British Empire Books


The Last Kashmiri Rose


TypeFiction
AuthorBarbara Cleverly
PublisherConstable
Published2001
ISBN No.1841193690



Set in a town called Panikhat in India in 1922, the characters are made up of a community of British officers (the Bengal Greys) and their wives (the memsahibs). Every year, one of the memsahibs dies in a violent (and sometimes creative) manner, and every year on the anniversary of their deaths, red roses are laid on their graves.

With all of these deaths occurring and the local Police Superintendant providing no answers, it is left to the WWI hero, Joe Sandilands of the Metropolitan Police, to come out to Panikhat on secondment in order to determine once and for all whether or not these deaths are simply tragic coincidences or whether we had a murder mystery to solve.

The mystery was interesting and I found myself (up past my bedtime) turning page after page. I must admit that I think I was on the right track all along, however the ending was a surprise and one that surely couldn't have been completely known until the all-important clue was introduced towards the end of the book. After all, that's when our clever hero figured it out.

It was very quick reading, but I found the style of writing somewhat empty and predictable. In fact, the many cliches and (albeit fewer) fragmented sentences bothered me so much I felt the need to read them out to whomever was unfortunate enough to be sitting next to me.

Still, I did enjoy the book.


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