Mrs Dâ€™Silvaâ€™s Detective Instincts and the Shaitan of Calcutta
By Glen Peters
Published by Parthian Books Ltd
Category Mystery Crime
Mrs Dâ€™Silva likes her life and her job at Don Boscoâ€™s Catholic School. Things take a dark turn though when a former pupil is found dead. Political turmoil, murder mystery, romance and delightful cuisine. An exceptional novel that captures the atmosphere of 1960s India as though you were living it.
Glen Peters was born in Allahabad to family from Lucknow in India. He spent his childhood living in a railway colony near Calcutta before emigrating to London with his family in the 1960s. He worked as an engineer before joining an international accounting firm.
A wonderful and impressive first novel, and almost unclassifiable -- murder mystery, political thriller, social observation, historical novel, a touch of recipe book and just a hint of magic realism -- it is all of these, and none of them. Unputdownable, it brought to life aspects of my parents' upbringing before Partition took them away from the subcontinent and into environments where they must have felt like fish out of water. A novel I will definitely read again.
This a delightful and absolutely fabulous debut novel which manages to be heart warming at the same time as covering the darker aspects of Calcutta in the 1960s. From the first page you are transported to that time and place, smelling the food, experiencing the hustle and bustle, and feeling the tensions. I am so pleased to have discovered this author and hope he writes more.
This is a gripping murder mystery that works well against a fascinating historical backdrop from the perspective of the declining Anglo Indian community of Calcutta in the early 1960s. The plot certainly was full of suspense with unexpected twists and turns such as the judge turning out to be as big a villain as the manipulative revolutionary Dutta. The book passes all the tests in George Orwell's amusing short essay on the "Decline of the English Murder". I think Orwell would have been impressed with this novel and remember he spent 5 years in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. Railway buffs are not forgotten either and will enjoy the deft references right down to privilege tickets which all suggest serious research and attention to detail.
This book is great tbh. I loved it.
Great first novel - gripping and captures time and place perfectly.
I had such fun being transported to India by Peters, and laughing out loud at his descriptions- Peters has great affection for his characters, while at the same time he is poking fun and even sometimes criticizing them. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author!
A superb, funny and well researched book. As an Anglo-Indian I related to the joy of train trips and picnics at old Churches. What a wonderful way to relive my childhood days in Calcutta. Many Anglo-Indians will share similar memories, we certainly are a Community apart. We are definitely unique in our tastes, culture, and food. Taking the wonderful Indian dishes and making them forever Anglo-Indian with our own brand of spice.Glen Peters certainly worked his magic in evoking fond memories.
Fantastic first novel. You can smell and taste the time and place.
Conjures up Kolkatta as it was...