"India's answer to Alexander McCall Smith's Mma Ramotswe"
"Couldn't put it down"
“The future of light crime fiction is Inspector Chatpati”
Inspector Hari Chatpati, reluctant hero of the Bangalore Police Service, is under pressure. The city is riven by rioting and disorder, its markets in flames. The media are baying for blood. His.
Newly appointed to head the very first Civil Nuisance Unit, Chatpati already had his hands full chasing flashers in the park and deterring public urination when Chatpati’s nemesis, the vindictive Assistant Commissioner, orders the CNU to investigate a case that no other police division would touch.
What was so unusual about a tourist suffering from food poisoning anyway? In India. Where the potholes can kill you before the samosas can.
But, as the Inspector discovers, conspiracy lurks within mundanity.
Hamstrung and humiliated, the Inspector's future, and that of his untested team, is at stake.
Will they triumph against the unseen forces arrayed against them?
The Tender Coconut Tamasha is a fast-paced, often funny mystery for the 21st Century, set in a teeming Indian metropolis where tradition rubs up against modernity at every turn. Dark humour and light grit are at play on the stage of a New Emerging India, a nation of nations rumbling forward into the future while history clings to its wheels.
The book is inspired by Alexander McCall Smith's Number One Ladies' Detective Agency and Vaseem Khan's Inspector Chopra. If you're looking for a cosy mystery with teeth (but without bite marks) or searching for a break from the conflicted detective chasing a twisted serial killer, this might be the book for you.
Trigger warning: contains infrequent, mild profanity and non-explicit depictions of one consensual sexual act between adults (six lines, really, with the only anatomical term being "buttocks").
About the author
Joe Chacko is a doctor and writer. He was born in Cochin, India, then moved to the UK after graduating.
Having spent twenty odd years as a hospital doctor in Scotland, he decided it was time to change tack.
His wife convinced him to enter a writing competition. The pitch took him to the final stage where he got to present an as-yet unwritten novel to a literary festival audience of hard-core crime fiction fans and a panel of scary literary agents and publishers. The story involved an upright Indian police inspector in charge of a Unit dealing with minor crimes. There were drones in it. And a rather fierce Indian goddess. It was a little bit left field. He remembers the panel looked worried.
He didn’t win (quelle surprise) but he was hooked. There could be no turning back.
He started writing crime fiction and mysteries because he thought it looked simple. After two novels and over a hundred rejections from conventional publishers, it became clear it was anything but.
He signed up for an online writing course and completed The Tender Coconut Tamasha in between shifts in the Intensive Care Unit during the first wave of the COVID pandemic.
He’s currently at work on the next instalment of the Bangalore Civil Nuisance Unit.
Learn more at his website or on social media.