The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown

Written by Vaseem Khan

Review written by Sara Townsend

Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group. http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com/


The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown
Mulholland Books
RRP: £12.99
Released: May 5 2016
HBK

Inspector Ashwin Chopra has been looking forward to a quiet retirement from the Brihanmumbai Police. That is not to be, though, for the day he decides to visit the Crown Jewels of Elizabeth the Second, on display in Mumbai for a special exhibition, the price Koh-i-Noor diamond is stolen. It’s a daring heist, and seemingly impossible to stage. Inspector Chopra is on hand along with his baby elephant, Ganesh, to get to the bottom of the heinous crime.

This is a somewhat light-hearted mystery that needs to be taken with a very large pinch of salt, for too much scrutiny would reveal far too many holes. It seems unlikely, for instance, that the Queen would choose to visit Mumbai (for the first time in many years) and decide to bring all the Crown Jewels with her. The reaction of the British to the disappearance of the Koh-i-Noor diamond on Indian soil is also improbably underplayed.

However, like the Alexander McCall Smith books this is not so much a mystery as light entertainment showcasing an exotic landscape, and fans of his will enjoy this series. Mumbai, warts and all, is a secondary character in this book, and the extraordinarily intelligent baby elephant, Ganesh (for whom the series is named) is arguably the star of the series.

Fans of humorous crime stories and far-flung settings will find much to like in this novel.

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