Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan

Reviewer: Catriona Troth

What We Thought:

Inspector Chopra is about to retire – at least he is supposed to. But then the mother of a murdered boy throws down a challenge. “For a poor woman and her poor son, there is no justice.” Chopra knows that he has to prove her wrong, even if it means going behind the backs of his wife and his former boss, both of whom are determined that Chopra should put his feet up.

To complicate matters, Chopra has just inherited a baby elephant named Ganesha – a most unsuitable resident for a Mumbai apartment block!

But Chopra’s determination (along with some unexpected help from baby Ganesha) will solve a crime with roots much earlier in Chopra’s career.

Khan writes with gentle affection for his creations. He paints a warm portrait of a long marriage shifting gears into retirement. And another of modern Mumbai – a city that can encompass both huge modern shopping malls and the Dharavi slum- “where houses were constructed with anything available to hand - ... – where a billion cockroaches played tag with a billion rats, where black smoke from the potters’ kilns created an artificial cloud overhead, where... the human spirit still flourished.”

Chopra will tolerate no threat to the city he loves. And while it remains under his watchful eye, you feel it is in safe custody.

A warm and entertaining read, shot through with wry humour.

You Enjoy This If You Loved: The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon, Hamish Macbeth by MC Beaton, Inspector Montalbano by Andrea Camilleri

Avoid If You Dislike: Cosy Crime

Perfect Accompaniment: masala dosa with sambar (stuffed pancake with a spicy broth)

Genre: Crime Fiction; Fiction from South Asia

Available on Amazon

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