Book reviews Thriller

The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini Nagendra

About the Book- The Bangalore Detectives Club

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Shortlisted for Anthony, Agatha and Left Coast Crime Awards for Best First/Debut Mystery; Shortlisted for CWA Historical Dagger Award

The first in a charming, joyful cozy 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.

Goodreads Page

“Women’s dreams were only as big as their husbands’ egos would permit them to be.”

Read on for our review of The Bangalore Detectives Club

Our Review of The Bangalore Detectives Club

Cutting the chase and coming straight to the point, I don’t think this book is for me. Funny enough if you ask me, I can not actually pinpoint why I didn’t like it. Maybe I picked up The Bangalore Detectives Club at the wrong time or simply the vibe was just not cutting it for me. Something was off with the book that I couldn’t enjoy the book. But if you ask me, how the book was, I would still say the book is good because it has some admirable qualities.

I think The Bangalore Detectives Club should be picked more for its historical context rather than the plot because to me the book spreads the layout perfectly for its ambience. The book is absolutely brilliant in getting you into the British Raj/colonial period of Bangalore especially if you want to have a glimpse of the upper-class wives and their husbands who had profitable collaboration with the Britishers yet was also realizing the oppression but was caught in the dilemma on which side to choose.

The book is very good at dragging you back into the period to show how the women folk survived the days. what and where their life revolved. There are small glimpses and time capsules which actually do work in the favour of the book. But at the same point, my concern was that they were forgetting the main purpose. The plot

In all this glitz and glimmer of golden-era nostalgia, the book absolutely forgets to tell us where the supposed murder mystery of the book is going. I know it’s a cosy mystery and would have a bit of casualty to it but not to the extent that we wonder where the book started its journey.

This book to me was a mere journal of new bride Kaveri and how she is adapting to her new household far from everything she ever knew and as an afterthought a mystery keeps rushing in and out. On that note, I actually also loved the historical notes and cooking recipes the book left as a treat at the end.


In conclusion, I would say that this book might work as a time capsule. It takes you back to colonial India and shows the lifestyle of upper-class women back then and India in general but apart from that it struggles to perform as a thriller/ cosy mystery because that is left unattended. This is why I couldn’t fully get myself into the book.

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