Pago Pago Tango

Pago Pago Tango Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua spent seven years in the San Francisco Police Department where the job was just a job and solving crimes required cool detachment But back home on American Samoa life

  • Title: Pago Pago Tango
  • Author: JohnEnright
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 327
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua spent seven years in the San Francisco Police Department, where the job was just a job and solving crimes required cool detachment But back home on American Samoa, life is personal especially for a cop Because on a small island where no one is a stranger and secrets are widely known but never discussed, solving crimes requires a certain fiDetective Sergeant Apelu Soifua spent seven years in the San Francisco Police Department, where the job was just a job and solving crimes required cool detachment But back home on American Samoa, life is personal especially for a cop Because on a small island where no one is a stranger and secrets are widely known but never discussed, solving crimes requires a certain finesse.Here, Apelu must walk the line between two cultures Samoan versus American, native versus new And that gulf never yawns wider than when a white family s home in Pago Pago is burglarized And what appears to be a simple, open and shut case turns out to anything but As the evidence piles up, Apelu follows a tangled trail between cultures, dead bodies, hidden codes, and a string of lies on his hunt for the ugly truth buried at the heart of paradise.Set against the steamy backdrop of the Samoan jungle, this thoughtful whodunit introduces a memorable new gumshoe to the ranks of detective fiction.

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      Published :2020-01-05T05:03:18+00:00

    About "JohnEnright"

    1. JohnEnright

      John Enright was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1945 After serving stints in semi pro baseball and the Lackawanna steel mills, he earned his degree from City College of New York while working full time at Fortune, Time, and Newsweek magazines He later completed a master s degree in folklore at UC Berkeley, before devoting the 1970s to the publishing industry in New York, San Francisco, and Hong Kong In 1981, he left the United States to teach at the American Samoa Community College He spent the next twenty six years living on the islands of the South Pacific, working for environmental, cultural, and historical resource preservation Over the past four decades, his essays, articles, short stories, and poems have appeared in than seventy books, anthologies, journals, periodicals, and online magazines His collection of poems from Samoa, 14 Degrees South, won the University of the South Pacific Press s inaugural International Literature Competition Today, he and his wife, ceramicist Connie Payne, live in Jamestown, Rhode Island.

    856 thoughts on “Pago Pago Tango”

    1. This was a pretty standard mystery set in American Samoa. I've never read anything set in this locale so the descriptions of island life and Samoan culture were really fascinating to me.Detective Sargent Apelu Soifua has been working the island beat for the last ten years since he and his family returned to Samoa from San Francisco to care for his ailing father. Dear old dad has since passed away and Pelu is now taking care of the family land and working at the local police station. Things begin [...]


    2. Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua in Tafuna, American Samoa, makes distinctions between crimes involving Samoan natives and those involving palangi (“white people,” pronounced “puh-LANG-ee”). In the former cases, everyone knew what happened and why and usually “the perpetrator would either be waiting for [Apelu], already collared and ready to confess, or easily identified and apprehended” (Chapter 3). But with the palangi, the police rarely knew what had really happened. When someone b [...]


    3. American Samoa is a place I am highly unlikely to ever get a chance to visit, so I'll probably have to settle for armchair tourism, and this debut mystery is my first visit. The book is the first of what looks to be a projected series featuring Detective Sergeant Apelu, a Samoan who spent his childhood on the island and much of his adulthood in the US. This included seven years with the San Francisco Police Department, which he was able to parlay into a job back in Samoa when he needed to come c [...]


    4. What a find this mystery turned out to be! I found it by accident, as I was searching for books for my Read Around the World challenge. It is set in contemporary American Samoa, and proved to be a welcome lesson in the culture and history of the island, as well as a strongly plotted mystery. I really liked the main character, Det. Sgt. Apelu Soifua, or Pelu, for short. A family man, with a scarred past as a former San Francisco cop and drug user, Pelu has returned to his native island, and recla [...]


    5. John Enright's “Pago Pago Tango” introduces readers to Samoan detective Apelu Soifua, returned to the Island after serving on the San Francisco Police Department. Soifua's department has his hands full with a spate of murders – except, Soifua has been assigned dealing with a robbery in a paalangi (outsider, in this and most cases, American) community. Mystery readers will, of course, realize that a detective of Soifua's ability (and the protagonist of the story) won't be kept on the sideli [...]


