Today it’s my absolute pleasure to share the blog and a little #BookLove with author Vaseem Khan. Vaseem has penned the Inspector Chopra series and the third book, The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star is released tomorrow.
Vaseem Khan is the bestselling author of the Baby Ganesh Detective Agency novels, a cosy crime series based in Mumbai, India and featuring a baby elephant. The first book in the series, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra, was a Times bestseller, a Waterstones’ paperback of the year, and an Amazon Best Debut. His latest book in the series is The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star.
About the Books
Mumbai, murder and a baby elephant combine in a charming, joyful mystery for fans of Alexander McCall Smith and Rachel Joyce.
On the day he retires, Inspector Ashwin Chopra discovers that he has inherited an elephant: an unlikely gift that could not be more inconvenient. For Chopra has one last case to solve…
But as his murder investigation leads him across Mumbai – from its richest mansions to its murky underworld – he quickly discovers that a baby elephant may be exactly what an honest man needs.
So begins the start of a quite unexpected partnership, and an utterly delightful new series.
The second book in the heartwarming and charming Baby Ganesh series.
For centuries the Koh-i-Noor diamond has set man against man and king against king.
Now part of the British Crown Jewels, the priceless gem is a prize that many have killed to possess.
So when the Crown Jewels go on display in Mumbai, security is everyone’s principal concern. And yet, on the very day Inspector Chopra visits the exhibition, the diamond is stolen from under his nose.
The heist was daring and seemingly impossible. The hunt is on for the culprits. But it soon becomes clear that only one man – and his elephant – can possibly crack this case…
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…
You can follow Vaseem on the following sites:
Favourite book from childhood
Watership Down by Richard Adams
A children’s classic. Who would have thought a novel about rabbits could be full of adventure, intrigue and excitement? I read this book as a kid and was hooked on the story of Hazel, Fiver, Bigwig and the other rabbits, displaced from their warren, moving across the English countryside to find a new home. On their epic journey they encounter every conceivable danger, and then meet the ultimate rabbit foe: General Woundwort, surely one of the most villainous villains in children’s fiction. The novel also starts with one of the most poignant opening sentences I’ve read: “The primroses were over.”
The first book you fell in love with
The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke
Sci-fi classic and the best novel of the very far future I have read. A billion years from now humanity is reduced to one fabulous city – Diaspar. The rest of the Earth is a barren wasteland. In Diaspar, Utopia exists – humans live forever, and are reborn many times. But Alvin is a Unique – the first ‘new’ human to be born in millennia. And he is troubled by existence in Diaspar. This novel gave me the impetus to write SF, my earliest efforts at ‘writing seriously’. Truly mind-expanding.
Biggest book crush
The book character you’re totally in love with
Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
Surely the most unique and single-minded assassin in fiction.
Guilty Reading pleasure
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
A lot of people profess disdain for this book, suggesting that it is not ‘well written’. I have to disagree. This is one of the best thrillers that I have ever read – there is a reason it sold a gazillion copies around the world. An intellectual mystery at its heart, combined with non-stop action, and an incredible revelation at its conclusion. Thriller perfection!
Love one, love them all
Favourite series or genre
Guards! Guards! By Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld is now a worldwide phenomenon. I first encountered the series with this novel, 25 years ago, for me the very best of the Discworld canon. In this book we are first introduced to the recurring characters of the city of Ankh-Morpork’s Night Watch, including Captain Sam Vimes, Corporal Nobby Nobbs and Sergeant Fred Colon, as they tackle a dragon threatening the city – with predictably hilarious consequences. Rereading this book I found myself once again entranced by Practhett’s ability to blend pathos and humour, at the ease with which his prose rolls along, and at the way we quickly become invested in these admittedly larger-than-life characters. It takes genius to make people laugh and the Discworld series does this effortlessly.
Your latest squeeze
Favourite read of the last 12 months
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
An excoriating novel, the winner of the 2016 Booker prize, and, for many people, the best winner of that prize for a decade. Author Paul Beatty dives headfirst into the current debate on racial politics in the US with this lacerating story, about a young black man who decides to bring back slavery, and the subsequent consequences of his singular act. Wildly iconoclastic.
Blind date for a friend
If you were to set a friend up with a blind date (book) which one would it be?
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
This book is about cancer, yet managed to make me laugh out loud so many times I lost count. Hazel and Augustus are teenagers with cancer, but their love story unfolds with such a passion for life that we are completely sold. The author has perfectly captured teen angst, teen humour, and teen love. At the same time this isn’t just a teen romcom. There are genuine musings on how we define life, what its purpose is, and how best we can do justice to living it. Simply brilliant.
Greatest love of all
Favourite book of all time.
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
I still remember the first time I read this, the overwhelming feeling of discovering something magical. It showed me that through words you could make readers nostalgic for a time and place they had never seen. This book was voted the best Booker prize winner in 40 years. It tells the story of modern India, using magical realism, through the eyes of Saleem Sinai who was born “at the precise instant of India’s arrival at independence.” People may know Rushdie because of the controversy around The Satanic Verses, but this is the book that proves he is a literary genius.
I think we can all agree there are some absolutely brilliant books there. Watership Down. Gah! Always makes me a little teary that one. Can I just put my hand up now though and say I’ve never read The Da Vinci Code (I’ve never even watched the movie!) Is this a good or a bad thing? Should I give it a punt?
A massive best of luck to Vaseem for the launch of his book tomorrow (you can buy it here). Hope you have a brilliant day full of celebration and thanks for stopping by to answer my questions and spread a little #BookLove.
Join me on Saturday when blogger Anne Cater of Random Things Through My Letterbox will be spreading a little of her own book love.
Have a wonderfully bookish day all