Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Last Victim of the Monsoon Express, an Inspector Chopra novella from author Vaseem Khan. I love this series about Chopra and his most unusual ward and investigative assistant, elephant Ganesha. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
A new novella in the charming Baby Ganesh Agency series.
In a symbolic journey of reconciliation, the Monsoon Express is travelling between hostile neighbours India and Pakistan. The passenger list includes politicians, celebrities, former Mumbai policeman Inspector Chopra and his baby elephant ward Ganesha.
Then a senior diplomat is found murdered in his cabin. Accusations fly, tensions rise, and an international incident seems certain. But is the murder political – or personal?
Tasked to investigate, Chopra has just hours before the train reaches its destination and the news goes public.
He must unmask the killer quickly if he’s to stop the last journey of the Monsoon Express going entirely off the rails…Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Google Play | Apple Books
I love the Inspector Chopra series and Monsoon Express proved to be a welcome addition to it, and a nice taster while waiting for the latest full length novel to be released. In this novella, Inspector Chopra finds himself invited to be part of a very exclusive train journey which is designed to improve Indian-Pakistani relations. Although things seem calm but strained initially, the murder of one of the main political representatives soon puts paid to the idea of any kind of peaceful journey. It falls to Chopra and his trusty elephant, Ganesha, to investigate and bring a killer to justice.
The story has echoes of Murder on the Orient Express, although how far the similarities go you will need to read to find out. Certainly I think the earlier novel would have been far more entertaining if Poirot had been assisted in his investigation by an elephant. Whilst it might be hard for an elephant to be an active part of any murder investigation, Ganesha’s fine tunes sense of smell proves invaluable in helping Chopra get to the truth.
The story is full of interesting and larger than life characters, from politicians to movie stars, and the list of suspects and motives seemingly endless. Nearly everyone, with perhaps the exception of the elephant, could have cause to want the man dead, and certainly clues come thick and fast which will have you changing your mind over who dunnit with great regularity.
If you want a fun, fast and intriguing mystery to get your teeth into, I would definitely recommend this book. If you’ve never read an Inspector Chopra story before, it’s a great place to start as there are no spoilers for the series but you do get a flavour of the man and his charge (no pun intended). A remarkable detective duo that I love reading about. I can’t wait to read the next full length story.
About the Author
Vaseem Khan first saw an elephant lumbering down the middle of the road in 1997 when he arrived in India to work as a consultant. It was the most unusual thing he’d ever encountered and served as the inspiration behind his series of crime novels. He returned to the UK in 2006 and now works at University College London for the Department of Security and Crime Science where he is astonished daily by the way modern science is being employed to tackle crime.