Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown

The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown is the 2nd installment of the Baby Ganesh Agency Investigation series by Vaseem Khan. The not-so-amateur sleuth is retired police investigator Ashwin Chopra who lives in Mumbai. Inspector Chopra has a pet baby elephant that he takes with him everywhere, having bought a special van to drive the animal around in. The elephant, named Ganesha, has intelligent and emotional features similar to a human, at least in Inspector Chopra's eyes.

The story begins with the opening of an exhibition of the British Crown Jewels at the Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai. The Queen is also in India on tour. Chopra manages to obtain tickets for the first day of the exhibition for himself and his wife Poppy.  The main treasure of the exhibition is the Queen's crown with its Koh-i-Noor diamond. The diamond was given to Queen Victoria from India, via its British masters, and many Indians feel that it should remain in India. While Chopra is gazing at the crown he hears several loud noises and smoke engulfs the room.  When he regains consciousness, the crown is gone.

The Force One guards investigating the theft quickly find the perpetrator, police Inspector Shekhar Garewal, after finding the crown in his home, minus the Koh-i-Noor diamond. Chopra is asked by Inspector Garewal to help him clear his name as he is innocent of the theft.

I enjoyed the first half of the book but got bored when Inspector Chopra's investigation began and I started skipping pages. The characters did not appeal to me.  Chopra's wife Poppy seemed to be interesting but she had a minor role in the plot. Also, I had a hard time recognizing the pet elephant's role. Let's face it, the suspension of belief required to believe that an elephant can contribute to an investigation is too far to go. While the book is advertised as a mystery I would categorize it further as a cozy mystery.

Since I liked half of the book I will give it 2.5 stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment