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A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder

(Inspector Singh Investigates #1)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  2,298 ratings  ·  340 reviews
Inspector Singh is in a bad mood. He's been sent from his home in Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to solve a murder that has him stumped. Chelsea Liew – the famous Singaporean model – is on death row for the murder of her ex-husband. She swears she didn't do it, he thinks she didn't do it, but no matter how hard he tries to get to the bottom of things, he still arrives back at t ...more
Paperback, 295 pages
Published 2009 by Piatkus
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Cybercrone Yes, I think we are supposed to assume that she got to Singapore then went off to Oz.

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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,298 ratings  ·  340 reviews

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Sep 22, 2015 rated it liked it
The story takes place in Kuala Lumpur, one of my favourite cities in the world, mainly because it is a modern melting pot of several cultures and traditions. The novel depicts this mixture of races and ways of living perfectly.

Inspector Singh , the policeman from Singapore in charge of investigating the murder, is a very likeable and peculiar character that will appeal to fans of detective stories.

The book is an easy read to enjoy before, during or after visiting beautifu
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a bad story at all. I liked that while older and overweight, Singh is more like Colombo than a bumbling Clouseau. Plot was well-developed enough that I'm looking forward to reading another adventure, although perhaps not the next one as its plot doesn't really appeal to me. I do like that the author sets the stories in different countries, rather than just tiny Singapore.
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Inspector Singh Investigates" is a series of murder-mystery novels by Shamini Flint which, I have to say, have kept my interest several books on. I picked up this first book in the series (each book places the lead character in a different country--so far all in Asia) without much hope for even finishing it. But I did. And then bought the 2nd and 3rd novels in the series. So far there are 5 and I will definitely be picking up the rest at some point.

Inspector Singh is a detective in Singa
First Sentence: The accused, Chelsea Liew, was in court.

Inspector Singh has been sent from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to investigate the case of a former model, Chelsea Liew, accused of murdering her ex-husband. Involved in a bitter dispute over the custody of their children, Chelsea, in court, threatened to kill her ex, and was the obvious suspect after his being shot. In spite of the evidence, Singh is less certain of her guilt and, working with Inspector Mohammad, dedicates himself
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love crime fiction set in exotic locales (at least they are exotic locales to me). This excellent book is the first in a series featuring Inspector Singh, a policeman from Singapore, who in this book, is trying to solve a murder in Malaysia.

This book has everything a good crime novel should have; excellent writing, a host of interesting characters (including many suspects with a good motive), and wonderful descriptions of the above-mentioned exotic locale. And on top of that, I did
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, 2016
A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder is the first volume in Shamini Flint's Inspector Singh series. This detective novel, more in the 'classic' or 'golden age' British style than the American hard-boiled one, delivered the good stuff: while the majority of my teenaged students reported that they found the book slow and boring, and the many characters hard to keep track of, it has proved to be very effective for the particular English course that I teach, where we study the representations of cultural valu ...more
Martha Bullen
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
I wanted to enjoy this book. I picked it up because the back cover copy said it will appeal to fans of two of my favorite mystery series, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Colin Cotterill's Dr. Siri books set in Laos.

Sadly, I found this novel derivative and disappointing. The premise is that a "portly detective" from Singapore is sent to Malaysia to look into a high-profile murder involving a Singapore citizen. A former beauty queen was accused of killing her wealthy and abusive
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
a very enjoyable whodunnit, and i am happy to have another international series to add to the roster. inspector singh is compelling in the way columbo is -- a bit slovenly, possibly underrated, definitely misunderstood, a little worse for wear, but very astute and capable. flint did a good job with her characters, and the settings came across so clearly. i felt like a bit more backstory could have been useful for inspector singh, and for the 3 brothers at the centre of this story. perhaps, with ...more
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it
So, the story was great. But the flow or editing or something was super confusing. POV would change from paragraph to paragraph. I really struggled with getting invested because of this.
DeAnna Knippling
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A divorce turns to murder.

