Sunday, December 11, 2022

On My Radar: Nilima Rao's A Disappearance in Fiji!

 


If you've been reading along with me for any length of time (you wonderful people you), you know that I love mysteries set in other countries-- the more exotic the better. When I came across the book I'm going to tell you about now, I felt as though I'd hit the jackpot.
 
I learned a long time ago that Soho Crime is one of the best publishers for mysteries set in countries around the world, so I keep an eye on their catalogs. When my eyes first landed on Nilima Rao's debut mystery, the title made my eyes light up: A Disappearance in Fiji. One of my greatest literary weaknesses is for books that take place on islands in the South Pacific. Then I saw that it was also an historical mystery set in 1914. This is getting better and better, thought I.
 
Let me tell you more about it!
 
 
Available June 6, 2023!

 Synopsis:
 
"1914, Fiji: Akal Singh would rather be anywhere but this tropical paradise—or, as he calls it, “this godforsaken island.” After a promising start to his police career in his native India and Hong Kong, Akal has been sent to Fiji as punishment for a humiliating professional mistake. Lonely and grumpy, Akal plods through his work and dreams of getting back to Hong Kong.

When an indentured Indian woman goes missing from a sugarcane plantation and Fiji’s newspapers scream “kidnapping,” the inspector-general reluctantly assigns Akal the case, giving him strict instructions to view this investigation as nothing more than cursory. Akal, eager to achieve redemption, agrees—but soon finds himself far more invested than he could have expected.

Now not only is he investigating a disappearance, but also confronting the brutal realities of the indentured workers’ existence and the racism of the British colonizers in Fiji—along with his own thorny notions of personhood and caste. Early interrogations of the white plantation owners, Indian indentured laborers, and native Fijians yield only one conclusion: there is far more to this case than meets the eye.

Nilima Rao’s sparkling debut mystery offers an unflinching look at the evils of colonialism, even as it brims with wit, vibrant characters, and fascinating historical detail.
 
 
I'm really looking forward to reading this one. How about you? Does A Disappearance in Fiji tickle your fancy?

12 comments:

  1. Oh, this does sound fascinating, Cathy! I really like the setting for it, and the story itself is intriguing. It's always nice to 'meet' debut authors; you never know when you'll find a complete gem.

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  2. Ooooh, this sounds really intriguing.

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  3. The fact that it's set in Fiji makes my ears perk up. ;D

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  4. This does sound fascinating. I'm making note of it. Maybe next year...

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    1. Well, it isn't released until June, so you have plenty of time!

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  5. I've never read any mysteries set in Fiji (much less actually gotten there). This sounds like a good way to change that.

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  6. It does sound good and agree with your assessment about Soho!

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    1. Soho was the first publisher to reach out to me about reading and reviewing their books. I'd already read many of their mysteries, so I thanked my lucky stars and jumped at the chance.

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