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Inspector Ghote's First Case
By H. R. F. Keating

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Inspector Ghote's First Case

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Inspector Ghote's First Case
An Inspector Ghote Mystery
By H. R. F. Keating
Thorndike Large Print, (2009)
ISBN 10: 1-4104-2039-6
ISBN 13: 978-1-4104-2039-8
Genre: Mystery

Reviewed by Herbert White - February 3, 2010

H. R. F. Keating created both the Inspector Ghote and Harriet Martens mystery series. He has also written a number of non-serial crime novels, and I've yet to find a book that he has written that I did not like. However, the Inspector Ghote Mystery series is by far my favorite, namely because the mysteries are set in India. While the stories have a decidedly English flare, the choice of location gives the reader a nice change of pace from the normal English mysteries set in the Cotswolds or the heart of London. As well, the choice of India helps to give the stories a somewhat exotic flare. Most important, Ghote is a likable character and it is fun to see how his mind works, much like watching Agatha Christie's Poirot solve a case.

Despite its title, Inspector Ghote's First Case this is not the first volume in the Ghote series that Keating wrote. Currently the series includes twenty-six novels, and this is in fact one of his newest books. The honor of being the first book in the series falls to The Perfect Murder (unfortunately, the large print edition is currently out-of-print). If you are new to the series Inspector Ghote's First Case is an ideal place to start because despite being a new book, it is actually a prequel to the entire series and it takes the reader back to 1960 and the early days of Ghote's career. The title of the book refers to this being the first case that Ghote tackled after gaining the rank of Inspector.

Ganesh Ghote is the son of a schoolmaster, and a very astute detective who works for the Detection of Crime Branch of the Bombay Police. In this case, Ghote has just been promoted to the rank of Inspector, and he's been granted some much needed leave before taking up his new post. Leave that he really needs because his Bengali wife, Protima, is about to be delivered of their first child. As can be expected, Ghote doesn't get to do much relaxing during his leave as he is quickly shanghaied by Sir Rustom Engineer, the retired Commissioner of the Bombay police, to investigate the death of Iris Dawkins, a friend's wife. Investigators had declared her death a suicide. However, her husband, Richard, thinks that is a case of murder. Sir Rustom thinks that Richard's allegation is the product of his grief and he just wants Ghote to go through the formalities to put the man's mind at ease. Ghote, however, soon determines that Iris's death was more than just a simple suicide and he sets out to get to the heart of the matter.

From beginning to end, Inspector Ghote's First Case is a first class mystery. Fans of the series will be delighted in this new offering, and those new to the series will find it an excellent introduction to the series. Keating's writing is as fresh and enthralling as ever and I hope that more of his books soon make an appearance in large print!

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