Believe it or not, I just read a Christian murder mystery starring a Hindu policeman. And liked it, overall.
The first part of Mysterious Incidents at Lone Rock (Heartsong Presents, 2008), I didn't think I was going to like it, but it picked up as it went, and turned into a pretty good little cozy, all in all, plus I found myself rather liking the central sleuth, Chintamoni Roy, better known as Chinni.
So, I went in search of information on whether this was perhaps the launch of a new series, all the more so because the prologue has the narrator (a Professor Richard Harrison) claiming that this case happened over thirty years ago, and that Chinni was 'a new friend at the time'.
So far, so good.
Then I find that the Heartsong mysteries are only available through their book club, which only sends out new releases (as far as I can tell), which means (as far as I know) that to get your hands on a copy of this title you're going to have to find a used book. (Like I did.)
Yargh. I dislike flash in the pan publishing. :(
Anyway, this is a cozy in the true sense. The language is clean, there isn't gore, there are some nice red herrings, there are mysteries within the mystery, and, tah dah, we even have our hero having everyone assemble on the premises for the dramatic unveiling of the solution.
Chinni is a decent and considerate man. If he unearths something that would probably cause 'disharmony,' he doesn't use it if he doesn't need to. At the same time, he doesn't flinch from asking anything he thinks needs asking. And, just to make it more fun, he thinks crime solving is much like algebra, and should be approached as such (to the occasional distress of his more conventional colleagues).
Here's hoping Chinni Roy gets another case. And a publisher that will keep the book in print for people to discover in due time.
(And - is this too much to ask? - a publisher that would make the books available sooner or later to bookstores, because, you know, bookstores have trouble finding good, clean mysteries to stock these days.)
Speaking of authentic cozies, feel free to recommend some in the comments, particularly if you know of any that have been recently published. I am so tired of bad language and worse attitudes in contemporary fiction, and I love to encourage the nice guys, both secular and Christian.
Audio: Nature Study in the Home, a 1908 Parent’s Review Article - I’m reading aloud from a paper the Rev. Thornley presented at a branch meeting of a Parents’ National Education Union meeting in 1908. Apologies in advance...
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