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4.4 out of 5 stars
104
4.4 out of 5 stars


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on 14 May 2016
This was the first novel of Barbara Cleverly that I read, and since then I have gone on to read others as I was so impressed by it: she is aptly named! Joe Sandilands, the English policeman who arrives in 1920s Bengal to investigate a series of unexplained deaths of 'Raj' wives, is an engaging detective as is his underappreciated Indian side-kick, Naurung Singh. The plot is intriguing, and although the identity of the murderer is revealed well before the end, there is a final twist regarding the murderer's motivation and mindset which are very interesting and well developed. Characters are rounded and well imagined, and the Indian setting is colourful.
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on 17 February 2013
A very well written book, with excellent characterisation. Details of life in the Raj were most interesting. I shall read more in this series,a great read.
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on 10 March 2013
I really enjoyed this story which unravelled slowly. The characters were good and it was a compelling read. Better than some of the later ones in the series I think.
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on 10 April 2005
Brilliant first of a series - very evocative of India - My grandfather served in India in the period in which the book is set and it brought back memories of his tales of life there in the 1920s -I spotted the murderer fairly late on but was totally wrong as to the motive. I am now a fan and have already ordered the next books in the series.
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on 27 June 2008
After reading, A Bee's Kiss by Cleverly, I decided to check out her debut novel, and I'm glad I did. Her main protagonist, Joe Sandilands, a veteran of the Western Front and a member of the London Metropolitan Police, is on assignment to India for the purpose of sharing the latest techniques of Scotland Yard with local law enforcement officials. Just as he is about to return to London, he finds himself investigating the murder of an officer's wife which leads him to four older murders. I think Cleverly captured the atmosphere of the British Raj when the sun was just beginning to set on Britain's control over great swaths of India. I stayed up until the wee hours of the night to see "who done it."
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on 30 August 2001
As a fan of historical crime novels, a new novel set between the wars in India had great appeal for me. With so much run of the mill crime fiction being published, I really was not expecting too much. After a few pages it became clear that 'Last Kashmiri Rose' is something very special. Evoking clear pictures of a time long past, Ms Cleverly writes with a style and panache that keeps the pages turning to the very last. Excellent characterization and beautifully plotted this novel bears comparison with Charles Todd's - 'A Test Of Wills' and ranks alongside Rennie Airth's - 'River Of Darkness' (my top crime novel of 1999). A first rate debut, and the start of a new series; sadly I will have to wait a year for the next one. A Super Read - Don't Miss It !!!
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The writing is marvellous, the characters intriguing and unusual and the atmosphere (India 1922) terrific! Serious but light, sad but funny. More Joe Sandilands mysteries in the pipeline? I hope so!
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on 16 March 2008
"The Last Kashmiri Rose" is a simply stunning debut novel. Set in British India in the 1920s it is wonderfully evocative of the period, to the point where you can almost smell the India of the Raj in the pages. It is also a superbly twisted and crafted whodunnit which keeps the reader guessing. Cleverly's writing style is very reminiscent of "classic" British crime writing, especially Agatha Christie, with a taut feeling which whips along but without detracting from description and atmosphere. All in all, a marvellous novel which both historical fiction and British crime fans will thoroughly enjoy.
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on 8 September 2001
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and eagerly await the next Joe Sandilands story. The mystery unfolds in a thoroughly comprehensible way - unlike so many crime thrillers -, the characters are believable and sympathetic, and the depth of knowledge of India and the social structure of Army life are both fascinating and impressive.
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on 4 January 2013
I had never read Barbara Cleverly before, and found this after reading another book with Kashmir in the title.
Having loved India of this period all my life, and knowing the set-up, I found this to be a delightful read, with good detail of the lifestyle and characters.
There are plenty more of her series with the same detective chap which makes it rather comforting! If you finish one story there are others to choose from!
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