Inspector Ghote’s Good Crusade is a classic mystery from 1966. Set in India, it is only the second entry in the long-running series.
Inspector Ghote of the Bombay Criminal Investigation Division is investigating a murder. The victim was a rich American philanthropist. He died of arsenic poisoning at his home for juvenile vagrants. Was the murderer the bossy Dr. Diana Upleigh? The facilities’ lone social worker, Mr. Chatterjee? The drug dispenser, Sonny Carstairs, who held the only key to the room where the arsenic was stored? The obsequious cook of the possibly tainted beef curry only the victim ate? The German housekeeper, Fraulein Glucklich, who claimed a swami as her alibi? Or the famous gangster, Amrit Singh, who if found guilty, could make Ghote’s career? The Inspector slowly begins to eliminate suspects with the help of one of the vagrant residents.
The mystery is short and the pacing is languid in the style of most older mysteries. It is interesting to see how “unmodern” people were at the type. All the people have stereotypical characteristics. Americans are brash. Indians are either brazen criminals or submissive with no middle ground evident except with Inspector Ghote himself.
If you are in the mood for the relative calm of a cozy but also want a police procedural, Inspector Ghote’s Good Crusade is the perfect choice. 3 stars.
Thanks to Severn House and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.