Thursday, October 08, 2015

Review: The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra

Book Cover: The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan
Published August 2015 by Mulholland Books
Source: eGalley ARC from NetGalley

On the day he retires, Inspector Ashwin Chopra inherits two unexpected mysteries.

The first is the case of a drowned boy, whose suspicious death no one seems to want solved.

And the second is a baby elephant.

As his search for clues takes him across the teeming city of Mumbai, from its grand high rises to its sprawling slums and deep into its murky underworld, Chopra begins to suspect that there may be a great deal more to both his last case and his new ward than he thought.

And he soon learns that when the going gets tough, a determined elephant may be exactly what an honest man needs...

My Thoughts

I simply adored The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra. The novel begins on the last day of work for Police Inspector Ashwin Chopra. He's retiring after nearly 30 years as a policeman in Mumbai. But Inspector Chopra has a hard time coping with retirement. First of all, there's the unsolved murder of a poor teenaged boy. Then there's the uncomfortable situation at home complicated by the baby elephant received from his uncle.

So, like many retired policemen, Chopra can't just walk away. He keeps poking his nose into the investigation, discovering that higher-ups in the police department want the case closed quickly with a ruling of accidental death. But Chopra is convinced that the boy was murdered. And, back at home, the head of the residents' committee wants Chopra to get rid of the baby elephant and remove it from the yard surrounding the apartment building.

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra is a gentle and charming mystery. The setting in Mumbai is “exotic” to this Texan American who hasn't traveled too much outside the USA and is intrigued with the everyday life of people who live on the other side of the world. But, as different as India is compared to Texas, I could immediately identify with Inspector Chopra and his wife Poppy. Their concerns weren't different at all. Chopra has to deal with the domineering Mrs. Subramanium, chairman of the residents' committee. He's got the aggravation of his interfering mother-in-law living in his home. And the new Inspector is so jealous of Chopra that he won't listen to anything he has to say about the murdered boy.

Mystery readers will adore the gentle yet persistent Chopra. Baby Ganesh, as the elephant is named, contributes his own charm to the story. All-in-all, a delightful read. I note that Vaseem Khan has another Inspector Chopra book due out in May of 2016—which I hope heralds a long series to come.


Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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