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The Bangalore Detectives Club

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The first in a charming, joyful cozy crime series set in 1920s Bangalore, featuring sari-wearing detective Kaveri and her husband Ramu. Perfect for fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. When clever, headstrong Kaveri moves to Bangalore to marry handsome young doctor Ramu, she's resigned herself to a quiet life. But that all changes the night of The first in a charming, joyful cozy crime series set in 1920s Bangalore, featuring sari-wearing detective Kaveri and her husband Ramu. Perfect for fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. When clever, headstrong Kaveri moves to Bangalore to marry handsome young doctor Ramu, she's resigned herself to a quiet life. But that all changes the night of the party at the Century Club, where she escapes to the garden for some peace and quiet—and instead spots an uninvited guest in the shadows. Half an hour later, the party turns into a murder scene. When a vulnerable woman is connected to the crime, Kaveri becomes determined to save her and launches a private investigation to find the killer, tracing his steps from an illustrious brothel to an Englishman's mansion. She soon finds that sleuthing in a sari isn't as hard as it seems when you have a talent for mathematics, a head for logic, and a doctor for a husband . . . And she's going to need them all as the case leads her deeper into a hotbed of danger, sedition, and intrigue in Bangalore's darkest alleyways.


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The first in a charming, joyful cozy crime series set in 1920s Bangalore, featuring sari-wearing detective Kaveri and her husband Ramu. Perfect for fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. When clever, headstrong Kaveri moves to Bangalore to marry handsome young doctor Ramu, she's resigned herself to a quiet life. But that all changes the night of The first in a charming, joyful cozy crime series set in 1920s Bangalore, featuring sari-wearing detective Kaveri and her husband Ramu. Perfect for fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. When clever, headstrong Kaveri moves to Bangalore to marry handsome young doctor Ramu, she's resigned herself to a quiet life. But that all changes the night of the party at the Century Club, where she escapes to the garden for some peace and quiet—and instead spots an uninvited guest in the shadows. Half an hour later, the party turns into a murder scene. When a vulnerable woman is connected to the crime, Kaveri becomes determined to save her and launches a private investigation to find the killer, tracing his steps from an illustrious brothel to an Englishman's mansion. She soon finds that sleuthing in a sari isn't as hard as it seems when you have a talent for mathematics, a head for logic, and a doctor for a husband . . . And she's going to need them all as the case leads her deeper into a hotbed of danger, sedition, and intrigue in Bangalore's darkest alleyways.

30 review for The Bangalore Detectives Club

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    This is the first in Harini Nagendra's historical crime fiction series set in the state of Mysore and the bustling city of Bangalore at the beginning of the 1920s in an India under British colonial rule where political protests are beginning to grow. Young bride, Kaveri, obsessed with Mathematics, has moved to Bangalore to be with her husband, Dr Ramu Murthy working at the Bowring Hospital run by Dr Charles Roberts, married to Daphne. She is apprehensive as to what awaits her, fortunately Ramu p This is the first in Harini Nagendra's historical crime fiction series set in the state of Mysore and the bustling city of Bangalore at the beginning of the 1920s in an India under British colonial rule where political protests are beginning to grow. Young bride, Kaveri, obsessed with Mathematics, has moved to Bangalore to be with her husband, Dr Ramu Murthy working at the Bowring Hospital run by Dr Charles Roberts, married to Daphne. She is apprehensive as to what awaits her, fortunately Ramu proves to be a wonderful and progressive husband, who adores his wife, at a time where a woman's dreams are dependent on just how fragile the male ego is. For Kaveri, it is her mother in law that is the problem, expecting her to adhere to the strict and rigid social expectations of women not to be educated, to cook and clean, have children and centre their lives around the man and his whims. As Kaveri finds her feet, she is studying mathematics with a view to attending college, she begins to establish a close social circle of friends and a unconventional sense of community that defies the norms underlying caste, class and women. This is to hold her in good stead when she begins to investigate a murder that takes place at the Century Club Dinner she is attending, the victim is a local pimp, Ponnuswamy. She is aided by a number of people, she befriends elderly neighbour, Uma aunty, who helps her to learn new recipes to cook for Ramu as well as joining Kaveri's exploits to find the killer. Ramu has various concerns and worries about her investigating, but as he is to learn, Kaveri will do what she must, so accepts her for who she is and helps instead. Then there is Deputy Inspector Ismail, unlike many police officers, he is not corrupt, and has no problems welcoming, accepting and encouraging Kaveri's input in the case. However, they all have to race against time to prevent a miscarriage of justice taking place. Nagendra may well be writing cosy crime fiction but it takes place amidst a nation with a growing movement planning to overthrow the British who are determined to continue exploiting the 'natives' for profit and perpetuating a deeply racist culture steeped in their beliefs in their own superiority. The creation of Kaveri as the central protagonist is one of the highlights, she is a delight, coming to terms with who she is and what she stands for. She has a strong sense of compassion, helping others, teaching literacy, and lets nothing stand in her way, whether they be rules that prohibit her from doing what needs to be done or the people who stand in her way. There are explicit references to Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie's Poirot and Lady Molly, not to mention the emerging science of finger prints. This is crime fiction that began to increasingly captivate me the more I read, there are vibrant and rich descriptions of the locations, food, clothing and culture. There are recipes included at the end, along with a short coverage of Bangalore's history as well. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Nagendra introduces the intriguing Kaveri in her new mystery series. The setting is 1920s India and the inquisitive Kaveri decides to investigate the murder of a man that took place at a garden party she and her husband, Ramu, attended. Kaveri, and her physician husband form a true partnership over the course of the novel. Kaveri loves puzzles—she enjoys studying mathematics and is familiar with Sherlock Holmes-style deductive reasoning. I am looking forward to Nagendra’s next offering in the se Nagendra introduces the intriguing Kaveri in her new mystery series. The setting is 1920s India and the inquisitive Kaveri decides to investigate the murder of a man that took place at a garden party she and her husband, Ramu, attended. Kaveri, and her physician husband form a true partnership over the course of the novel. Kaveri loves puzzles—she enjoys studying mathematics and is familiar with Sherlock Holmes-style deductive reasoning. I am looking forward to Nagendra’s next offering in the series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah-Hope

