The first in a charming, joyful crime series set in 1920s Bangalore, featuring sari-wearing detective Kaveri and her husband Ramu. Perfect for fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.
When clever, headstrong Kaveri moves to Bangalore to marry handsome young doctor Ramu, she's resigned herself to a quiet life.
But that all changes the night of the party at the Century Club, where she escapes to the garden for some peace and quiet—and instead spots an uninvited guest in the shadows. Half an hour later, the party turns into a murder scene.
When a vulnerable woman is connected to the crime, Kaveri becomes determined to save her and launches a private investigation to find the killer, tracing his steps from an illustrious brothel to an Englishman's mansion. She soon finds that sleuthing in a sari isn't as hard as it seems when you have a talent for mathematics, a head for logic, and a doctor for a husband . . .
And she's going to need them all as the case leads her deeper into a hotbed of danger, sedition, and intrigue in Bangalore's darkest alleyways.
Nagendra (Cities and Canopies: Trees in Indian Cities) makes her fiction debut with an exceptional series launch. In 1921, 19-year-old Kaveri Murthy, who has a passion for advanced mathematics, lives just outside the sprawling city of Bangalore. While Kaveri and her physician husband, Ramu, are attending a reception at the prestigious Century Club, the body of a pimp is found murdered in the garden. When the deputy inspector of the local police force arrives to investigate, Kaveri confides that she saw the dead man in the garden with his hands around the throat of a beautiful woman. Kaveri's desire to see justice done takes her from the bastions of British wealth to humble mud-floored shacks. By placing her intelligent and clear-eyed protagonists in the multilayered and multicultural milieu of colonial India, Nagendra, a university professor in Bangalore, imbues this mystery with a rich, edifying, and authentic feel. She rounds out the volume with easy-to-follow recipes for dishes like spiced rice with lentils, a welcome change from the sugary fare that culinary cozy recipes typically offer. Readers will hope Kaveri and Ramu will be back soon. Agent: Priya Doraswamy, Lotus Literary.
Refreshing New Voice
This mystery has everything. It is suspenseful. It also introduces you to a very different culture. Lastly, the writing is excellent. In fact, at one point, I stopped and reread a section because the description was so vivid.