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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars a surprise ending, Sept. 17 2003
This review is from: The Last Kashmiri Rose: Murder and Mystery in the Final Days Of the Raj (Hardcover)
This book was not perfect, though I found it a great effort from a first-time novelist. I love mysteries, and I have always been fascinated by India, so this was a great combination. I didn't feel that the main character, Joe Sandilands, was as well-developed as I would like, and at the end of the book I still felt I didn't know him well, and didn't know what motivated him. I also felt his relationship with Nancy was a bit shallowly developed and not quite convincing.
However I thought the mystery part was very well-developed and interesting, and while the identity of the killer became obvious about 3/4 of the way through the book I was stumped as to motive, and the motive as revealed at the end was a complete surprise to me. I do wish I knew what a previous reviewer considered to be a physical impossibility in the solution. If so I sure didn't spot it. :-)
Anyway, never having been to India I guess I can be less critical of the less-than-authentic aspects mentioned. But I have recently read the 3-volume autobiography of author MM Kaye who was born and raised in India and spent much of her young adult life there as well. She was born in 1908 so her life coincided with the era of this novel. She frequently spoke of and referred to speaking Hindustani and said it was a shame no one seemed to speak in anymore as they had in her youth. According to her book Hindustani is NOT Hindi, but a language that combined elements of Hindi and Urdu, so I admit I just took that reference in the book for granted.
Anyway, I still look forward to additional novels by Cleverly, and can't wait for the second to come out in paperback. I hope that we will learn more about Joe as the series progresses.
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