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Thursday 17 December 2015

‘Under the Coconut Tree’ by Marissa de Luna

Published by Lost Button Publishing,
20 July 2015.
ISBN: 978-1-512252163.

A very different setting is envisaged here!  We are in Goa with Detective Arthur Chupplejeep as he attempts to apply Poirot's methods to solving a murder.  The victim is Sandeep Shah found naked in the garden of the house where he has lodgings.  He has a gash on his head which is obviously the cause of death.

Local details really establish the very different society that we see here.  This is a village in which relationships have reference to one's job and to one's antecedents.  Behaviour has to be correct and food plays an enormous part in life.    Chupplejeep and his assistant,  Police Officer Pankaj, find that the victim is a womaniser and this, they feel, has caused his death so they question the women in his life.   They also consider the effects of Shah's actions on the men affected by Shah's attractiveness to women.

Personal problems, concern the two officers.  While Pankaj is a neophyte hoping to learn from a clever superior, Chupplejeep has professional and personal issues with which to grapple.  He has a girlfriend hoping for marriage and to whom he is reluctant to commit; his position as an honest cop means that he fears he will not achieve advancement in a fairly corrupt system.

The final showdown with witnesses gathered (but not quite in the Poirot style!) leads to a satisfactory solution.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
This is the first of a planned series of Chupplejeep Mysteries.

Marissa de Luna is an up-and-coming young author with a passion for writing, travel and adventure. Marissa grew up in Goa before she moved to Oxford but her time spent in Goa has always been an inspiration to her. On a recent trip there, in awe of the tranquility and charm of the rural villages, she conceived the idea of Detective Chupplejeep. Under the Coconut Tree is her third novel. It is the first book in the lighthearted Detective Chupplejeep series

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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