    The Bangalore Detective's Club is the sort of reliable historical (and international) mystery novel appreciated by readers looking for entertainment that isn't entirely frivolous. Set in early 20th Century India under British rule and a time of tensions between traditional and new outlooks, the novel features a female "detective," recently married Kaveri who is more educated than most women of her time, who loves math and longs for freedoms that many in her world would like to deny her. She is, The Bangalore Detective's Club is the sort of reliable historical (and international) mystery novel appreciated by readers looking for entertainment that isn't entirely frivolous. Set in early 20th Century India under British rule and a time of tensions between traditional and new outlooks, the novel features a female "detective," recently married Kaveri who is more educated than most women of her time, who loves math and longs for freedoms that many in her world would like to deny her. She is, however, lucky in her husband, Ramu, a doctor who makes a genuine effort to allow her to chart her own direction in life. The mystery itself occupies a territorysomewhere between gripping and predictable: it doesn't offer a lot of surprises, but it also isn't painfully predictable. If you appreciate historical and/or international cozy mysteries, you'll want to check out this title. I plan to keep looking for new volumes—this book suggests that future volumes will become increasingly engaging with an increasingly well developed cast of characters. I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via EdelweissPlus; the opinions are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I picked up this book, intrigued by the premise and already having loved books by Sujata Massey and Nev March featuring Indian women sleuths. Sadly, this one didn't live up to my hopes, and since I have seen nothing but glowing reviews, I'm going to explain why: 1. The characters felt underdeveloped. Yes, Kaveri and Ramu are a delightful couple who display modern thinking, but their investigations felt too easy in that they rarely came up against someone with more traditional views, and thus they I picked up this book, intrigued by the premise and already having loved books by Sujata Massey and Nev March featuring Indian women sleuths. Sadly, this one didn't live up to my hopes, and since I have seen nothing but glowing reviews, I'm going to explain why: 1. The characters felt underdeveloped. Yes, Kaveri and Ramu are a delightful couple who display modern thinking, but their investigations felt too easy in that they rarely came up against someone with more traditional views, and thus they rarely had to face any challenges of their already-formed beliefs -- and grow. We're simply told of Kaveri's background but not really shown how she went from a very traditional home to having an education and an equal partnership with her husband. (Just a few comments of "oh how lucky I am that this arranged marriage worked out so well!" from the both of them.) 2. The writing was awkward at times. Part of this came from a LOT of hopping between POVs, but the dialogue sections also had a tendency to pull me out of the story because the writing outside the quotes felt stilted. One example: Ramu and Kaveri are speaking on the phone, and one paragraph has Ramu shaking his head and then realizing he can't be seen on the phone, and the next paragraph (from Kaveri's POV) has her nodding. Things like this are presumably meant to add to helping the reader understand what the characters are thinking, but it seemed pointless. 3. What was the point of the prologue? Is it meant to set us up for the next book? If so, why put it at the beginning? All of these things are relatively nitpicky, I know, but it does diminish my personal reading experience when I come across them in any book. I was ready to give this book an average 3 stars, though, until the very end. While I guessed the murderer early on, I really REALLY hated how this character was ultimately developed and then demonized. (view spoiler)[It's 2022, for crying out loud -- can we NOT use a generic "mental illness" as a motive and then throw a woman into an asylum? Given the earlier character development for Daphne, I would totally have settled on white wealth and privilege as being her motive. (hide spoiler)] I hope the author's next book is an improvement, because I do like what she did with the setting and bringing in historical references and context. I would love to read more mysteries with South Asian protagonists, written by South Asian authors. This one, however, does not get high marks from me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sookie

