The Ravi PI series is just about as fun as a mystery series can get without being comical or silly. While cozy mysteries certainly have their laugh-a-minute place, Tantimedh’s characters are quirky but still serious, as are the crimes themselves. While sometimes far-fetched…wait, so what? Who cares if it’s far-fetched, it’s a work of FICTION!
What really makes this book so captivating is the fact that the characters are a diverse bunch, but there’s nothing stereotypical about each person represented. Ravi Chandra Singh happens to be Indian, happens to be a seminary dropout–okay, not a Christian seminary, but so what–happens to have left his job as a high school teacher, and now happens to be a private investigator for a high-dollar London firm. All very ordinary, right? Of course not. But the fact that he’s Indian isn’t a big deal to the story, it’s just another interesting facet to the overall appeal of the book.
What I especially enjoyed what the “vignette” aspect to the stories. One mystery gets solved, another one crops up. That’s the beauty of working for a good-sized investigative firm: there is always another case. So instead of being bogged down in a chapter-by-chapter saga where clues and red herrings are doled out from start to finish, there’s the satisfaction of watch Ravi solve one case before diving headlong into another, all while the colorful people around him make their appearances.
Take a look at Book One in the series on Amazon by clicking here.
Saying I hate mysteries might be a little strong, but I’m definitely not someone who seeks out these titles or films. It’s just not my genre. But I read all of Neal’s titles for the sheer fact that they read more like travel guides with a who-dunnit thrown in than your average, formulaic mystery thriller.
In this recent installment, Neal includes not only the envy-sparking depictions of some of the more beautiful and breathtaking aspects of wild Hawaii (in painstaking detail that only someone who has experienced it firsthand can pull off), but also incorporates a social theme of hunting and poaching on protected land.
I especially like her main character in this series, a no-nonsense woman who doesn’t feel the threat to her feminism that causes her to behave in an “in your face” way that so many writers resort to. She’s just a female, that’s all there is to it. She’s fully capable at her job and well-regarded, and I appreciate that. Books in which the woman constantly has to prove herself really are a disservice to women.