In the heart of the Kologha Forest lies a little haven where man and nature seemingly live harmoniously together in a little piece of Utopia. The Kibbutz is run by a family who practice subsistence farming and invite guests from around the world to join them for an unforgettable stay. But above and beneath the surface lies another world that reeks of death and evil. Will guests, Harish Ramkissoon and Sue Mitchell, uncover the mystery of the missing guests and unmask the Killer at the Kibbutz?

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An introduction to the Kibbutz


some of the main characters


The Kibbutz is a smallholding situated in the Kologha Forest near the town of Stutterheim. The family who lives there practice subsistence farming and run a guest house where guests become temporary members of the family and help out on the lands in exchange for board and lodging. It’s a novel concept with one major problem . . .


Harish Ramkissoon (aka Harry) hails from Bangalore, India. He’s a gentleman who visits the Kibbutz as a guest. A special mission and the search of a rare mushroom called the Devil’s Cigar are his main objectives.


Sue Mitchell, a bright, young woman from Cape Town, is visiting some remote places before she becomes a university student. She aspires to become a detective in the South African Police Services.


Colleen Beukes runs the Kibbutz. She’s a controlling, unforgiving workaholic and the head of the dysfunctional family who lives and works at the Kibbutz. She thrives on being a witchy bitch or . . . a bitchy witch.


Eloise Newman, daughter of Colleen Beukes and wife of Tony Newman. A drunken, chain-smoking slob who hates her husband and has very little time for her daughter and granddaughter.


Tony Newman, is Eloise’s husband. Lazy, sleazy and selfcentred, he generates more friction than an angle grinder on a sheet of reinforced steel. He likes to “entertain” the female guests after they’ve had a hard working day.


Megan Lotts, twenty-something and the pot smoking, single parent of the six-year-old, Cristal. Her Goth-like appearance, multiple tattoos and piercings add to her “enduring charm.” She doesn’t seem to like her current life or location and is eager to show it.


Pete Swift, friend of the family, who lives and works at the Kibbutz. He’s the maintenance man with a network of pals that could fill a telephone directory. He’s as sharp as a butter knife with the sense of humor of a staid undertaker.


Cristal Lotts is a mysterious little girl and the only child at the Kibbutz. She’s known as a “wild” child who roams around the property and surrounding forest and likes to make up stories.


Margaret Mbotho has the talents of a traditional healer but chose to cultivate and market medicinal plants instead. The vision of expanding her business brings her to the Kibbutz.



An Excerpt from Killer at the Kibbutz.

Harish watched her walk away and then turned to the tiny message-bearer. “I am Harish . . . Harish Ramkissoon,” he said, smiling. And what is your name, little one?”

“I’m Cristal . . . Cristal Lotts . . . and I’m not so little . . . I’m six.” She held up the fingers on one hand and one finger on the other.

He grinned at the sweet, freckled face with the streak of mud on its rosy cheek and the mud-caked knees protruding below the ragged hem of the sunflower-colored dress or what had once been a sunflower-colored dress. Her straw-colored hair was platted into two long pigtails, one fastened with a yellow bow, the other with a loose knot with its ends trailing down. “Such a pretty name for such a very pretty, little girl!”

Her sapphire-blue eyes widened as she eyed him warily. “I’m not allowed to speak to strangers.”

“Then you have no problem because I am not a stranger. I work here.”

She seemed satisfied with his explanation.

“Why do you speak so funny?”

“That’s because I come from a faraway land called India.


“Oh yes. I am an Indian.”

“Huh! Indian? Then where are your feathers?”

“No . . . no! The feathered varieties are from the Americas. I am from the East . . . colorful clothing—no real feathers to speak of.”

She gave him a puzzled look, shook her head, and then decided that it was safe to sit beside a featherless Indian.

She slapped her knees. “I’ve been feeding the pigs,” she said.

“I gathered as much. Do they make you work here too?”

“Only on some days.”

“And where do you go to school?”

“Oh, I learn on the Internet.”


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