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Mumbai is a city that thrives on extravagant spectacles and larger-than-life characters.But as Chopra is about to discover, 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 sidekMumbai is a city that thrives on extravagant spectacles and larger-than-life characters.But as Chopra is about to discover, 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......

Title : The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316434515
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star Reviews

  • Julie
    2018-10-04 06:56

    The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star by Vaseem Kahn is a 2017 Redhook/ Mullholland Books publication. Zany and thought provoking-Inspector Chopra and his sidekick, baby elephant Ganesha, find themselves embroiled in the underbelly of the Bollywood film industry when the hottest heartthrob Vikram Verma mysteriously disappears. His famous mother is desperate to locate her son, but instead of going to the police, she hires Chopra. While Chopra is navigating his way through his investigation, Chopra’s assistant, Rangwalla is investigating a case where eunuchs housed in a slum, overseen by the Queen of Mysore, are being taken to a mansion to engage in various avenues of performance arts over the weekend, then brought back home. Something smells fishy and the Queen wants to find out what is really going on. The title of this book and that eye-popping cover caught my attention, and so on a whim, I checked it out of the library. I did not notice, until after I had finished the book, that is was the third book in a series. Oh well- it reads fine as a stand- alone and I now have a little incentive to check out the first two books of these series. I really enjoyed the cultural details in this novel, the vibrant descriptions of Mumbai, and the charming baby elephant, Ganesha. But, despite the obvious cultural differences, the movie industry, whether it is Hollywood or Bollywood, is still just smoke and mirrors, exactly like you’ve always heard. But, despite being a seasoned police officer and private detective, Chopra still experiences some disillusionment as he searches for Vicky.By stark contrast, the reader is taken to the seamier side, which is a different and very sobering reality check for the reader. Rangwalla’s case is heartbreaking and tragic, and while I loved the redemptive aspects, and the life lessons applied to Chopra’s case, this one made a larger impact on me.Overall, I enjoyed this novel, which served as a nice escape into another culture, and the mild humor, plus, its use of terms and names I don’t see or hear every day provided me with a chance to learn new words and even prompted me to do a few Google searches and to add a Bollywood film to my Netflix queue, just out of curiosity. So, it was also a learning experience. I also liked how the author added a moral to the story, which provided the characters a chance to develop and grow. While that may seem a tad cliché, it still worked as a cautionary tale. I would be remiss if I didn’t give Ganesha at least an honorable mention. The elephant is an unusual pet to adopt, but he was hilarious and added much charm to the story. The two mysteries included are not violently graphic, but there is an emotional tug from time to time. The language is mild as well, making this a novel that leans a little in the ‘cozy’ direction and is one nearly any mystery lover could get into and enjoy. So, on occasion, following one of my whims pays off! I will definitely check out the first two books in the series, which I hope will keep me contented until the fourth book is released.

  • Christine
    2018-10-06 04:05

    Vaseem Khan’s vibrant Indian series continues with The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star. Chopra has found his way into all of our hearts, together with his sidekick mini elephant and his family of Poppy and Irfan. This is a mystery series, with a hard edge of realism.Anyone who has not discovered this series should start at the beginning and get to know Chopra and the city of Mumbai. Chopra was forced to retire from the police force, due to ill health. He has a heart problem. He now runs his own detective agency and has earned quite a reputation for discretion and reliability. Chopra is an honest man, with a passion for solving crime.In this latest instalment, Chopra finds himself hired to find a missing Bollywood star. Vicky Verma was last seen during a performance on stage. Has Vicky been kidnapped? Is he in danger? Or is this part of an insurance scam? This case takes a harsh turn for Chopra, as he seeks the truth. Rangwella, Chopra’s colleague in the detective agency, has a completely different case to get his teeth into. Rangwella delves into the eunuch community, the official third gender in India. He is asked to look into why a group of eunuchs are being hired to dance, sing and entertain a mysterious Master.I was really fascinated by the portrayal of the eunuch community in Mombai. I found myself researching online to find out more. There is quite a large population of castrated and transgender people, who have been given official status in India. In spite of this, they are still subject to discrimination and abuse. All very interesting. Well done Vaseem Khan on enlightening me on a subject, I knew nothing about.Once again, Vaseem Khan proves he can write the most entertaining thrillers, combining good old fashioned detective work, with a touch of humour and realism. I must not forget that elephant. I now think it is perfectly normal for a private detective to be accompanied by a cute baby elephant. That is the magic of Chopra and the Baby Ganesh Agency series. Recommended.