    I am very fond of this book. Its set during a time where British rule is at its peak and as is the fight for independence. Its the time where classism, sexism, castism are all prevalent. Education is a privilege and is accessible to a select few. Its 1920, Bengaluru and Harni Nagendra's heroine, Kaveri, is a nineteen year old married to a young doctor, Ramu. Kaveri is a delight throughout. Intelligent, wannabe mathematician and a budding detective, her empathy and compassion pushes her into the I am very fond of this book. Its set during a time where British rule is at its peak and as is the fight for independence. Its the time where classism, sexism, castism are all prevalent. Education is a privilege and is accessible to a select few. Its 1920, Bengaluru and Harni Nagendra's heroine, Kaveri, is a nineteen year old married to a young doctor, Ramu. Kaveri is a delight throughout. Intelligent, wannabe mathematician and a budding detective, her empathy and compassion pushes her into the heart of a murder mystery that brings multiple communities to forefront. There is Daphne, a British elite, Mala - a prostitute, Manju and his family, Ismail - a cop and Uma Aunty - the friendly neighbor. Only three months in the city and living with her husband, Kaveri navigates the world where her mother-in-law disapproves of educating girls, her husband's continuous support towards her education, Daphne's general colonial attitude and discovering her natural smartness of problem solving. The author doesn't disregard the social and political issues of the times; they exist in the behavior of the characters, in their reactions towards situations and sometimes, in their hesitancy. Kaveri isn't ignored by men around but is also encouraged. Its reads pleasant and for this story, it also works. This was quite an enjoyable read and I do hope the author continues to put out more of Kaveri and Ramu's adventures in future.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sneha Pathak

    Harini Nagendra’s The Bangalore Detectives Club will be enjoyed by all those readers who like gentle mysteries and are a fan of historical novels that capture the essence of a place and a time-period along with a memorable central character. Set in the 1920s, the novel features the young wife (and mathematician on the sly) Kaveri who battles the burden of society’s expectations and boundaries set upon woman in her quest to bring a murderer to justice, and set a wrongly accused woman free. Her par Harini Nagendra’s The Bangalore Detectives Club will be enjoyed by all those readers who like gentle mysteries and are a fan of historical novels that capture the essence of a place and a time-period along with a memorable central character. Set in the 1920s, the novel features the young wife (and mathematician on the sly) Kaveri who battles the burden of society’s expectations and boundaries set upon woman in her quest to bring a murderer to justice, and set a wrongly accused woman free. Her partners in this journey include her supportive husband Ramu and her neighbour Uma aunty. Nagendra creates the portrait of a time gone by and we witness a Bangalore of the past in all its glory. The socio-economic mores of the time as well as the interpersonal relationships between the characters give the readers a well-rounded portrait of the era.  Full review available at my blog: https://readerbychoice.wordpress.com/...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Don

    This book is pretty bad. I'll start out by saying that there is not really a Bangalore Detectives Club [unlike the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency], but there is a sign with that written on it early on. Nagendra said she set the book in Bangalore because she wanted people to experience the city. It could just as well have been set in Akron or Timbuktu for all we learn of Bangalore. The main characters, Kaveri and Ramu and to a lesser extent police chief Ismail, are too good to be true [like jessica This book is pretty bad. I'll start out by saying that there is not really a Bangalore Detectives Club [unlike the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency], but there is a sign with that written on it early on. Nagendra said she set the book in Bangalore because she wanted people to experience the city. It could just as well have been set in Akron or Timbuktu for all we learn of Bangalore. The main characters, Kaveri and Ramu and to a lesser extent police chief Ismail, are too good to be true [like jessica Fletcher or the heroes of the kitchen cozies]. The novel is set in the 1920s when the caste system thriving in India. But the Kaveri and Ramu and Ismail are enlightened enough to overlook the caste system. Noble, but seems unlikely. Ramu and Ismail are employees of the British government -- which was a great perpetrator of the abominable practice --and likely would suffer financial consequences/ There are numerous instances of bad writing. -- Nagendra many times comments on the saris the women are wearing, color, material, etc. That would be akin to Doyle superfluously pointing out Sherlock Holmes was wearing a brown pinstripe suit or Dr Watson was wearing a grey daysuit. [I used Sherlock because that is a hero of Kaveri's.] -- Kaveri visits a friend's house and notes "animal heads were mounted like trophies." LIke trophies? They were trophies. -- Kaveri is visiting another friend and they talk about being musical. She tells the friend "We have three venns [musical instruments] at home, one for me, my mother and my sister." So, who were the other 2 for? [I am pretty sure she was trying to say there was one for each of them, but it is sloppy.] --Ramu and others are at the Century Club. He is bragging his family helped build it in rebuttal to the snobby British United Services Club that admitted whites only. But the Century Club gets its name because membership is limited to 100. How is that any less snobby than USC? -- Kaveri is having a cup of coffee and puts in 2 heaping teaspoonfuls of sugar. Then she gags because it is so sweet. Why did she put so much sugar in if it makes her gag? She tells an anecdote later about why she likes her coffee sweet, but it still doesn't make sense to put in so much if it gags her. [It is interesting that there is more coffee drinking than tea in the story.] -- Daphne is talking with friend Daphne about the murder and tells her the murder knife was found in the garden. Two sentences later Daphne asks here where the knife was found. -- Kaveri goes into a hut where water is being heated and had been for a while. She notes the water is bubbling over in the pot. Again, a detail that doesn't make sense. If it has been bubbling over for a while the level would have dropped enough so that it was continuing to bubble over. -- I am simplifying this] Kaveri figures out who the murder is and takes her husband and Ismail to confront the murderer. Kaveri is to enter the house and try to elicit a confession while the 2 men wait nearby to rush to her aid if needed. Of course, for an irrational reason, they have to move farther away to a position that impedes providing immediate assistance. Kaveri cutely begins to discuss the murder with the killer who immediately realizes Kaveri is onto the killer. The killer attacks Kaveri who calls out but Ramu and Ismail are delayed in helping. In one of those old-time expositions of the crime, the killer begins to narrate the rationale while pinning Kaveri with a knife at her throat. Irrationally, the denouement goes on for 4 pages. It seems that this novel is intended to be the first in a series. For my part, I hope not.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lake Villa District Library

