Left at the Mango Tree (2013), a debut novel by Stephanie Siciarz, is set on the imaginary tropical island of Oh. It is narrated by Almondine Orlean, who recounts the twin mysteries of her birth as a white infant on an all-black island and the disappearance of acres of pineapples, the island’s major crop.
Her grandfather Raoul is a customs and excise officer who won’t rest until he solves these puzzles, consulting his detective books and three close friends. Due to the decline of the pineapple trade, there is a surplus of the prickly fruit on the island. Raoul is able to give one away to each tourist who arrives. His friend Bang sells penknives outside the airport for cutting the fruit. Nat chauffeurs the tourists in one of his fleet of mismatched vehicles. Cougar serves them drinks at his bar, the Buddha’s Belly. But pineapples have disappeared from Gustave’s plantation, pineapples that weren’t taxed. The island is full of magic, but Raoul doesn’t believe in it. He suspects Gustave of more than one indiscretion. Siciarz has woven a clever tale.