Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ragtime in Simla based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
In 1919 Alice Conyers reaches Paris, the first leg of her trek to India to take over the reigns of the Imperial and Colonial Trading Corporation. Since the death of her brother Lionel during World War I, she inherited 51% of the stock while her second cousin who she plans to marry owns the rest. However, their train falls into a ravine killing almost all on board. Alice continues on to India where she makes her firm a success.................... In 1922 Northern India, Scotland Yard Detective Joe Sandilands has finished up his tour of duty in India and is now the guest of Sir George Jardine, Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. He plans to spend a month in the guest cottage at Simla at the base of the Himalayas. Joe gives a lift to Russian opera singer Feador Korosovsky and witnesses his murder in the car driving them to Sir George. He reports the homicide and learns that Lionel, Alice brother died in the same spot with the same MO. Sir George asks Joe to help the authorities. He does finding all roads lead to Alice and that train wreck............................ Barbara Cleverly has written a fantastic historical police procedural at a time when India learned it was the equal of their occupier sand wants freedom from British rule. The exotic locale enhances the mystery and romance by adding an aura of danger to the westerners. The protagonist is an enigma who readers will not like; while the antagonist receives empathy though the choices that person made were criminal. RAGTIME FOR SIMLA provides readers with a sense of time and place during the final hours before the sunset of the British Empire.......................... Harriet Klausner
RAGTIME IN SIMLA by Beverly Cleverly is the 2nd title in the Joe Sandilands series. The scene is Simla, 1922. Simla is/was a recreational summer retreat in the foothills of the Himalayans, very popular with the British ‘expat’ community. Joe Sandilands was invited by Sir George Jardine, acting governor of Bengal, to spend time in Simla before returning to England. The mystery is very intricate with quite a bit of backtracking to events happening during a train crash in France in 1919. I was very interested in the descriptions of Simla, 1920’s India and colonial culture. The major characters are British and much is told of the Pathan ‘tribal customs’. (You would think Joe would know more of Pathan customs after his run-in with a Pathan character in Book #1 - THE LAST KASHMIRI ROSE.) I would recommend this book to mystery readers, especially those interested in a strong sense of foreign locale.