    6. The crime part was a OK, nothing special. Detective Sergeant Apelu was a good character, eminently likeable and his views of the palangis were quite humorous. Some very interesting insights into the culture of the Samoans and the problems facing them due to their reliance on US funds and the scourge of Ice.


    7. Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua is somthing of a Samoan Columbo, with his deceptive mannerisms disguising his keen mind. I truly enjoyed this crime novel.


    8. My most favorite genre is a mystery set in another time or place. Pago Pago Tango is set in American Samoa. I give it a five for sense of place, both the warts and the beauty. I give it a three for Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua, who annoyingly hid evidence that could help his superiors solve the case and apparently has no issues with entrapment. I hope I respect him more in the next installment, because in this one he was just plum lucky.


    9. Pago Pago Tango, by John EnrightThe title of John Enright’s novel is light-hearted, a joke. True, in one place he refers to the “dance” of different cultures in Samoa where the novel takes place. On the cover the book is described as “a Detective Apelu Soifue Jungle Beat Mystery,” but this too is tongue-in-cheek humor. The book is, actually, a parody of the old-fashioned detective novel. A native of Samoa, Apelu is the opposite of the hard-boiled Philip Marlowe-style cop: he has seen m [...]


    10. I am so glad i didn't pay for this as I had lost interest long before the plot attempted to come together.



    11. This book nails the atmosphere of Pago Pago and American Samoa.Brings back the feel of the place to me, as I lived there for a short time many years ago.


    12. I had the rare good fortune to have a job that allowed me to get to know the territory of American Samoa, the only flag-flying part of the United States south of the equator. I visited the territory twice and was impressed by the beauty of the islands and by the strong American patriotism of the people. American Samoa has a unique relationship with the United States which allows its inhabitants to practice the Fa'a Samoa, or the traditional Samoan way of life. Samoa presents a challenging mixtur [...]


    13. First Line: Once upon a time this had been a road.Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua was born on an island in American Samoa, and when he was a child, his father moved the family to the mainland where, as an adult, Apelu joined the San Francisco Police Department. After seven years on the force, he moved his own family back to Samoa to take care of his ailing father. His wife works for a shipping company, Apelu is a detective sergeant on the island police force, and they have four children.Apelu's [...]


    14. I was attracted to this series of books - the "Jungle Beat Mysteries" featuring Detective Apelu Soifua of American Samoa - because I used to live in American Samoa as a child. Although the stories (of which this is the first) are set in relatively modern times, there is a timelessness about this jewel of the South Pacific that shines through in these stories. It wasn't at all difficult for me to envision many of the places referred to in the story, because they really haven't changed all that mu [...]


    15. Pago Pago Tango is set in American Samoa and introduces the reader to Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua. The island is small, where every one knows everyone else. Samoan culture and values struggle to survive in the face of onslaughts by palangi (North American culture). Many of the traditional ways have already died, although Apelu can remember them being active when he was a boy, before his father took the family to San Francisco. Soifua is uneasy when he's called to the home of Gordon Trurich, [...]


    16. This mystery is set in American Samoa, partly in Pago Pago, the capital, and partly on other parts of the island, including Tafuna Plain. This last place, a dense rain forest shunned by the natives, is where most of the Americans (called palangi) working in the South Pacific paradise live on bulldozed, flattened land in Western-style houses.Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua straddles the two worlds of the natives and the Westerners adroitly maintaining the law by standing somewhere between the cul [...]


    17. I raised my rating to 4 stars after reading this again. As a crime novel, it's fine, compelling, does the trick. But I love this book & have read it twice & am continuing with the series because I work in American Samoa on the island of Tutuila, where this is based. From that perspective, Enright does a superb job of portraying the culture & history of American Samoa. He should, as he is former Director of the American Samoa Historic Preservation Office. I didn't know that upon my fi [...]


    18. Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua makes a notable debut in a crowded field - no mean achievement for John Enright. The author, who lived and worked for many years in the Pacific islands of Samoa, makes much of their traditions and mannerisms in opening up a promising new arena for the police procedural. Impressively, he does so without in any way seeming to be patronising the native islanders; they emerge as human beings, good and bad, like the rest of us; maybe even a little better.Details of the [...]