A solid mystery reader's mystery, enjoyabe characters, great setting. Plot twist quite acceptable.

Recommended for mystery readers looking for particularly good settings.
Clare O'Beara
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature, asia-crime
If you are not from or well travelled in Asia, the initial attraction of this series will be the modern, exotic locales. I previously read the tale set in Beijing and have another book on the shelf. As far as I can judge, the author provides a good picture of the places we visit, with their appeal to tourists and friendly rivalries of neighbouring countries added. Inspector Singh is a Sikh but not, we gather, a wholly devout one, who is quietly married, clean-living but too fond of his food. He ...more
Feb 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery-etc, 2014
This is a nice little comfort read, good for picking up at random times when you want to be entertained but can't invest a lot of time and concentration. The protagonist is very likeable--there's something fun about the Dysfunctional Male Detective just being a little quirky, overweight, and unable to follow rules, as opposed to having A Dark Side (not that I have anything against detectives with a dark side). Also, it's fun to read a book set in a country you're completely unfamiliar with. Not ...more
May 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish this. The story was so derivative and others have done it much better. This was just tedious.
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Stacie  Haden
I love mysteries with a international setting. Despite the author actually living in Singapore and previously working in Malaysia, this book felt like it was written by someone who had never stepped foot out of Ohio. Other than name changes, it could have been set in Cincinnati. This could be forgiven if there was anything else that stood out; Characters were flat- food, culture and place descriptions lacking - no humor- no evident skills or intellect from our protagonist. There was some heart, ...more
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This was surprisingly good. I found this series while searching for something else really - crime stories set in Korea or perhaps something new from Vish Puri, Tarquin Hall's Indian detective.

Well written, interesting characters, a good story and plenty of information on environmental and other issues in places I've known very little about.
I'll definitely read on.
Alfred Haplo
The mystery is solved, now that I have reached the bottom of it. The mystery being my curiosity about a story set in an exotic locale, the first of many Asian countries, in Sharmini Flint’s Inspector Singh series titled A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder. The murder is indeed peculiar, for the solving was most unorthodox and the mystery rather bland. But spiced with plentiful local flavors from two frenemy countries, Malaysia and neighboring Singapore, the entertainment is kicked up a notch.

For be
Dear sweet god …… this book was tough to, not because the story was difficult to follow but it felt like a chore to read it. The murder case is "peculiar" just like the book title say, but if I’m being honest ……. half the time I’m seriously annoyed with the way the book is written.

Sigh......let's get the darn Malaysian Elephant out of the room...shall we?

When I read this book's synopsis I knew surely there will be this “holier than thou” vibe from Singaporean’s POV about Malaysia. The
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Review from Backchatting Books

"A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder" features an unlikely hero, Inspector Singh. He has been seconded from Singapore to Malaysia to help solve the murder of Alan Lee, the ex-husband of famous Singaporean model, Chelsea Liew. Alan was shot at point blank range and Chelsea has the best motive as he was trying to take her children away from her. Although Singh thinks she is innocent, he blocked by the Malaysian police who are equally convinced of her guilt.

The book
Barbara Mitchell
Cathy of the Kittling:Books blog has been writing about Inspector Singh books for a while now and her reviews were so funny I just had to try one. I borrowed this one from the library. It turns out Cathy is right; I'm going to look for the rest of the series now.

Inspector Singh is a police detective in Singapore. For this case he has been sent to Kuala Lumpur to investigate the case of a former model from Singapore who has been accused of killing her ex-husband. Since Singh is obese
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
The first in the Inspector Singh series of investigations across South East Asia, this one did not grab me as quickly as the others. While the case, beautiful Chelsea Liew is accused of murdering her amoral, philandering, abusive and faith-swapping husband, has all the ingredients of a good murder mystery, Flint spends far too much time on what seems to be a pet obsession; how Singaporeans differ from all their neighbors, in this case Malaysians. The early pages that should have been page-turner ...more
Cleffairy Cleffairy
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
First of all, I have to say that I find it difficult to start this book, because the first chapter was very descriptive, horrifying and not to mention absolutely morbid. I could barely stop myself from retching when I read the first chapter of Inspector Singh Investigates: A Deadly Cambodian Crime Spree. Ms. Flint did a very good job with the opening salvo.

