Parthian Book Launches

12 Jun 2009

Mrs D’Silva’s Detective Instincts and the Shaitan of Calcutta  (Parthian) was launched on Friday 12 June at Canolfan Rhos-y-gilwen, Pembrokeshire. Further launches have been held at the Wellfield Road Bookshop, Cardiff and at Barry Library, Vale of Glamorgan.

Mrs D’Silva teaches at Don Bosco’s Catholic school in Calcutta. She was brought up by the nuns of St Mary’s when her mother died and now only thirty two years of age is already a young widow with a son to care for. This life has a lot in store for Mrs D’Silva.

Calcutta in 1960 is a city striving to change. The old rulers have gone home but India is still trying to find its own way towards a peaceful, prosperous future. The world is changing and pressing in on the new country, there is a battle with the Chinese in the mountains to the north while the communists want to take over at home, in Bengal.

Mrs D’Silva wants to be part of the New India, the new Kolkata. She likes the coffee houses of Chowringhee Road and the dances at the Grand Hotel. She likes her work at Don Bosco’s especially the new science teacher from Darjeeling. She even likes her pupils. Which is why she is so shocked when the body of Agnes (surname), a former student, is discovered washed up in the marshes of the Hooghly river. And then another student, a close friend of Agnes, is charged with the murder of a factory manager in a riot started by a Maoist faction of the Workers Revolutionary Party of Bengal and what a group of goondas they are, led by that saitan, Dutta. The same Dutta running rings around Inspector Basu, who has been forced into investigating both cases and is getting nowhere fast. The same Inspector Basu who has two sons at Don Bosco’s.

It’s all a bit of a badmash until Mrs D’Silva discovers her detective instincts.

In a hugely enjoyable read, Glen Peters recaptures the tastes and atmospheres of his youth in 1960s India with a vivid and engaging novel of recipes and murder, romance and intrigue.

Gwales

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