Trouble in Nuala (The Inspector de Silva Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Our detective, Inspector Shanti de Silva, married in his forties to the also-40-something English governess Jane, introduces us to his Sinhalese culture in Ceylon as he craves his spicy dahl lunches while suffering through quivering pork jellies served by local matron Florence Clutterbuck, just exactly the type of lady you expect. Even in the first chapter I was delighted to settle down with all the touches of British culture in an exotic locale.
Every bit of character and plot development is just what we would expect - murder discreetly off the page, sympathetic but flawed suspects, and a thoroughly nasty perpetrator - and that’s what we want with a cozy. Well done!
No apologies are necessary here - this is legitimate literature and I am grateful for it.
I mentioned above my antipathy to pigeonholing fiction. I have a similar bias against novels-in-series these days. We seem to be overrun by novice authors cranking out every genre of series with little or no honing of their craft. Thankfully, Harriet Steel is not one of these. She has published a few well-received novels and a volume of stories and she knows what she is doing. I am eagerly awaiting her second de Silva mystery, and I'm quite grateful for having received this one for free in a Goodreads giveaway. (less)
Set in the British Colonial period of the 1930s in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), this first in a new series by Harriet Steel introduces Inspector Shanti de Silva, recently transferred from busy Colombo to the sleepy hill-town of Nuala, and Jane, his English wife, a former governess.
Barely settled into his new assignment, Shanti is ordered by Archie Clutterbuck, his government overseer, to discreetly investigate charges Charles Renshaw, a local planter, has flogged one of his workers. But the worker has disappeared, Renshaw arrogantly denies the abuse and the lawyer who brought the charges suddenly wants them dropped.
Puzzled, the inspector moves on to other concerns until Renshaw's suspicious death brings it back to his full attention. Things are not as they first appear on several fronts, including a sub-plot which adds the planter's wife to the list of suspects.
I found this a quick, entertaining read with a well-paced narrative, a pragmatic protagonist, an interesting variety of characters, a dash of humor and a balanced look at the political and cultural differences between the Sinhalese, the Tamils and their British overlords.
As a side bonus for interested readers, Steel provides a short lesson on the sport of cricket, which has a role in the story.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
by Harriet Steel (Goodreads Author)
Jackie Wolfred's review Feb 02, 2017 · edit
really liked...Read more