Keating, H.R.F. Inspector Ghote Breaks an Egg. New York: Doubleday, 1971.
You know you are in for an interesting ride when one of the first sentences of the book reads like this, “From the moment that he had been landed with the business only the afternoon before he had raged at the lack of anything he could get his teeth into, and now that the chance was near he was going to let nothing delay him” (p 1). In a word, delicious.
It has been fifteen years since the wife of a prominent local official unexpectedly passed away. At the time, it was ruled an accident, the ingestion of bad lime pickles or something. But, suspicions have arisen about her death and Inspector Ghote is ordered to look into it a bit more closely. Only, no one wants him there. Even the local Swami is fasting until Ghote leaves town. This is a comedy in every sense of the word. Ghote arrives in town under the guise of a salesman of a new chicken feed product. He carries a carton of eggs on the back of his bicycle to “assist” with his disguise. Problem is, no one is buying it and Ghote doesn’t stick to his story all that well. Ghote comes across as a bumbling idiot at times, believing everything a suspect says, confronting the wrong witness, always one step behind his quarry. A whole lot of nothing seems to happen. Until it does. His life is threatened. He can’t trust anyone, including the people who hired him because no one is who they seem to be.
Reason read: this is going to sound strange, but I had too many titles to read for National Mystery Month (which is in January), so I searched for other reasons to read some of them. May is Egg Month. Don’t ask me how I know that. Since “egg” is in the title, I’m reading this in May.
Author fact: Keating has a website here. It’s a very clean site. Not much below the fold. I like that.
Book trivia: According to the website I am reading the sixth Ghote book.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called ” I Love a Mystery” (p 120).