    Staff pick from Jill! Find this book in our catalog! Staff pick from Jill! Find this book in our catalog!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shashwat DC

    Reading the Bangalore Detectives Club novel is like taking a journey back in time, exactly 100 years into the past. Set in the city of Bangalore in the 1920s, the novel captures the essence of a city that is evolving. The fact that the story is located in Basavangudi (the new part of the city back then) hints at the changing times. In that sense, the novel breaks many moulds. While it is dubbed as a crime fiction novel, it is also a social commentary on the many problems that plagued our society Reading the Bangalore Detectives Club novel is like taking a journey back in time, exactly 100 years into the past. Set in the city of Bangalore in the 1920s, the novel captures the essence of a city that is evolving. The fact that the story is located in Basavangudi (the new part of the city back then) hints at the changing times. In that sense, the novel breaks many moulds. While it is dubbed as a crime fiction novel, it is also a social commentary on the many problems that plagued our society back then and to a great extent even today. Be it girls' education, the stigma of caste, or just sheer racism, the author incorporates all these aspects to give a vivid and precise picture of an ancient society plodding into the new world. The best instance of this is how the story's protagonist straddles two worlds, one where her father (and her husband) encourage her to study while her mother-in-law inhibit. The novel also vividly describes Bangalore city, the different parts, from lakes clubs to even Lalbagh. The novel also pays tribute to all masters of yore, doffing the hat to the classics like Sherlock Holmes, Hercules Poirot and Lady Molly. There is the constant reference to Holmes by the characters. For instance, the police inspector in the story, Ismail, reminds one of Inspector Japp or Lestrade. However, unlike both of them, he seems to be positively in awe and amazement of our detective lady Mrs Kaveri Murthy. The lady, barely twenty, is a curious, free-spirited soul, yearning to break from the shackles. She loves mathematics, is an eager swimmer, and is always ready help or learn new things, including driving a car. Despite the time gap of a century, it is not hard to relate to Kaveri, as even today, we see women pushing the envelope constantly to achieve more. The best part is that she has the avid support of the men, her father and especially her husband. The chemistry between Rama Murthy (husband) and Kaveri is quite engaging. In the end, please read the book for its cultural and historical nuances. There have been many nuggets that are nestled within the book that reflect the kind of research and hard work that has gone into it. From India, I can't think of many Detectives from Indian soil; there's Byomkesh Bakshi and Feluda. Kaveri can be quite an exciting addition to that lot. Anyways, the author teases us with a promise; the prologue states it clearly that this happens to be the first case of the Bangalore Detectives Club. Indeed, many more cases will come from BDC, and we will be eagerly waiting for them...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Federica

    I somehow knew I was in for a treat with this book. It's a delightful read, I think I loved everything about it: the setting, the writing style, the characters, it's just a joy to read! It would have been an interesting book even without the mystery murder format (which is an added bonus of course!) because I found the historic and social background extremely fascinating and thought-provoking. Highly recommended, I literally can't wait to read the next installment of the series! Thank you to NetGal I somehow knew I was in for a treat with this book. It's a delightful read, I think I loved everything about it: the setting, the writing style, the characters, it's just a joy to read! It would have been an interesting book even without the mystery murder format (which is an added bonus of course!) because I found the historic and social background extremely fascinating and thought-provoking. Highly recommended, I literally can't wait to read the next installment of the series! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Damyanti Biswas

