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Editor reviews

"Chopra, diligent, incorruptible and not entirely at ease with shiny new India, is a delight, as is his redoubtable wife, Poppy - and Ganesha the elephant, once he has cheered up a bit, proves a very useful ally indeed. Utterly charming." ( Guardian)
"Enchanting." ( Woman & Home)
"A sparkling debut with a zippy plot and an endearing set of characters." ( The Lady)
"A cast of intriguing characters that it will be a joy to see develop. But the greatest strength is the setting in the teeming city of Mumbai, from which the colour and atmosphere flows out of every page in this enjoyable, whimsical tale." ( Daily Express)
"A quirky murder mystery...full of colourful characters and insightful details about human motivation." ( Irish Examiner)

Summary

The enchanting new Baby Ganesh Agency novel sees Inspector Chopra and his elephant sidekick investigating the dark side of Bollywood.

Mumbai thrives on extravagant spectacles and larger-than-life characters. But even in the city of dreams, there is no guarantee of a happy ending.

Rising star and incorrigible playboy Vikram Verma has disappeared, leaving his latest film in jeopardy. Hired by Verma's formidable mother to find him, Inspector Chopra and his sidekick, baby elephant Ganesha, embark on a journey deep into the world's most flamboyant movie industry. As they uncover feuding stars, failed investments and death threats, it seems that many people have a motive for wanting Verma out of the picture. And yet, as Chopra has long suspected, in Bollywood the truth is often stranger than fiction....

©2017 Vaseem Khan (P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Shame they've swapped narrators

I loved the first 2 books especially the narration. No disrespect to this narrator but the voices were so superb on the first books that this a massive disappointment. Storyline fantastic but it really dragged on the way it was read. Hope they swap back or I'll give future books a miss

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant series with great character development

I've loved this series from the beginning with sympathetic characters and a few twists and turns. It's a shame they couldn't have got the previous narrator but this one does a good enough job. Descriptions of India are warm and evocative a great cosy detective story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The 3rd Baby Ganesh Agency book.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star to be better than the print version?

I have no idea whether the written words would be better as I haven't read the book just the audio. I do think though that the music at the beginning and end as well as the new narrator's voice, Madhav Sharma, added to the atmosphere.
I had initially been a little worried as Sartaj Garewal had narrated the 2 previous books.
No need to worry Madhav was perfect too.

What did you like best about this story?

I fell in love with the series right at the beginning and adore the gentle man who is Inspector Chopra. The plot-lines could only happen in India!! They are never boring, often funny and nearly always heart-warming :)I love this series so much the characters are filling out the further we go through it.

Which character – as performed by Madhav Sharma – was your favourite?

Sorry to say it, but it's the cheeky Ganesh who is my favourite - always has been. I am confident that elephants do have feelings and emotions. Ganesh shows bravery, loyalty, cheekiness and much more.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Poppy coming to the rescue wasn't moving as such, but if I remember rightly it was a first. It cemented the relationship between husband and wife for me.

Any additional comments?

Hurry up Vaseem with the next book!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Skippy
  • Leamington Spa, UK
  • 22-09-17

I struggled with the change of narrator

...which rather spoilt my enjoyment of the story. The narrator of the first two books has an understated style, which I enjoyed - and got used to. This narrator's style is much more vigorous, and rather unfortunately I was frequently distracted from the story by the energetic delivery. The story itself - yes I enjoyed it but can't separate it from the narrator's delivery. Shame, really as I was enjoying this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A pleasure from start to finish

I read the first two baby Ganesh agency before opting to buy this on audible as I couldn't get the hard copy at Waterstones.

So glad I did. I'm fully invested in inspector Chopra's (ret'd) adventures, and dearly hope I won't have a long wait for another.

Having spent time in Mumbai and having such a wonderful group of Indian friends, these books are like going back and being with friends. I can see, hear, smell and taste the great cornucopia of the city when I read Vaseem Khan's wonderful series.

What did I like most about this book?
Honestly...the first class narration by Madhav Sharma. Utterly perfect.

Who would I recommend this to?
Everyone! I'm not a cost crime fan by nature but there is something beautiful and engaging in Khan's writing that is compelling, engaging and relaxing. It's like sitting at the table of a favourite Indian restaurant after hours and listening to your host regale you with grand and wondrous stories.

Why did I rate it as I did?
As I say, the books are excellent- i would recommend reading in order - but Sharma narrated this so brilliantly I cannot fault it. I'd already developed the characters in my head so often when this happens I become disappointed or irritated on hearing another voice them (I have read all Terry Pratchett's work but cannot abide Stephen Brigg's narration!) however Sharma was perfect.

I'm a member of Khan's fan club ( trust me, I'm rarely a member of these, but I love these books) and beg him to feed us more of Chopra's Mumbai soon!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another relaxing listen to a great story with an excellent reader

When the world around you is stressful and chaotic listen to this and bring some calm into your life.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Lovely story, didn’t enjoy narrator

Lovely story- this is equal if not better than the first two books in the series. The narrator is an odd choice- he frequently pauses in the middle of sentences and this makes him hard to follow sometimes (not great for an audiobook.) I found myself having to re-listen to sections at times to fully catch when was going on. This is a shame as the narrator for the first two books was amazing. This narrator does sound like a lovely man and I like the voices he does, but it’s just too stilted and slow for my liking.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Billy Wood beats Hollywood

Best Inspector Chopra book yet. Vaseem is fine tuning the characters more and more. The story had a bit of everything love, tragedy and where past and present collide.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant !!!

If you could sum up The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star in three words, what would they be?

Entertaining Amusing Characters

What other book might you compare The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star to, and why?

Writing style reminds me of an Alexander McCall Smith

What about Madhav Sharma’s performance did you like?

His wonderful accent and the intonation - wonderful performance.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both

Any additional comments?

Cant wait for the next book!

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  • Tara
  • 14-06-18

Excellent

I really loved this book. It’s such fun. The narrator is fabulous. I look forward to the next in the series.