Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Barbara Cleverly
The Joe Sandilands mystery series

Cleverly sets the series in 1920s India, her protagonist is Joe Sandilands, former Army soldier, now a Scotland Yard detective on loan to the Bengali police force. However, Joe moves about to India's hot spots to solve crimes at the behest of the Viceroy's government. Exotic locale, colorful people, and intricate plotting. In book three, The Damascened Blade, Joe is visiting a friend in the Northwest Frontier, bordering Afghanistan, acting as bodyguard for a visiting American heiress when one of the visiting Afghani leaders dies. Is it murder or an accident? When a government official and the heiress are kidnapped by the leader's friend, war becomes a real possibility. Joe is trying to solve the crime, rescue the hostages and avert a war. But this is not an action adventure story, people talk, observe and share information. With definite similarities to Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh, Joe has to decide if he should follow the law or do what is right.

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