    Set in 1920s India, this jewel of a whodunit works really well to illuminate the social mores of the times and introduces us to Kaveri, who is educated well beyond the norm for Indian women of that bygone era. I enjoyed the adventures of the newly-married Kaveri and her doctor husband Ramu, who sleuth their way into the corridors and bylanes of Bangalore a century ago. The depiction of colonial times, the sights and sounds of another era, and the lovely cozy vibe kept me turning the pages late in Set in 1920s India, this jewel of a whodunit works really well to illuminate the social mores of the times and introduces us to Kaveri, who is educated well beyond the norm for Indian women of that bygone era. I enjoyed the adventures of the newly-married Kaveri and her doctor husband Ramu, who sleuth their way into the corridors and bylanes of Bangalore a century ago. The depiction of colonial times, the sights and sounds of another era, and the lovely cozy vibe kept me turning the pages late into the night. Fans of Sujata Massey and Abir Mukherjee would enjoy this outing of the vibrant nineteen-year old detective, who is drawn into solving a murder. The insights on racism, casteism, and misogyny, while not didactic, are razor sharp. I look forward to the rest of this historical cozy series, and hope Nagendra will have another one to offer soon!

  12. 5 out of 5

    katayoun Masoodi

    nice cozy mystery, the setting for me was a big plus.

  13. 5 out of 5

    tejal

    "The world is changing. These women, and their daughters, will make sure that all women like you, aunty, will learn how to read and write." Do you like murder mysteries with accurate historical details and a vibrant, lively main character? Then this is the book for you! The Bangalore Detectives Club is an uplifting murder mystery that starts with our main character, Kaveri, the wife of Doctor Ramu Murthy and our detective in the story. She's a keen mathematician with a love of swimming who also we "The world is changing. These women, and their daughters, will make sure that all women like you, aunty, will learn how to read and write." Do you like murder mysteries with accurate historical details and a vibrant, lively main character? Then this is the book for you! The Bangalore Detectives Club is an uplifting murder mystery that starts with our main character, Kaveri, the wife of Doctor Ramu Murthy and our detective in the story. She's a keen mathematician with a love of swimming who also wears a sari and embodies the best of Indian culture. Kaveri finds a dead body whilst attending a party at the Century Club and thus the wheels are set in motion as she strives to discover the truth and free Mala, an innocent prostitute wrongly blamed for the murders. I loved this book! Set in the 1920s in Bangalore, the setting is beautiful and unexpected and the author brings it to life with vibrant, crisp prose. It's also far from your typical murder mystery because the author weaves in social commentary throughout the novel, touching on issues like educating girls, caste issues and outright racism. This is demonstrated in our main character, Kaveri, a bright and vivacious young woman who is determined to achieve more than simply being a doctor's wife. She's keen to study maths despite her mother-in-law's disapproval. It's also nice to see that she's so open when it comes to sharing her knowledge - she wants to succeed and help other women to do the same. Kaveri is genuinely a breath of fresh air and the highlight of this book! It was unputdownable for me, I thought the plot was thrilling and the pages flew by until I reached the end. I also enjoyed the twist at the end because I didn't guess the murderer (although more seasoned murder-mystery readers might.) I also thought the romantic relationship between Kaveri and her husband, Ramu, sparkled off the page! The author wrote excellent chemistry between them and I loved that Ramu was supportive of Kaveri despite his worries about her. As a whole, the cast of characters all felt nuanced and believable which added to the mystery. In particular, I enjoyed Ramu's character and that of Mala which is a testament to the author's ability to create compelling characters. This book was a true delight to read and I'm eager for the next instalment in the series!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Thea | (unapologetic_bibliosmia)

