Saturday 21 April 2012

Inspector Singh Investigates: A Curious Indian Cadaver by Shamini Flint

Pages - 320
Published by Piatkus in April 2012

In India, word of disaster spreads like head lice..Eyewitnesses and police officers whisper news to family, family members talk to friends and neighbours, they gossip with the servants, coolies, drivers and with the boys over a whisky at the cricket club.

Good Reads Summary
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...
Don’t be deceived by the cover – the rather jolly styling with the Hindu god Ganesh suggests a lighter novel than it is in places. For me, this book is not as easygoing as Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.
It is true that Inspector Singh like Precious Ramotswe is an amiable and unlikely detective. It is also true that Shamini Flint portrays a different and colourful location – in this case Mumbai. But the prologue with its distressing act of violence sets an underlying darker tone for this fifth Inspector Singh novel.
At its core is a family drama played out with Bollywood intensity but this widens out to link with the wider social and political world of Mumbai. The humour involving the
indomitable Mrs Singh comes as a pleasant relief after some of the more intense scenes in the story.
It is definitely not suitable for the squeamish in my opinion but this may be due to the fact I am not usually a crime reader. However, all the loose ends are tied up by the end in the manner of a traditional whodunit and justice is done. It is easy to read, though the viewpoint does switch at intervals – and Inspector Singh is a likeable creation.
I would recommend it to those adult readers who like solving investigative puzzles.


  1. Hm, what was the name of the book I saw at the sounds familiar. Need to check that

  2. I can read things that make other people squirm, so this sounds good to me.


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