The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan
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…
Well this book was adorable. If you like cozy mysteries you have to give this one a read. It’s a nice blend of the grumpy retired man you come to expect from this type of novel with the exoticism of modern Mumbai.
I think one of the things that was so delightful about this book is how nice Inspector Chopra is. My regular readers know that I’m a sucker for a kind main character, and Inspector Chopra is as honorable and well intentioned as they come. His wife, Poppy, was also a thoroughly entertaining character, though she was not featured as prominently as one might wish. Addicted to Bollywood Soap Operas, she has a flair for the dramatic, but she doesn’t take nothing from no one. Even the little elephant, Baby Ganesh, has a sweet personality all his own. Yes, the characters were the clear strength of this novel.
I also really appreciated that Khan kept the tone of this novel light, even as he explored the darker elements of life in Mumbai. His love for the city really shines through in the writing, but one almost can’t help but wonder why he is so in love with such a seedy city. Dark themes are explored, but somehow this book never loses its cozy tone. I liked that.
The weakness of this book was definitely the mystery. This was almost more of a police procedural in that Inspector Chopra, a former police officer, just goes through the steps of a normal investigation. There’s not a lot of “playing along” that the reader can do, and certainly very little “who-dunnit”. The culprit is fairly obvious from the beginning, it is simply a matter of Inspector Chopra proving it.
All in all, a fun little read. Perfect for those who like cozies.