If you liked Alexander McCall Smith’s No 1 Ladies Detective Agency you are probably going to enjoy Murder Under a Red Moon by Indian writer Harini Nagendra. Her Kaveri Murthy is not as quick witted and fun as Precious Ramotswe but she and her world are as different and interesting. This is the second, to date, mystery in The Bangalore Detective Club series set in 1920s India. This is an original cozy.
Mrs. Kaveri Murthy is only 19 years old and already a famous detective in Bangalore. Her rather disapproving mother-in-law asks her to help a childhood friend. The friend is the second wife of Mr. Sharma, a mill owner. The mill is having financial problems and the owner suspects foul play. When Kaveri Murthy shows up at the mill during a lunar eclipse she arrives too late and finds the mill owner dead and that someone to incriminate her in the murder.
The immediate suspects for the murder are the mill owner’s second wife, his daughter, and his future son-in-law. There are other nefarious goings on in Bangalore including the derailment of a train and the presence of Swami Vaninanda who rubs Kaveri the wrong way.
Plot wise this Indian mystery by Harini Nagendra does spin its wheels a bit as the Kaveri Murthy takes a while to get a grasp on what is going on and things are rather static for a while.
The ending is disappointing. The guilty party confesses his or her nefarious deed in a vainglorious speech to an associate. All Kaveri and the reader have to do is listen in.
Another weak point to Murder Under a Red Moon by Harini Nagendra is the plethora of secondary characters. It becomes very hard to figure out who is who doing what. I appreciated the glossary of Indian words, even if a couple were missing, and the five recipes at the end of this cozy.
I was miffed by the fact the summary on the back of this cozy does not reflect the content. It mentions anti-British sentiment and the suffrage movement on the rise but they are barely present in this novel and have nothing to do with the plot.
Murder Under a Red Moon
A Bangalore Detectives Club Mystery
- A special and very good read.
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