The enchanting new Baby Ganesh Agency novel sees Inspector Chopra and his elephant sidekick investigating the dark side of Bollywood.
Mumbai thrives on extravagant spectacles and larger-than-life characters.
But even in the city of dreams, there is no guarantee of a happy ending.
Rising star and incorrigible playboy Vikram Verma has disappeared, leaving his latest film in jeopardy. Hired by Verma’s formidable mother to find him, Inspector Chopra and his sidekick, baby elephant Ganesha, embark on a journey deep into the world’s most flamboyant movie industry.
As they uncover feuding stars, failed investments and death threats, it seems that many people have a motive for wanting Verma out of the picture.
And yet, as Chopra has long suspected, in Bollywood the truth is often stranger than fiction…
Previously in the series
Vaseem Khan’s vibrant Indian series continues with The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star. Chopra has found his way into all of our hearts, together with his sidekick mini elephant and his family of Poppy and Irfan. This is a mystery series, with a hard edge of realism.
Anyone who has not discovered this series should start at the beginning and get to know Chopra and the city of Mumbai. Chopra was forced to retire from the police force, due to ill health. He has a heart problem. He now runs his own detective agency and has earned quite a reputation for discretion and reliability. Chopra is an honest man, with a passion for solving crime.
In this latest instalment, Chopra finds himself hired to find a missing Bollywood star. Vicky Verma was last seen during a performance on stage. Has Vicky been kidnapped? Is he in danger? Or is this part of an insurance scam? This case takes a harsh turn for Chopra, as he seeks the truth. Rangwella, Chopra’s colleague in the detective agency, has a completely different case to get his teeth into. Rangwella delves into the eunuch community, the official third gender in India. He is asked to look into why a group of eunuchs are being hired to dance, sing and entertain a mysterious Master.
I was really fascinated by the portrayal of the eunuch community in Mombai. I found myself researching online to find out more. There is quite a large population of castrated and transgender people, who have been given official status in India. In spite of this, they are still subject to discrimination and abuse. All very interesting. Well done Vaseem Khan on enlightening me on a subject, I knew nothing about.
Once again, Vaseem Khan proves he can write the most entertaining thrillers, combining good old fashioned detective work, with a touch of humour and realism. I must not forget that elephant. I now think it is perfectly normal for a private detective to be accompanied by a cute baby elephant. That is the magic of Chopra and the Baby Ganesh Agency series. Recommended.