The Punjab in India, 1935. The sub-continent under the Raj. Fresh from his English boarding school, Jack Steele is a new recruit to the Indian Imperial Police and soon begins to acquire the attitudes of old India hands towards the people under their rule. Only a few months into his posting, Jack has to conduct a murder investigation when one of the British community at his Station, the sexually rapacious widow Milly Marchbanks, is found strangled. To Jack's consternation, the only clue implicates a member of the Station Club. But which one? While Jack goes round in circles, his self-effacing Indian sergeant, Bulaki Ram, discreetly nudges him along the way he needs to go, as little by little he learns that all is not as it seems.
H.R.F. Keating is best known for his long series of Inspector Ghote mysteries set in India, but Jack, the Lady Killer is something completely different as well as completely unexpected. It is one of the rarest forms known to literature, a detective novel in verse, Keating developing his rhyme-crime in nearly 300 fourteen-line stanzas.
Jack, the Lady Killer costs £7.99 and was published in September 1999.
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