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A Very Pukka Murder
by Arjun Raj Gaind


Overview - From the borders of icy Kashmir to the shark-infested shores of the Malabar Coast, Major William Russell, the English Resident of the small, princely state of Rajpore, is renowned as a straitlaced man of rigorous habit. When his valet knocks on his bedroom door the morning after the 1909 New Year's Ball and receives no response, he and the Resident's elderly secretary eventually task the English Commandant of Cavalry with breaking it down.  Read more...

 
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More About A Very Pukka Murder by Arjun Raj Gaind
 
 
 
Overview
From the borders of icy Kashmir to the shark-infested shores of the Malabar Coast, Major William Russell, the English Resident of the small, princely state of Rajpore, is renowned as a straitlaced man of rigorous habit. When his valet knocks on his bedroom door the morning after the 1909 New Year's Ball and receives no response, he and the Resident's elderly secretary eventually task the English Commandant of Cavalry with breaking it down. The Resident is dead in his bed. His Highness Farzand-i-Khas-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia Mansur-i-Zaman Maharaja Sikander Singh, Light of Heaven, Sword of Justice, Shield of the Faithful, sole ruler of Rajpore, is slow to rise after the night of revelry. But news of the murder galvanizes him. The fabulously wealthy Maharaja, who perforce has surrendered much of his authority to the British, is a man of indolent habit although he keeps himself thoroughly fit. A lover of luxury cars and beautiful women, his deepest passion is for mysteries. He cannot resist an enigma, relishing a riddle and the rush of resolving it. Like August Dupin and Sherlock Holmes, Sikander wields careful and deliberate logic to crack puzzles that leave less intelligent men confounded. Here is such an opportunity, and well timed-for the Maharaja, resigned to another year of indolence, is almost fatally bored. Abandoning the lavish comforts of his ornate palace, Sikander orders his massive manservant Charan Singh into his Silver Ghost and speeds to the insular English settlement. Despite the objections of the local Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police, he works the crime scene and deduces that Resident was poisoned by a massive dose of strychnine. As a clock starts ticking--the British authorities dispatch their own investigator from Simla-- Sikander overcomes obstacles, false trails, and the growing hostility of the English Establishment, while learning that Major Russell was not as pukka, as proper, as he liked to pretend. Will the Maharaja work through a surplus of suspects and motives before the British shut him down and cover up the truth about the Major's death? Arjun Gaind's clever, fascinating debut introduces an elegant new detective in the tradition of Lord Peter Wimsey, while painting a scathing portrait of the British Raj.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781464206450
  • ISBN-10: 1464206457
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
  • Publish Date: November 2016
  • Page Count: 338
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.76 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds

Series: Maharajah Mysteries #1

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Mystery & Detective - International Mystery & Crime

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-08-29
  • Reviewer: Staff

Set in the tiny princely state of Rajpore, Indian comic book writer Gaind’s first novel is both a satisfying locked-room mystery and a keenly observed comedy of manners. On Jan. 1, 1909, Rajpore’s maharaja, Sikander Singh, who usually likes to start his day with a frosty flute of champagne, learns that Maj. William Russell, a high British government official, has been found dead in his bed. When Russell didn’t respond to his servant’s knocks, a cavalry officer had to break into his bedroom because it was bolted from within. A keen mystery solver, Sikander hops into his Rolls-Royce and hastens to Russell’s bungalow in Rajpore’s English settlement. Sikander determines that Russell was poisoned, but members of the British enclave, keen to avoid a scandal, hamper the maharaja’s subsequent investigation. It becomes clear that Russell had quite a few nasty little secrets and unpleasant proclivities that caused him to be despised by practically everyone. Fans of traditional mysteries and those with an interest in British colonial history will be rewarded. (Nov.)

 
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