Saturday, June 19, 2010

Inspector Singh Investigates: The Singapore School of Villany -- Shamini Flint

I've been reading a lot of books set in Southeast Asia lately. Here's another one. The Inspector Singh of the title has had two previous cases, one in Kuala Lumpur and one in Bali.

Singh is a Sikh, whose turban is the neatest thing about him. He's overweight and he doesn't dress well. Both things upset his superiors on the force, but they can't do anything about him because of his success rate. He's the best investigator on they have. He has to undergo a monthly "you're a disgrace to the force" lecture, but he hardly pays attention.

The current case involves the murder of an expatriate, a lawyer who's one of a group of partners in a high-powered international firm. It seems pretty clear that one of the other partners killed him, but which one? Singh discovers that all of them have secrets to hide, and that the killer might even have been someone outside the firm. Certainly the man's wife and ex-wife have motives. Making things worse is the fact that a relative of Singh's wife is one of the suspect lawyers.

Good local color and entertaining characters, especially Singh and his wife, a couple with a complex and realistic relationship. There's humor, too, and a case that's even more complicated that it first appears. The poignant ending is a bonus. Check it out.


Anonymous said...

Sounds good. I just read one set in India that I really enjoyed, Tarquin Hall's The Case of the Missing Servant, featuring India's best private detective (ask him, he'll tell you), Vish 'Chubby' Puri.


Anonymous said...

I ordered book one from the library.

On her website it says there are two more coming - one in Cambodia, one in India.