    Review to follow

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rahul Singh

    I have read Nagendra's academic work on Bangalore, and honestly, I was obsessed with her writing then and there. Her work played such an important role in helping me think about my city and its environment. At that time, I had no inkling that such an academic had a mystery book brewing in her mind! When I saw that she was coming out with a book, I knew I had to read it. And I wasn't disappointed at all. Again, she writes a book on her city, Bangalore, but this time she travels back in time and e I have read Nagendra's academic work on Bangalore, and honestly, I was obsessed with her writing then and there. Her work played such an important role in helping me think about my city and its environment. At that time, I had no inkling that such an academic had a mystery book brewing in her mind! When I saw that she was coming out with a book, I knew I had to read it. And I wasn't disappointed at all. Again, she writes a book on her city, Bangalore, but this time she travels back in time and explores a murder mystery shocking the city which involves a bunch of doctors and their wives, gardeners, pimps, prostitute and all such peculiar characters that makes for a cosy crime mystery in a colonial city. Kaveri, the protagonist, is the character whose zeal and zest drives the plot and kept me hooked to figure our what else will this ambitious woman do to make sense of the mayhem that has caught everyone unawares. She is strong, thoughtful, smart and yet a vulnerable 19-year old who's married off to a doctor, Ramu. Her husband is not your regular Indian man who keeps his wife within the grips of his fist. He is encouraging, endearing and he loves making coffee for her. Oh yes, coffee! Please keep supplies of coffee ready beside you when you read this novel because these Bangaloreans drink a lot of coffee and it's hard to resist the urge to grab one asap. I found myself flowing through the book and for me that's an important marker of assessing a book. No complicated language, no unnecessary strain on the reader, just a very simple story on solving a crime that reminded me so much of Agatha Christie. I was transported to what Bangalore would have been in the 1920s when India was still preparing to resist the whites. Here, the author's academic side was very carefully unpacked to create the ambience, the sense of space and time that's very difficult to do in a historical fiction in a crisp manner. I am glad she did not abandon her fondness for Bangalore's nature in writing a murder mystery. The flowers, the trees, lakes, animals, parks; all of the city's nature found home in her story. I felt happy reading it. I am waiting to read what more she has to offer. Thank you so much Hachette India for gifting me a review copy!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    I was very intrigued by this novel when I saw the synopsis of it. A cozy mystery/ whodunnit set it 1920’s pre-independence India. As someone who very much loves learning about Indian culture this was amazing!! The characters in this story are so well done. This is definitely character driven more than plot driven to me. I figured out who did it from the very beginning. I didn’t know how it was done or the why’s, but they were at the top of my suspect list from the jump. I didn’t care that I figu I was very intrigued by this novel when I saw the synopsis of it. A cozy mystery/ whodunnit set it 1920’s pre-independence India. As someone who very much loves learning about Indian culture this was amazing!! The characters in this story are so well done. This is definitely character driven more than plot driven to me. I figured out who did it from the very beginning. I didn’t know how it was done or the why’s, but they were at the top of my suspect list from the jump. I didn’t care that I figured it out as there was plenty of intrigue and surprises still left to enjoy. That said the characters are where it’s at for me! Hubby Ramu is a Gilbert-esque cinnamon roll, and I was totally here for it. Our heroine Kaveri is so smart and determined and makes some excellent friends alone the way! I’m a sucker for secondary characters and I love so many of them. Honestly I can’t wait for the next installment to see how our Bangalore fam are getting on and what crime they must solve next! Oh and before I forget, the history and descriptions of Bangalore in this story that we get is very well constructed and accurate. It really elevates the story!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

    Bangalore is where my grandmother came as a new bride in the early 1930s, and though her situation was completely different from that of Kaveri Murthy, that connection drew me in immediately. I love cozy mysteries, and this lived up to my expectations. A character that is at the same time full of wide eyed wonder and steely determination. Someone who is willing to reach out to people of all age groups and class locations, and get them to start thinking like she does. A woman who thinks often abo Bangalore is where my grandmother came as a new bride in the early 1930s, and though her situation was completely different from that of Kaveri Murthy, that connection drew me in immediately. I love cozy mysteries, and this lived up to my expectations. A character that is at the same time full of wide eyed wonder and steely determination. Someone who is willing to reach out to people of all age groups and class locations, and get them to start thinking like she does. A woman who thinks often about issues of caste and the rules shackling women and is willing to revolt against them silently. I have just two issues with the book- while it was easy to guess the murderer early, the tension was built up gradually as it should; however the denouement could have been a little less cliched, and Kaveri could have paused a little more before recklessly breaking age old rules; a regular person would have. Overall, a nice book to read, especially for the images of old Bangalore and life in those times. Also, loved the attention to detail- the motifs on the saree borders, the plants and trees, tearing a banana leaf to shreds, and so many many more. Eagerly waiting for the next.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tanya R

    Beautiful 1920’s Bangalore is the setting for this new Cosy Mystery series! It’s described as joyful and I can’t think of a better word. I was enchanted by the descriptions of dazzling sari’s and the richness of Indian delicacies throughout this who-dunnit mystery. Along with the mystery, we also are able to get a glimpse of what life is like for a woman in 1920’s Bangalore. Kaveri is the new young bride to young doctor Ramu. She’s bright, intelligent and not ready to give up her studies or care Beautiful 1920’s Bangalore is the setting for this new Cosy Mystery series! It’s described as joyful and I can’t think of a better word. I was enchanted by the descriptions of dazzling sari’s and the richness of Indian delicacies throughout this who-dunnit mystery. Along with the mystery, we also are able to get a glimpse of what life is like for a woman in 1920’s Bangalore. Kaveri is the new young bride to young doctor Ramu. She’s bright, intelligent and not ready to give up her studies or career pursuit just because she’s married. I loved following her story and seeing how Kaveri and Ramu interact with one another. They are such great characters! I feel that this will be a brilliant new series and I eagerly await Book 2! Thank you to #PegasusBooks for this gorgeous gifted copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    William