The opening salvo was too good, in fact that it almost scares me from reading further. But as I flip the pages, I found that it’s
Fun, international, cozy-esq read (although the subject matter is a bit full on for a cozy). I found this a bit harder to read than I expected, so took me a couple of days instead of the rip through in an afternoon. But still enjoyed it a lot, and I will be interested to meet Inspector Singh somewhere else around the world.
Jun 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspector Singh of the Singapore police- an overweight Shik inspector in a turban a la Columbo. Great story family intrigue, horrible husband, defilers of the Borneo jungle. Delightful, his character reminds me of No 1 Detective Precious Ramowtse
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent whodunit with just the right blend of local colour and classic genre tropes. I will certainly be reading the next installment in the series.
Jawahar Surti
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller-mystery
Inspector Singh is a character one will love. So true-to-life. In the Singapore police force, his seniors wish him to fail so that he can be retired, because he is fat and unfit. So they give him a case which looks impossible to solve on first hand. I'll not go into the plot. The story also gives an on-going conflict between Singapore & Malaysia. We also have a look at the children who suffer for none of their faults. Environmental issues have been very well woven into the narrati
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Trigger warnings: murder, domestic violence, violence towards indigenous peoples, death of a pregnant woman, cheating, gun violence, custody dispute, constant references to the protagonist's weight.

I picked this up purely because it's set in Malaysia, and it proved to be a decent little mystery story. I really didn't like how much the protagonist's weight was discussed and how much his sister's weight was discussed when he went to visit her. And honestly, without that stuff, it would
Nene La Beet
I read very few crime novels these days, but read a very favourable review somewhere of this and decided to give it a go. Also, I like to try to read more books from outside my very anglo-oriented world. This one is - surprise! - Malaysian. I think I can safely say that I knew NOTHING about Malaysia. Now I know a teensy weensy bit. And, I was well entertained along the way. Very few people die violent deaths in this novel and the overweight inspector Singh is a very likable figure. Next time I n ...more
Lizzie Hayes
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
‘Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder’ by Shamini Flint
Published by Piatkus, January 2009. ISBN: 978-0-7499-2975-6

This is the first book in a new series featuring an Inspector in the Singapore police force. Inspector Singh is a first glance not a prepossessing character – he is of large girth, I think the description is ‘fleshy’. A heavy smoker - his breathing always sounds strained, and we gather he is not a particularly snappy dresser. We meet Inspec
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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!


Other books in the series

Inspector Singh Investigates (7 books)
  • A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul (Inspector Singh Investigates #2)
  • The Singapore School of Villainy (Inspector Singh Investigates #3)
  • 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)
“Kuala Lumpur had a certain something… There was a sense of freedom perhaps, of anarchy even, that Singapore so sorely lacked. Perhaps it was the lack of deference to authority, the physical space, the ability to take a step back and enjoy a moment of quite that lent Kuala Lumpur its atmosphere. Singaporeans were always adding to the list of reasons each one kept to hand, in case they met a Malaysian, of why it was so much better on the island than the peninsula. They ranged from law and order to cleanliness, from clean government to good schools, and always ended on the strength of the Singaporean economy. But in the end, the Malaysian would nod as if to agree to the points made – and then shrug to indicate that they probably wouldn’t trade passports, not really. And if pressed for a reason they would fall back on that old chestnut which somehow seemed to capture everything that was wrong about Singapore – but your government bans chewing gum. The nanny state and the police state all rolled into one.” 10 likes
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