A Curious Indian Cadaver - Shamini Flint


An 'Inspector Singh' novel

ISBN - 978-0-7499-5342-3
PAGES - 308
GENRE - Detective Novel
BINDING - Paperback
SOURCE - Publishers

- Shamini Flint

SYNOPSIS - [from the back cover]

Inspector Singh is sick of being on 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...

FL Speak - Finally a light read that has everything that you can possibly want.

In this tale of Inspector Singh, our fat police inspector is on sick leave after the fiasco in his last case. Tired of his whining about impending cases, Mrs Singh forces him to attend one of her relatives' wedding in Mumbai.

And even before they get to meet the bride-to-be, she disappears. The grandfather, a wealthy philanthropist, orders Mr. Singh to find his granddaughter. The case explodes when a burnt body of a girl is discovered and is recognized as the missing girl by her brother. What was once a missing girls case turns out to be suicide. Or is it murder?

Mr Singh investigates the matter, much to the disgust of his wives relatives. However, secrets keep tumbling out the further he digs. A romantic affair gone wrong or corporate espionage that led her to her death. Or is it something as sinister as being in the family of Sikh fanatics who want a separate country and is prepared to go to any lengths to achieve the dream.

A surprisingly good book. Although not as bold and charismatic as Holmes or Poirot, our Inspector Singh may well receive enviable status if the author keeps up the good work.

The book depicts India in all its failings. Mumbai, which is the city of dreams, is reduced to stinking hell hole with paan chewing commuters and illiterate bystanders. I do not mind showing India where it fails, but that is not the only side of India. Mr. Singh, having lived in Singapore, finds adjustment to India a tad harder.

Meanwhile the plot moves on at a fast pace. Humor and sarcasm have a find blend and honestly, I didn't feel like skimming through pages just to find out the end result. A fine mystery novel, the only thing missing was a little background on Mr. Singh. Maybe its available in the previous four books, I'll need to check it out.

The book also deals with the various problems within India. Honor killings, marriages between different religions, poverty, corruption, lax Indian Police all fit into this book and yet there is hope, bravery, the willingness of a few characters of the story to break the shackles of family pressure and follow the trail of truth to deliver justice.

All the books in the 'Inspector Singh Investigates' series are standalone books. Even if haven't read the previous one, you are not missing anything from the current book.

My Rating - 4 stars

PRICE - INR 350/-

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