  • Chloe
    2018-09-20 11:54

    I am in love with this series. I am in love with The Chopras and this yummy baby elephant. I love Mumbai (or as I call it "Bombay"). In the latest installment, Mr. Khan has burst out; layering #3 with even more details and making the entire location and characters become even more vivid. I read it with a Bombay map (and I use maps quite a lot when I read ) so I knew just where we were most of the time. My map was dated - thus some things had not yet been built but I now know residential locations, localities and destinations.( And I confess, I love the appearance of a map in the front of any book set in a real place; with the glossary, the reader becomes a true participant in the tale). But an updated map is easy to find (Google helps!) and this is super third book establishes The Baby Ganesh Agency to the numerous thriller/detective series that have become popular. Keating started this trend many years ago, but few others have located the action in Mumbai and the window opened by Vaseem Khan on this fabulous city is so good it delights me. The ending was a surprise and I did not see it coming - always the sign of good mystery. I can only hope that Mr. Khan has many more Ganeshas in the wings. I await another adventure with all the cast assembled and I hope others discover this series and love it just as much as I do.

  • Adiba Jaigirdar
    2018-09-30 08:01

    Full disclosure: I went into this book without having read the two previous ones. I figured I wouldn't be at a huge disadvantage, since each book seems to follow its own individual mystery. I think I was mostly right. There were references to previous books, but nothing huge that I missed out on (I think & hope). So I really, really wanted to like this book. A mystery about Bollywood? Kind of sounded amazing! And if I'm honest, there were somereallyenjoyable things about this book. For one, I loved the baby elephant. Unsurprisingly.I have a baby elephant teddy I sleep with every night. Yes, I'm an adult woman. Shut up.I really loved our intro to the world of Bollywood. The set up of the Bollywood Taj Mahal vs. real Taj Mahal was pretty brilliant. The mystery surrounding Vikram Verma's disappearance was interesting enough to really pique my interest. But then, things kind of started falling apart. For one, I found Chopra's recounting of what was happening at the end of various chapters jarring, especially for a mystery novel. It felt a little condescending - like this was information we had to be fed even though he was literally going overwhat hadjusthappened! I also found the alternate story line of Rangwalla... well, weird. Are we supposed to feel sympathetic that Chopra and Rangwalla are so willing to lend a helpful hand to the eunuchs, even though Rangwalla speaks of them rather crassly, feeling grossed out at the mere thought of touching them? Um. I think not. Moreover, the mystery of the master was totally underwhelming, and I mostly skimmed through those chapters. There were more things in the book that just felt out of place and jarring. Irfan and the 'crazy lady' was a random storyline that had no relevance to either plots. The sudden change of narrative from Poppy to "Shoot-'em-up-Sherwal" was odd, and too convenient. For a mystery novel, this book honestly did not have enough mystery. We are not left to wonder why such and such happened, instead we're taken right into different narratives of various characters to tell us their exact thoughts and motivations. Which is something I totally donotwant in a mystery. The female characters, who were mostly unimportant to the story, also kind of bothered me. They seem to fit two very stereotypical and polarised archetypes: the woman who is totally sexualised, and the woman who is totally de-sexualised. Of course, many of the female characters weren't major throughout the book, so I guess we can brush over at least a few of the lazy archetypes, but the fact that Poppy's only use during this book was to be sexualised and distract guards was... well... problematic, to say the least. The more we delved into the novel, the more unrealistic the mystery became as well. And while I can suspend disbelief for many things, this novel wanted me to do it fortoo longand fortoo many things . I appreciated the attempt to explore India's corruption, especially in regards to the police force, prison, etc. But it was a half-hearted attempt that left a lot to be desired. The unravelling of the mystery itself happened far too fast. For a book that was supposed to be about Vikram Verma's disappearance, we spent a large portion of the book dedicated to... well, not that mystery. So once we get to the end, when we are figuring out Vikram Verma's disappearance, it felt too rushed.From reading the rest of the reviews here, it seems that many people enjoyed the previous two books better than this one. So I might go back and give them a shot, despite my overall disappointment with this one. We'll see!