    This book is in great demand at my local library and I had to wait a while to get it. I'm surprised by this since I did not find it special. It's pretty inadequate as a private eye novel, but I have upped my rating because of the cultural depiction of Bangalore in the 1920's, which was both new to me and interesting. The racism of the British colonialists comes through clearly and painfully. I was also surprised that Indian people drink coffee all the time in that city at this time. The limitati This book is in great demand at my local library and I had to wait a while to get it. I'm surprised by this since I did not find it special. It's pretty inadequate as a private eye novel, but I have upped my rating because of the cultural depiction of Bangalore in the 1920's, which was both new to me and interesting. The racism of the British colonialists comes through clearly and painfully. I was also surprised that Indian people drink coffee all the time in that city at this time. The limitations on the lives of women are illustrated in many ways. The title confuses me. There is no detective club in this story, and Kaveri is not yet really a private investigator. Beyond that, the solution of the murder and assaults in the story failed to capture my interest very much. I found it difficult to keep all the doctors separate in my mind. There are indeed clues, but not until the final chapters can the reader discern what had happened. In both writing and plot this book falls well short of, say, "The Widows of Malabar Hill," and Tarquin Hall's series. There appear to be a lot of Indian crime story writers, and I would welcome recommendations of the ones who are especially talented. Finally, the glossary at the end of the story is essentially useless, and while I occasionally cook Indian food, I can't imagine trying any of the recipes include here.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mridupawan Podder

    A witty whodunit mystery set at a backdrop of pre-independence India where gorey ma'ams and English Sahibs are more or less friends than foe. Our own Nancy Drew is a young girl, recently married, sari wearing starlet who believes in women's education and rights and unwittingly becomes a detective because she's also very kind hearted. Casteism is evident in this book as this was a Bangalore before pre-independence. And some things we really can't blame the British for when it's our parents who ref A witty whodunit mystery set at a backdrop of pre-independence India where gorey ma'ams and English Sahibs are more or less friends than foe. Our own Nancy Drew is a young girl, recently married, sari wearing starlet who believes in women's education and rights and unwittingly becomes a detective because she's also very kind hearted. Casteism is evident in this book as this was a Bangalore before pre-independence. And some things we really can't blame the British for when it's our parents who refuse to change. A cosy read without too many twists although the last one did take me by surprise. I was piting my Sherlock-ness with the protagonist and came out second best.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Federica

    I somehow knew I was in for a treat with this book. It's a delightful read, I think I loved everything about it: the setting, the writing style, the characters, it's just a joy to read! It would have been an interesting book even without the mystery murder format (which is an added bonus of course!) because I found the historic and social background extremely fascinating and thought-provoking. Highly recommended, I literally can't wait to read the next installment of the series! Thank you to NetGal I somehow knew I was in for a treat with this book. It's a delightful read, I think I loved everything about it: the setting, the writing style, the characters, it's just a joy to read! It would have been an interesting book even without the mystery murder format (which is an added bonus of course!) because I found the historic and social background extremely fascinating and thought-provoking. Highly recommended, I literally can't wait to read the next installment of the series! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    I very much enjoyed reading The Bangalore Detectives Club. This cosy whodunnit is set in the state of Mysore, Bangalore in the 1920s and its telling is speckled with cultural and historical interest. Kaveri, the protagonist, is a feisty, intelligent 19-year old woman and a mathematics student, married to hospital doctor, Rama Murthy (Ramu to family and friends). The plot is centred around the murder of a pimp named Ponnuswamy which takes place at a plush, extravagant event... The writing is good I very much enjoyed reading The Bangalore Detectives Club. This cosy whodunnit is set in the state of Mysore, Bangalore in the 1920s and its telling is speckled with cultural and historical interest. Kaveri, the protagonist, is a feisty, intelligent 19-year old woman and a mathematics student, married to hospital doctor, Rama Murthy (Ramu to family and friends). The plot is centred around the murder of a pimp named Ponnuswamy which takes place at a plush, extravagant event... The writing is good and both the author and the protagonist deserve a second outing. There are rich descriptions of locations and plenty more, with recipes included at the end, along with a short coverage of Bangalore's history. Intelligent fun and well worth a look. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Little, Brown Book Group UK, Constable via NetGalley and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Abhijeet Borkar

    This was a rather poor book. The language and writing style is fitting to a typical TV serial soap opera you would see on Indian TV channels. What was missing was a typical K-serial style *dun dun dun* music and special effects. The protagonist (the "detective") is a barely just out of high-school woman who has recently got married. She has no credentials or background that would make her any good detective. Her idol is Sherlock Holmes (who doesn't like Holmes?), but Holmes is a middle-aged man This was a rather poor book. The language and writing style is fitting to a typical TV serial soap opera you would see on Indian TV channels. What was missing was a typical K-serial style *dun dun dun* music and special effects. The protagonist (the "detective") is a barely just out of high-school woman who has recently got married. She has no credentials or background that would make her any good detective. Her idol is Sherlock Holmes (who doesn't like Holmes?), but Holmes is a middle-aged man with decades of experience with forensic analysis, and a keen observer, which is what makes him a great detective. No such credentials are established for the protagonist, Kaveri. She faces no challenges whatsoever. Her husband just does whatever she wants him to do, with barely any pushback. The author wants to write a progressive story about a woman in the 1920s India trying to break the stereotypes, but the writing just doesn't depict the reality. Kaveri's mother-in-law, who is supposedly more conservative, is conveniently away for the entire book, so Kaveri gets no pushback to her transgressions. Everybody is either too afraid of her (mostly from the lower classes) or is easily converted to her side (e.g. her husband or her neighbour). This would have been a better book if Kaveri was a 14-year-old high-schooler in a YA/children's adventure novel. In fact, many children's adventure books I read as a kid had better stories and writing than this.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anjali

