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The Singapore School of Villainy

(Inspector Singh Investigates #3)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  938 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Inspector Singh is home - and how he wishes he wasn't. His wife nags him at breakfast and his superiors are whiling away their time by giving him his usual 'you're a disgrace to the force' lecture. Fortunately for Singh, there is no rest for the wicked when he is called out to the murder of a senior partner at an international law firm, clubbed to death at his desk. Unfort ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by Minotaur Books (first published March 1st 2010)
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  938 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: multi-culti, mystery
The head of a prestigious law firm is discovered by his partners when they arrive for a mysterious, late-night meeting. The building is locked with key-card entry, so it seems likely that the killer is one of the people called to the meeting. But perhaps it could have been his new wife, a former maid in need of money? So begins The Singapore School of Villainy, with a classic murder scenario with a limited pool of suspects. Instead of the nebulous trouble in Bali in the former novel, this allows ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent Inspector Singh book. I always enjoy how Mr. Flint works the inspectors appetite into the stories. It makes me wonder if I didn't miss my calling as a detective.

The book is marvelous and the suspects weave in and out through the story. I can't divulge too much without having to hide the review due to spoilers, but it seems as is everyone in the story has their own private secrets and reasons to be the main suspect at one time or another.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an international mystery with a likable detective set in a crossroads of cultures, Singapore. Ms. Flint is often funny and her characters pulse with life as an intriguing, gritty plot unfolds.
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, travel, aoc, mysteries
I really am loving this series. Definitely enjoy reading about Inspector Singh.
K Yuan
Jun 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up thinking, "Hey, it's a murder mystery in SINGAPORE!" (and you really don't get that 'round here), and I have absolutely no idea why i continued reading it.

Shamini Flint writes with this consistent and excruciating habit of explaining things that has a. already been mentioned, and she 'wants you to recall it again' (when they are facts that one *clearly* has the brain capacity to withhold) and b. not as much bearing on plot or character or anything that's properly relevant.
In some detective novels the location is as important as the plot, and you gain insights into the local traditions and politics. The Ladies No 1 Detective Agency, The Feng Shui Detective and the Dr Siri novels feature crimes that aren't too gruesome or graphic, and have quirky characters in unusual settings (Botswana, Singapore and Laos, respectively). The Reebus novels, set in Edinburgh, are more serious, but very character driven. The Inspector Singh novels sit somewhere in between.

In this one
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is the best one yet. The previous two mysteries were solid, but this one is just spot-on.
Moushine Zahr
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first novel I've read from author Shamini Flint and first novel in which the story is set in Singapour, which I've been to a decade ago. This novel is well written, the story is well told and the characters are well developed. I liked several things about this novel:

- the fact that this crime novel involves the study of human relationships instead of following scientific evidences til catching the criminal. It is a change from the crime TV series.
- the leading character, inspector Si
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads
Lizzie Hayes
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Inspector Singh Investigates: The Singapore School of Villainy’ by Shamini Flint
Published by Piatkus. ISBN: 978-0-7499-2977-0

Mark Thompson, senior partner in Hutchinson and Rice is found dead at his desk one evening, after he had called all the partners together for an emergency meeting. To obtain entry to the offices a key card is necessary which puts all the partners firmly in the square, and squashes the partners’ view that someone off the street must have gained entry and done the deed!

Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Been collecting the books in this series because crime fiction! In Asia! Written by a woman! But this particular installment is a disappointment. The narration is repetitive & long-winding, w/ the characters' words & actions being regularly explained or psychoanalyzed, for one. The representation of women is so clichéd: among the women characters, there's the lawyer who sleeps her way to the top; the Inspector's overbearing, clannish, close-minded housewife; the victim's scorned, Botoxed ...more
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, mystery, crime
Inspector Singh is embroiled in a much tougher case. This one starts with a murder and so many possible murderers. But as Singh moves the investigation he keeps discovering more and more possible culprits. Can he solve it?
Mark Thompson a senior partner at a Singapore law firm is found dead. Singapore a haven to Expats and business runs to its top murder Inspector, Singh. He gets more then he bargained for. A large group of assistants but an even bigger group of suspects. It seems everyone at the
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This is the third Inspector Singh investigation, and second that I have read. The senior partner of an International law firm has been murdered – battered to death at his desk on the upper floor of an office block that is only accessible by someone with a swipe card. Inspector Singh has been put on to the high profile case and there are no shortages of suspects – all of the murder victim's fellow partners along with his ex-wife and new trophy wife all have a reason to kill him. There are more li ...more
Inspector Singh is an unconventional investigator who solves murder cases. His superiors do not like his methods, dress, attitude and weight. But, he has a high solve rate, so they put up with him.
I read this mystery to complete an UN Challenge. I learned a lot about Singapore. It is a fascinating country. Singapore has some strict social conventions, like their laws
The mystery is also great, almost Agatha Christie-like with the multiple suspects and their individual quirks.
As I progress throu
Aug 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspector Singh of the Singapore police department is called out to the murder of a senior partner at an international law firm, clubbed to death at his desk. Unfortunately for Singh, there is no shortage of suspects - from the victim's fellow partners to his wife and ex-wife - or motives, as many of the lawyers have secrets they would kill to protect.