  • Sue
    2018-10-08 08:17

    The strange disappearance of Chopra's charm.One hates to be churlish about the charming Baby Ganesh Agency series, but here, in the third instalment, Vaseem Khan forgoes much of the strong sense of place and character that had made his first two Chopra books such a delight and focuses instead on the two convoluted, disconnected and exceedingly daft plots. Certainly, there are glimpses of the warmth and humour that shone through the previous stories but for me the balance of investigation-to-charm ratio wasn't quite right and I found this disappointing.

  • Kat
    2018-10-07 10:22

    Another brilliant installment from the wonderful Inspector Chopra & his sidekick elephant, Ganesha. I can't recommend these highly enough for any cosy crime fan.

  • Joseph
    2018-09-27 08:17

    I can honestly say that I struggle with 364 days of the year when I do not have a new Vaseem Khan book to read. In his third foray into fiction, I have read it, as usual, in one day. The story is riveting, the narrative is fluid, the action is suspenseful and I love the pleasure I get when I read his books. This book will appeal to those who love the cozy mystery and also those who enjoy books about different locales. Vaseem Khan weaves the history and scenery of India into his narrative.I have enjoyed each of his novels and I highly recommend his work.

  • Barbara
    2018-09-28 10:57

    Great fun (with moments of danger, social conscious and key characters with hearts of gold). As over the top as a Bollywood movie ... it even includes some dance sequences.

  • Christine
    2018-10-09 06:13

    Another delightful addition to the Baby Ganesh Agency series. Khan continues to make reading his books feel like actually being in Mumbai, and paints his fun mysteries with colorful, fleshed-out characters- even those that appear like stock figures at first inevitably have layered stories that explain how they became who they are. In this installment the main plot pertains to Bollywood while the secondary plot concerns the eunuch population of the city- both intriguing and involving dark family secrets and the impact one's actions can have on the future of others. Chopra and Ganesha remain an incomparably adorable team, with Poppy, Irfan, and Rangwalla doing more than their fair share of contributing to the adventures. As per usual, I want to hug a sweet baby elephant and look forward to the series continuing- but now I also need to go watch some Bollywood films.

  • Susan
    2018-09-26 05:55

    Handsome, arrogant star Vicky Verma disappears from a promotional concert he's giving to publicize the epic film which, it is hoped, will be another huge success. Just Vicky acting out again, no doubt! But his mother, a former star herself, is sure he's been kidnapped, and retired Inspector Chopra is forced to agree with her. As he tracks the culprits, he runs into serious danger himself, and is even parted from his faithful elephant Ganesha. Meanwhile, his assistant at his detective agency finds his assumptions about life challenged when he finds himself working for, and with, Mumbai's community of eunuchs. Another winner from Khan.

  • Eve Pines
    2018-10-15 11:08

    I won this book, signed by the author, Vaseem Khan. This is the third book in the series, I really enjoy the way these books allow the reader to experience the city of Mumbai. Inspector Chopra and his wife are great characters, and the elephant adds a special twist to each book.

  • Gail Brown
    2018-10-08 04:58

    Who wouldn’t love a book with a baby elephant? In a sidecar no less.

