Jim Leffert's Reviews > The Palace Tiger

The Palace Tiger by Barbara Cleverly
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Oct 21, 2010

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Read in October, 2010

It’s 1922--the latter days of the British Raj. While on assignment in India, CID Commander Joe Sandilands finds himself dispatched to the remote state of Ranipur, to look into the death of the terminally ill ruler’s oldest son, possibly under suspicious circumstances. Ostensibly, he is there to help hunt a ferocious tiger that has been devouring some of the Maharaja’s subjects. In actuality, he ends up investigating more mysterious deaths amid jockeying for power among the Maharaja’s court and the mothers of the dying ruler’s three children.

Alas, this tiger won't hunt! Curiously, the exotic atmosphere of the Maharaja’s court and the drama of the tiger hunt notwithstanding, I didn’t find this installment in Cleverly's generally fine detective series to be that absorbing. Perhaps it was because there are so many suspects and victims so that the story presents an intricate puzzle but without any compelling character development. So, I would direct prospective readers to other volumes in this series.

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