I enjoyed this book. Inspector Singh was a fun character - lots of idiosyncracies and quirks. Singapore was an interesting setting since I don't k
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am probably not a truly objective reviewer. I really wanted to like these books, and I do. I used to live in Singapore and travelled throughout Southeast Asia. I miss it terribly and these books do a wonderful job of conjuring a sense of place for my favorite part of the world. When she speaks of a part of Singapore or Bali or Kuala Lumpur, I can picture it in my mind and walk the streets with Inspector Singh. It's hard, thus, to know the line between Shamini Flint's writing and my own imagina ...more
Gary Van Cott
A bit slow getting going. This is the third I have read in the series and the author seems to have developed to the habit of having something befall the more likeable characters in the story. I was somewhat annoyed that the Filipina former maid and current wife of the victim was the only character that spoke in dialect. It is my experience that most Filipinas, even those with limited education, speak better English than this character does especially after long contact with native speakers.
Oct 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some amusing lines from this Shamini Flint mystery:

"He had obviously been brushing up on his investigative techniques, in all likelihood by re-reading his Agatha Christie collection."


"Sergeant Chung looked crestfallen. Perhaps, thought Singh, he should have let the young fool break a leg trying to smash his way through the heavy door."

As always an entertaining read - couldn't put it down!
These books continue to be a surprising hit for me. My only complaint is that they’re hard to find. Thank goodness for long-distance borrowing agreements between libraries!
Victoria Law
I liked this much better than the first in the series. here, I got a sense of Singapore throughout the book.
Alan Mills
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
the senior partner in an international law firm located in Singapore is found beaten to death at his desk. Access to the elevators requires a key card, and only the firm partners have such cards. They are thus the obvious closed set of suspects from the beginning. The victim has a new greedy wife, and an ex-wife, both in the picture and possible suspects--people the firm would desperately like to be guilty. A political hot potato, as the murder of a wealthy ex-pat makes Singapore look bad to oth ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read ahead of the author event I'm doing for work -
It says on the cover that "It's impossible not to warm to the portly, sweating, dishevelled, wheezing Inspector Singh" (a quote from The Guardian). I'm going to have to say that I managed the impossible. I didn't really like him. I found him annoying and obnoxious for most of the book. Okay, toward the end I found I didn't mind him so much, but for the majority of it he just wasn't my cup of tea.
I liked
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Inspector Singh is at home in Singapore in the third entry in this series. Partners at a law firm are called to an urgent Friday night meeting by one of the senior partners. When the first two partners arrive at the office they discover there was no need to rush when they find Mark Thompson murdered in his office.

There's suspects aplenty with an ex-wife, a new trophy wife, and misbehaving lawyers in the picture. Inspector Singh carries on the investigation with his customary casualness infuriati
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspector Singh is overweight, intuitive, confident, and the most successful solver of crimes (murders) on the police force in Singapore. While this not the first of the series, it is a good place to begin. The murder of a the senior partner in a large and highly successful law firm launches an investigation in which each partner is a suspect, because each has a terrible secret to protect. Not only that, but there is a trophy wife who is a money-grabbing witch, and an ex-wife who is the jilted a ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The senior partner in the Singapore law firm has been murdered. He had just called all the partners to an extremely rare Friday night meeting. Inspector Singh is asked to investigate. There is no dearth of possible murderers. First are the ex wife and the wife. Sarah Thompson, ex wife was replaced by the very beautiful maid. The new wife needed money to take care of her two previous children in the Philippines. Then among the partners, Quentin has been taking drugs; Jagdesh is hiding being gay; ...more
Sarah Rayner
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book from the inspector Singh series in this one he is back in his own country investigating the murder of a solicitor. It kept me guessing right to the end. Another really good mystery with lots of twists along the way. Good job I’ve got number four ready to start in a few weeks 💖
Sheena Toyat
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
The context & plot were somewhat plausible, and Inspector Singh is a likeable protagonist. Having said that, story is tedious, cultural references belaboured, and ending left me feeling very cheated & misled. Would not recommend to either locals or foreigners.

Will not keep (this book in my collection).
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book for a light read, but found myself unable to put the book down and finished it in two sittings. It's not over the top with the crime-solving/mystery elements but I enjoyed the Asian theatrical drama twists. Also, the main protagonist, Inspector Singh, is such a comic with his antics! Loved him!
Jean Walton
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this tale a little depressing because of the depiction of deceit, greed and all out selfishness of many of the characters. The ending is sad but unlike the Inspector I didn't have too much sympathy for the murderer.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up at a library sale and haven't read the first two books. I liked the local color and culture, learned a bit about the various strands that make up society there. I thought the mystery was a little thin.
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Shamini Flint lives in Singapore with her husband and two children. She began her career in law in Malaysia and also worked at an international law firm in Singapore. She travelled extensively around Asia for her work, before resigning to be a stay-at-home mum, writer, part-time lecturer and environmental activist, all in an effort to make up for her 'evil' past as a corporate lawyer!

Shamini write

Other books in the series

Inspector Singh Investigates (7 books)
  • A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder (Inspector Singh Investigates #1)
  • A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul (Inspector Singh Investigates #2)
  • A Deadly Cambodian Crime Spree (Inspector Singh Investigates #4)
  • A Curious Indian Cadaver (Inspector Singh Investigates #5)
  • A Calamitous Chinese Killing (Inspector Singh Investigates #6)
  • A Frightfully English Execution (Inspector Singh Investigates #7)