    I was sure I was going to love this new historical mystery set in 1921 Bangalore, India, featuring a headstrong, smart young woman trying to solve a murder. Unfortunately, I just couldn't buy into the characters at all. Kaveri is newly married to Ramu, and both of them have *extremely* modern thinking for that period of time, but no real reason shown for why they're both so vastly ahead of their time in terms of the role of women, the caste system, etc. Remarkably, they don't even have any confl I was sure I was going to love this new historical mystery set in 1921 Bangalore, India, featuring a headstrong, smart young woman trying to solve a murder. Unfortunately, I just couldn't buy into the characters at all. Kaveri is newly married to Ramu, and both of them have *extremely* modern thinking for that period of time, but no real reason shown for why they're both so vastly ahead of their time in terms of the role of women, the caste system, etc. Remarkably, they don't even have any conflicts with anyone they come across challenging their modern ways, including an older police detective who welcomes them into the murder investigation with open arms, immediately sharing information with them and even getting their assistance in finding the killer. I could have perhaps accepted all of this, however skeptically, but the writing was quite stilted, making the entire process of reading this book a slog. There were also little historical details that didn't fit, such as Kaveri referencing one of her heroes Hercule Poirot - who first appeared in print in the U.S. in 1920 and in the U.K. in 1921. I would have loved more rich detail about Bangalore, but honestly it felt like the story could have taken place anywhere. Overall, beautiful cover and a promising synopsis that the book just couldn't live up to.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Machelle Helms

    I loved this book! How could I not love Kaveri whose guilty secret is sneaking off to do Algebra? I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, but so many other aspects of the book just made it for me. It was so interesting to see Ramu and Kaveri's relationship developing as they got to know each other after an arranged marriage. The setting in both place and time and the author's descriptions were fantastic. She drew me in with descriptions of the trees and flowers, their homes, and the food they ate and I loved this book! How could I not love Kaveri whose guilty secret is sneaking off to do Algebra? I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, but so many other aspects of the book just made it for me. It was so interesting to see Ramu and Kaveri's relationship developing as they got to know each other after an arranged marriage. The setting in both place and time and the author's descriptions were fantastic. She drew me in with descriptions of the trees and flowers, their homes, and the food they ate and how it was served. I found myself missing both the book and the characters for days after I finished the book. I can't wait for the next one in the series!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    A debut mystery series set in 1920's Bangalore, featuring newlywed Kaveri and her doctor husband Rama. When a man is killed at the Century Club, Kaveri realizes that she had observed some of the suspects. The police soon zero in on a young woman, but Kaveri is determined to prove her innocence. Kaveri is very lucky that her husband and Deputy Inspector Ismail are open minded enough to allow her to take a crack at the case. This kick off to a new series is not to be missed. A debut mystery series set in 1920's Bangalore, featuring newlywed Kaveri and her doctor husband Rama. When a man is killed at the Century Club, Kaveri realizes that she had observed some of the suspects. The police soon zero in on a young woman, but Kaveri is determined to prove her innocence. Kaveri is very lucky that her husband and Deputy Inspector Ismail are open minded enough to allow her to take a crack at the case. This kick off to a new series is not to be missed.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tannisa Mahanty

    Historical crime fiction , with a cute bantar , sing me up. It was so fun to solve the mystery with Kaveri. This book is super easy to read and entertaining at the same time , it was a hard task for me to put it down and go do other works. So you can understand i loved it! I would love to see more of Kaveri , i need another book by her POV , please!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    This is a sparkling, joyful kickoff to a new series, set in 1920's India and featuring an independent doctor's wife. A very traditional mystery that refers often to Sherlock Holmes. There are many things to enjoy -- characters, setting and plot. Highly recommended. This is a sparkling, joyful kickoff to a new series, set in 1920's India and featuring an independent doctor's wife. A very traditional mystery that refers often to Sherlock Holmes. There are many things to enjoy -- characters, setting and plot. Highly recommended.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robin Meadows

    DNF - I loved the portrayal of social tensions in 1920s Bangalore but the main character's amateur sleuthing was clumsy and farfetched. DNF - I loved the portrayal of social tensions in 1920s Bangalore but the main character's amateur sleuthing was clumsy and farfetched.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Loved this! Kaveri and Ramu are so charming and easy to root for. Excited for book 2.

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