    19. This book was part of a reading challenge with my sister to read a book from every country in the world. After reading several ponderous, navel-gazing books from native authors, we gave up on translations and went for this one, by an American, about American Samoa. For those who are interested in visiting other cultures through books, this book will satisfy. A light mystery revolving around a police officer who has returned to Samoa after teenage years and the beginning of a career in San Franci [...]


    20. Fun mystery. Can a mystery be fun? Yes, this one is.Police Sergeant Apelu Soifua has returned to his home of American Samoa from living in San Francisco. He understands local Samoan justice as well as the colonial American justice. Recently, there were a few supposedly unrelated crimes on the island. Although Apelu is not officially on the investigative team, he involves himself. There´s the break-in of the palangi (white folks) home, a dead lawyer, and hidden clues on videotapes. What does it [...]


    21. I read a lot of murder mystery series but none so far have been set in American Samoa. I loved the fact that this one was as the setting and the culture is as much part of the story as the thriller. having read this book I really want to visit. Apelu Soifua has returned to his native Samoa and is investigating a break in and burglary at a white mans house. This seemingly simple crime turns into one which is bigger than anyone knows. Apelu is an unconventional cop with his own views of the way in [...]


    22. It is difficult not to compare this book to Food of Ghosts, as they both take place on an island in the South Pacific. This one has quite a bit of Samoan history and culture in it. The main character, Pelu, is a detective sergeant on the island, his birthplace. Pelu has returned to the island after having lived in the SF Bay area for years and worked on the police force there. The opening scene sets up the investigation, which Pelu primarily conducts on his own behind the scenes. Much like Food [...]


    23. While I've not been to Samoa, I've known enough Samoans to appreciate the ring of authenticity in this story. The characters are like people I know. The strange seeming way the investigation goes doesn't seem so odd when you know how Samoans think. What some might see as uncaring, even lazy or immoral, is revealed here for what it more often is - a different way of seeing the world. If we saw it from that same view, we'd likely make similar decisions. That a detective novel could prove so social [...]


    24. The introduction to America Samoa was a primary factor in my purchase decision. I thought the author did a very credible job in describing the geography and general attitudes/culture. I came away learning something about the islands that I did not know.The plot was a bit thin, but I thought the points noted in the above paragraph offset this criticism. Had the novel been about a crime(s) in Atlanta or Los Angeles, I doubt I would be as forgiving.I wrote this review after I read "Knife Fire Danci [...]


    25. took me right back to the isles well, I haven't live on that particular one, but the flavor is all the same, as are the rhythms of existence, which he captures so beautifully. I also "like" the environmental disaster sub-plot, like in the sense of adding to my knowledge of something I didn't have a clue about (think I'll eat even less tuna now.) I certainly don't like the mess he describes! The only part I found predictable and a bit over the top was the final water scene. But then a lot of what [...]


    26. Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua, a native Samoan, who spent 4 years in a San Francisco high school and then Police Academy is now back in Samoa. He spent 7 years in the San Francisco Police Dept. and now 10 years on the Samoan Police Force. Apelu is not a favorite of his Captain's because of his individualistic investigative style and is given minor cases. However, the three cases he has seem to have factors in common; seemingly unrelated but touching on each other. Interspersed throughout are S [...]


    27. After living in AmSam for > 2 years sometimes I'm at a loss for how to adequately explain life there to friends and family. Enright is a very strong writer and I suspect something of a lay-anthropologist. From the potholes to the funerals to the dogs stuck together after mating, he captures details of Samoan culture and island-life perfectly. The plot isn't horrible, but definitely a secondary reason to read this book. I've bought several copies to give to friends and family on the mainland. [...]



    28. This is a terrific addition to the "crime and place" field. The protagonist is a Samoan based in American Samoa but who lived for a long time in the States where he became a cop. Returning to his homeland, the storyline is not just about solving crime, but gaining insight into the tension between Samoan and American cultures, between development and tradition, and between the old and the new. Apelu Soifua, the cop, traverses all of this and more in a story that is well constructed and well told


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