on September 15th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective
Published by Redhook
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...
I requested the first book of this series from the library as soon as I heard about a baby elephant helping in a detective agency. Really, what more do you need? Rush out and read this.
On his last day at work before his unwanted medical retirement, Inspector Chopra gets a letter saying that he has inherited a very special baby elephant from his uncle. He hasn’t seen his eccentric uncle in years. He has no idea why he had an elephant or even that his uncle had died. He also has no idea why he would think Chopra would want an elephant.
That gets put out of his mind when he gets to work and finds a woman leading a protest in front of the station. Her son died the night before and she knows that the police won’t investigate because they are too poor. He starts to look at the case but doesn’t get very involved because it is his last day and he won’t be able to follow through.
He doesn’t take to retirement well. (Also the set up for the Indian series that starts with The Marriage Bureau for Rich People.) He decides to go see what is going on with the case of the boy that died. He realizes that no one is investigating so he decides to go have a look himself. Soon he is splitting his time between trying to solve this crime and nursing this very sickly, very sad little elephant that was delivered to his apartment complex.
But how does a baby elephant help solve crimes, you ask? Well, even a small elephant is an effective battering ram. Elephants can also find people over long distances. Ganesha is just a baby but his role increases in each book so far.
I’m not usually a fan of mysteries but this one is ok because even though his reason for investigating is mostly boredom and resentment at being made to give up his career, he is a real investigator and not just a busy body. Well, I guess he starts out as a busy body but then formalizes it to be a real private investigator. I’m not a fan of cozy mysteries with busy bodies messing up crime scenes. I’m perfectly ok with elephants trompsing all over crime scenes.
The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown (Baby Ganesh Agency Investigation #2) by Vaseem Khan
on May 5, 2016
For centuries the Koh-i-Noor diamond has set man against man and king against king. Now part of the British Crown Jewels, the priceless gem is a prize that many have killed to possess. So when the Crown Jewels go on display in Mumbai, security is everyone's principal concern. And yet, on the very day Inspector Chopra visits the exhibition, the diamond is stolen from under his nose. The heist was daring and seemingly impossible. The hunt is on for the culprits. But it soon becomes clear that only one man - and his elephant - can possibly crack this case...
I love the covers of these books. They are so cute and colorful. I’m usually indifferent to covers but I love these.
Mild spoiler for the end of the first book but not really – Chopra ends up opening a restaurant for policemen/detective agency office/place for Ganesha to live in the backyard at the end of book 1. The restaurant itself doesn’t play a huge role here but I’m claiming it for Foodies Read anyway because everyone needs to know about baby elephants.
Speaking of Ganesha, he considers himself a full-fledged part of the agency. He has a special truck he rides around Mumbai in so he can go on stakeouts. In this book he gets to go undercover in a circus performance and loves his sparkly costume. He’s also making new friends at the restaurant and gets to help rescue one when he gets in trouble.
Meanwhile, Chopra is hired by an old colleague who was in charge of security for the Crown Jewels. He’s been arrested and knows that he’s going to take the fall for this crime if the real criminals can’t be found.
These books are fun. I’m looking forward to reading more and seeing how this team learns to work together even more.