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Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder: Number 1 in series Paperback – 23 Apr 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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  • Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder: Number 1 in series
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  • Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul: Number 2 in series
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  • Inspector Singh Investigates: The Singapore School Of Villainy: Number 3 in series
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus; Paperback Edition, F edition (23 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749929758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749929756
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'It's impossible not to warm to the portly, sweating, dishevelled, wheezing Inspector Singh from the start of this delightful novel' -- Guardian

'An unconventional new crime hero who has the potential to be as compelling (and successful) as McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe' -- Daily Record

'Flint has a clear authorial voice and stands out from the crowd in the originality of this novel.' -- Luke Croll, Reviewing the Evidence

Book Description

The first instalment in Inspector Singh's celebrated new series, where he travels throughout Asia busting crimes!

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A. Ross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I've always been a sucker for crime novels set in distant lands featuring atypical protagonists, so this debut by a Singaporean author featuring a Sikh police detective seemed right up my alley. With his rumpled dress, porcine appetites (and corresponding belly), and disdain for the scientific method, Inspector Singh is an affront to his superiors. As a result, they have a tendency to throw him on difficult cases that take him far away from them. In this first in a series, he's sent to Kuala Lumpur to ensure that a Singaporean citizen accused of murdering her very wealthy Malaysian Chinese husband, gets fairly retreated by the Malaysian justice system.

Upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur, Singh is assigned an local police assistant/minder, and sets about trying to make sense of what the local cops think is an open and shut case of an abused woman snapping and killing her husband. Singh's method is to get to know the life of the victim intimately, and from this basis, form a list of suspects. In this case, it quickly becomes apparent that the murdered timber tycoon had any number of potential enemies from both his personal and professional life. Once Singh has his cast of suspects, he then tries to push their buttons, keep them off-balance, and generally provoke them into giving themselves away.

It's an engaging enough debut, with some local color but not nearly enough for my taste. The exception is a very interesting subplot involving the wife possibly losing custody of her children due to the dead husband's alleged confession to Islam. The interplay between civil and sharia law in Malaysia is drawn out nicely though this issue. There's also a decent expose of the seamy side of the timber industry and environmental degradation in the developing world.
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I really liked this. People who know me know that I love quirky in my detective fiction if it's outside of the historical crime/mystery/thriller and if it's set in foreign climes so much the better. This is a little gem. A most unusual detective, the antithesis of a modern detective, a Singaporean Poirot, dispatched by his bosses - who you never meet but are not left with any doubt about the disdain with which they hold Singh, to play a part in investigating whether a Singaporean who has been accused of the murder of her husband (a Malaysian national) did it or not. The investigation, much to the chagrin of the Malay police who believe they've got the right person in custody, takes a number of devilish twists and turns, with a cracker right at the end. No more spoilers I'm afraid. Buy the book you won't be disappointed. I'm now halfway through Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul: Number 2 in series and have books 3 - 6 on order.
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By Miran Ali VINE VOICE on 29 July 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the book to be fun quick read. The mystery is fairly straightforward and there's nothing new with the plot, you have a family feud, police turf wars, eco activists, the battered wife and the other woman. The only thing that sets it apart is the fact that the detective's a Singaporean Sikh investigating a crime committed in Malaysia. And even in that respect, the picture drawn of modern Kuala Lumpur is incomplete. Ms Flint drops hints of her feelings towards many Malaysian proclivities but certainly doesn't explore them enough. Nor does she delve much into the straight jacketed lifestyle of Singapore or the issues faced by Sikh's in either country. She doesn't even delve into the lives of the Malay Chinese, specially the super rich ones and the attitudes of the native Malay's towards them.

In sum, a fun but utterly superficial shot at the exotic locale mystery genre.
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This is the first Inspector Singh book and by the looks of it the first on many with an endless list of exotic settings in store. Bali, Cambodia and Singapore have followed in close succession after this trip around KL. We get to know the overweight Inspector as he pads around Kuala Lumpur more fond of excercising his brain cells and his digestive system that his feet. Murder most foul of a rich and powerful Chinese Malay keeps him occupied as the trail twists and turns eventually to a neat conclusion. You don't learn a great deal about the Malay/Chinese tension and relationship in Malaysia but then this is meant to be an entertainment not a political treatise and it does entertain. I have my trip to Bali sitting on the shelf just waiting for the right mood for another trip with Inspector Singh.
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An easy book to get into and found myself really liking Inspector Singh from the word go and can imagine him lumbering through the streets of Kuala Lumpur in the high humidity and with lots of humour too fantastic can't wait to read the rest of the series
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Format: Paperback
I brought this book and thought it looked interesting. However, it is unbelievably clunky. Just a few paragraph's in and a number of inconsistencies appear. Inspector Singh watches the cricket channel all day yet, references Liverpool which is a football team.

He smokes incessantly, which for Sikhs is a abomination!! It is inconceivable that a turbaned Sikh would wander around in public lighting cigarettes.

The author is over reliant on tired literary devices to try and create moods, the over bearing heat etc etc. The flow of the text stops and starts.

all around pretty poor
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