The first in a charming, joyful crime series set in 1920s Bangalore, featuring sari-wearing detective Kaveri and her husband Ramu. Perfect for fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.
When clever, headstrong Kaveri moves to Bangalore to marry handsome young doctor Ramu, she’s resigned herself to a quiet life.
But that all changes the night of the party at the Century Club, where she escapes to the garden for some peace and quiet—and instead spots an uninvited guest in the shadows. Half an hour later, the party turns into a murder scene.
When a vulnerable woman is connected to the crime, Kaveri becomes determined to save her and launches a private investigation to find the killer, tracing his steps from an illustrious brothel to an Englishman’s mansion. She soon finds that sleuthing in a sari isn’t as hard as it seems when you have a talent for mathematics, a head for logic, and a doctor for a husband . . .
And she’s going to need them all as the case leads her deeper into a hotbed of danger, sedition, and intrigue in Bangalore’s darkest alleyways.
Praise for The Bangalore Detectives Club:
“Effervescent… This is a treat for historical mystery lovers looking for a new series to savor (or devour).”
—New York Times Book Review
“An exceptional series launch… By placing her intelligent and clear-eyed protagonists in the multilayered and multicultural milieu of colonial India, Nagendra imbues this mystery with a rich, edifying, and authentic feel.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Nagendra’s evocation of setting is riveting, and her use of colonial history is thoroughly fascinating… A fine start to a promising series.”
—Booklist, Starred Review
“The story is rich with the sights, sounds, tastes, and politics of southern India in the 1920s under British Colonial rule… One of the book’s strengths is how the heavier themes are balanced by the sweetness of the relationship between Kaveri and her husband.”
“Kaveri is simply adorable. In her gentle, determined way, she acknowledges gender and caste barriers while brushing past them to get the job done… The cultural milieu of early ‘20s Bangalore comes to life… this debut is worth embracing.”
—Historical Novel Society
“Told with real warmth and wit, in The Bangalore Detectives Club, Harini Nagendra has created an intricate and fiendish mystery with a wonderful duo of amateur sleuths Kaveri and Ramu at its heart, and capturing the atmosphere and intensity of Bangalore in the roaring twenties. I can’t wait for the next instalment. A perfect read for fans of Alexander McCall Smith and Vaseem Khan.”
—ABIR MUKHERJEE, Times bestselling author of the Wyndham & Banerjee series
“From page one we plunge into the exuberant cacophony of 1920s Bangalore, right there beside Kaveri Murthy in her adopted city: the drawing-rooms and dirt lanes, the gardens and brothels, the temples and jails. Nagendra’s depiction of an awkward but tender new marriage is a delight, and who could help cheering for Kaveri as she swims in her sari, studies in secret and commits herself to the pursuit of justice? More, please!”
—CATRIONA MCPHERSON, multi-award-winning author of the Dandy McGilver series
“The classic whodunnit with the added appeal of a female sleuth in Colonial India. For the Western reader a fascinating glimpse into customs and a mindset very different from our own.”
—RHYS BOWEN, New York Times and #1 Kindle bestselling author of two historical mystery series as well as several internationally bestselling stand alone novels
“The Bangalore Detective Club is a gorgeous debut mystery that introduces Kaveri Murthy, a young wife living a conservative household who applies her prodigious intelligence to solve a murder that threatens to tear apart genteel 1920s colonial Bangalore. Kaveri is a charming and fearless sleuth, trooping from elite social clubs to humble districts to ensure the right culprit is charged with murder. Author Harini Nagendra brilliantly shares the landscape, social customs and history of South India in this spellbinding novel. I eagerly await the next Kaveri mystery.”
—SUJATA MASSEY, bestselling author of The Widows of Malabar Hill and The Bombay Prince
“I absolutely adored The Bangalore Detectives Club, a beautifully painted picture of a woman’s life in 1920s India. Kaveri is a compelling character, headstrong, clever and dogged, and not at all deterred by the constraints of her position and gender. A fantastic book.”
—M. W. CRAVEN, bestselling and award-winning author of The Curator
“Harini Nagendra takes us to wonderfully unfamiliar world in this delightful debut mystery. Colonial India is on the verge of gaining its independence from the British, and new bride Kaveri Murthy is also looking to gain her independence from the strict culture in which she was raised. You will love watching her blossom as she makes new friends and strives to save an innocent woman from a charge of murder. I couldn’t put it down.”
—VICTORIA THOMPSON, USA Today bestselling author of Murder on Madison Square
“Set against the turbulent backdrop of 1920s India, The Bangalore Detectives Club, Harini Nagendra’s absolutely charming debut mystery, features amateur sleuth Kaveri, a young doctor’s wife with a head for solving puzzles. The richness of the setting, the finely woven plot, fascinating characters, and lots of period details add up to a series opener that will keep readers wanting more. This one is a winner!”
—CONNIE BERRY, USA Today best-selling and Agatha-nominated author of The Kate Hamilton Mysteries
“Tantalizing and intriguing, The Bangalore Detective Club by Harini Nagendra evokes the Golden Age of detective fiction with a romantic flair. In Kaveri Murthy, the lovely, impish and mathematically-inclined wife of Ramu, a Bangalore doctor, Nagendra offers readers a delightful amateur sleuth capable of drawing on the emerging forensics of the day to resolve a local murder. Throughout, Nagendra beautifully captures 1921 Bangalore, a city of contrasts, combining evocative period detail with insights into the social and political complexity of the region. A wonderful start to an enchanting new series!”
—SUSANNA CALKINS, author of the award-winning Lucy Campion historical mysteries and the Speakeasy Murders
“I loved The Bangalore Detectives Club mostly because I love Kaveri and Ramu and exploring 1920s Bangalore through their eyes. Kaveri especially is charming and practical and despite her age and inexperience (19 years old, newly wed and new to Bangalore) uses her position—as a doctor’s wife and as a woman who can speak to women who wouldn’t speak to a man—to clear an innocent and expose a murderer.”
—OVIDIA YU, author of The Cannonball Tree Mystery
“This lush mystery will transport you to heady 1920s Bangalore, where new bride Kaveri stumbles into sleuthing—while dragging her doctor-husband into the fray. Mouth-watering fashion and food set against simmering colonial intrigue in this delicious whodunit can be devoured in one sitting.”
—SUMI HAHN, author of The Mermaid from Jeju
“The Bangalore Detectives Club is the latest entry into the recent flowering of India-based crime fiction. Nagendra’s novel introduces us to Raj-era 1920s Bangalore and her calculus-loving amateur sleuth Kaveri Murthy. A cosy mystery that warmly illuminates a time and place not often examined in fiction.”
—VASEEM KHAN, author of the Malabar House series and the Baby Ganesh Agency series and CWA Historical Dagger winner 2021