Daily Archives: May 27, 2012

Inspector Singh Investigates: A Curious Indian Cadavar by Shamini Flint

Published by Piatkus

Inspector Singh returns in the fifth chapter of his trademark series, where he journeys throughout Asia busting crimes!

Stop No. 5: India . . .

Inspector Singh is sick of sick leave, so when Mrs Singh suggests they attend a family wedding in Mumbai, he grudgingly agrees – hoping that the spicy Indian curries will make up for extended exposure to his wife’s relatives.

Unfortunately, the beautiful bride to be disappears on the eve of her wedding – did she run away to avoid an arranged marriage, or is there something more sinister afoot? When a corpse is found, the fat inspector is soon dragged into a curious murder investigation with very firm instructions from Mrs Singh to exonerate her family. But as he uncovers layer upon layer of deceit, he knows it isn’t going to be that easy…

I really did not think this would be my cup of Chai – but was very very pleasantly surprised.  Jumping in with a book number five in a series, about an investigator who sounded like he would be all too ‘cosy’ for my tastes, inhabiting a world I know next to nothing about and sounding for all the world like a comic caper about a wheezing overweight troubled ted’ stumbling his way through an investigation.

But, hey! – Did I learn the ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ adage in a BIG way with this one – I thoroughly enjoyed it. Singh is a great creation; yes he stumbles, yes he’s overweight, he wheezes, he sweats and he looks like he just happens to be in the wrong place at the right time if this is anything to go on. But, for all of that, this book is far darker than I was expecting, with little of the slapstick criminal comedy I was expecting from the jolly cover.  The suspected murder, or is it a suicide, or is it something even more sinister, could be linked to the fact that the marriage was pre-arranged, or could be linked to something sinister that the young bride to be or her family were working on, an honour killing, or a trust fund that she had in place?  The plot crackles along and the heat of the Indian setting is just perfect for a summer day’s read in the garden. Admittedly towards the end of the book there is a ‘Poirot-like’ moment with a cast of characters assembled to hear the crime and the plot described, but that goes totally forgiven as overall the book is a unique and enjoyable read.

Pour yourself a nice cold beverage and settle in a really hot place, sit back and enjoy this warm and exotic crime read.

You can get your copy right here.

Keith

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My mini-Crime-themed day in London

Sadly I wasn’t able to get along to Crimefest in Bristol this weekend, so I made up for it as follows:

On Thursday I had the day off work so, once Mrs W and the hobbits were away to school, I grabbed a train up to London for a ‘me’ day.

Starting off with a breakfast in Leicester Square, after marvelling at just how so much money has been wasted there (a reported 18 million pounds) over such  a long period of time (over 18 months) to fail at the April launching of the ‘new’  Leicester Square which didn’t open until this week (end of May) and unveiled well, a big disappointing bit of grass and some paving and railings which I think Alan Titchmarsh and his Ground Force team could have knocked up over a long weekend for a couple of grand.

Image11am saw me buying a ticket and going into the lovely Curzon Soho cinema to see the absolutely fantastic action-packed new movie THE RAID – stunning!  Hollywood should leave this well alone, and anyone who cannot be doing with subtitled movies – well they just don’t deserve to see such an exciting piece of cinema anyway. Bruce Willis et al can continue to ‘Try Hard’ but THE RAID stomps on the ashes of all action movies that have gone before and was probably the most exciting 2 hours I have ever spent in the comfort of a cinema.

ImageAfter a quick bite to eat for lunch and a bit of DVD and book shopping (it would be rude not to), and a pop in to the lovely Goldsboro Bookshop in Cecil Court, oh and a haircut (this was a packed day after all and very hot out), I went to catch Jo Nesbo’s HEADHUNTERS at the Prince Charles cinema – yes, two subtitled movies in one day – and both excellent.  If you only see one movie this year with a guy covered in shit, driving a tractor with a dog impaled on the front, then make it this one 🙂

ImageCoffee break and then it was time to be at Waterstones Piccadilly to see the fantastic Mr Jeffrey Deaver who read from his exciting new Kathyrn Dance novel (due next month) ‘XO’.  For the novel, Deaver wrote a whole album of lyrics which is available on iTunes or as a CD to accompany the book – songs, he told us, which feature clues to the storyline along the way. The discussion was very entertaining, although I’m sure I wasn’t alone in thinking that the author had lost the plot a little when constant comparisons were made between his ‘product’ – books – and the product of ‘liver flavoured toothpaste’ when describing the way he works to produce the books his readers expect and want from him.

Deaver alluded to a new standalone novella of around 55,000 words – of which he could say no more, a new selection of short stories coming up ‘Troubled in Mind’ and a new Lincoln Rhyme novel ‘The Kill Room’. A great evening to wind up a great day’s mini – Crimefest for me in London.

Keith

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