  • Cynthia Simpson
    2018-09-20 11:21

    I do enjoy these books, especially the adorable Ganesha the elephant. I was having a bit of a hard time keeping everyone straight near the end but still entertaining.

  • Jennifer
    2018-09-20 06:05

    This was a book I just happened upon and found to be very charming. I may go back and read the first two in the series. Also, I think I need to go watch a Bollywood movie soon. I don't know if the mysteries were as compelling as the characters, but I didn't mind. I really want to know how big a baby elephant actually is. Could they really ride in the sidecar of a motorcycle?! Who cares. Baby Ganesh is adorable.content: Nothing offensive. Even though this particular book dealt with Bollywood affairs and the Indian eunuch culture, nothing is explicit.

  • Julie Morris
    2018-09-27 09:14

    This is the third book in the Baby Ganesh Agency series by Vaseem Khan, but the first one I have read (I’d like to say it’s because I’m a maverick, but really it’s just because of my self-imposed book-buying moratorium and the fact that I was given this as a birthday gift!). It doesn’t appear to matter that I am reading them out of sequence, this book functions perfectly as a standalone novel, but I will definitely be going back to read the first two.The central character of the novel is Inspector Chopra, a retired police officer-turned-private detective in Mumbai and the plot follows him as he tries to unravel the mystery of the kidnapping of a famous but wayward Bollywood actor. He is helped, and sometimes amusingly hindered, in his efforts by a colourful cast of supporting characters, including his cute little elephant sidekick, Ganesha, about whom there is more than a whiff of the supernatural – he appears to have attributes not bestowed on your average baby elephant.This book is a light-hearted detective story, along the lines of Alistair McCall Smith’s No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series or the Agatha Raisin books by M.C. Beaton and I believe fans of those series would enjoy Vaseem Khan’s work. The main kidnapping plot is fun and frenzied, with enough twists and turns to keep the grey matter occupied, but the main joys of the book are the characters and the fabulous, exotic setting of Mumbai. The author truly does a wonderful job of bringing all the life and flavour of Mumbai alive in this book, and anyone who likes their stories set in an far-flung location, that is really captured as if it were an additional character in the tale, will not be disappointed.Inspector Chopra is a character who is very easy to warm to, which is important for the central protagonist in a book of this nature – we need to be rooting for the hero. He is honest, unassuming, moral but very pragmatic and a with a healthy dose of impatience for his old colleagues in the police force and their rules and regulations when they get in the way of his pursuing the case – I really liked that about him. His wife, Poppy, I think perhaps was my favourite character. Not the subservient Indian housewife in a supporting role that you might expect to find, but an independent and feisty woman who is a true partner and support to Chopra, a woman after my own heart. I love writers who include strong and equal female characters in their work.There is a lovely sub-plot in the book involving flamboyant eunuchs, a long-buried secret and Chopra’s ex-policeman colleague in a ‘fish-out-of-water’ situation that had me grinning from ear to ear. Fantastic fun.This is a sweet, easy and amusing read with characters you will love, and imbued throughout with all the spice and spectacle of India. If you are looking for a book to warm your cockles and cheer you up, you couldn’t do much better.

  • Joyita
    2018-10-12 08:06

    Very well-written but unlike the first two books in this series, the plot is flimsy and the motives driving the plot are feeble and unconvincing. I preordered this book as I loved the first two installments. I loved the writing. And I particularly appreciated the book's focus on the Mumbai eunuch community. But, as far as the plot lines go, this novel completely disappoints. I believe the author went too with the Bollywood theme. In the end, the plot resembles that of a half-baked and over-spiced Bollywood potboiler. Poking a few holes would cause the whole kidnapping episode (the crux of the novel) to fall apart. (view spoiler)[ The whole plot sits on the reasoning that three budding actors are ready to sacrifice their careers for the sake of sympathy for a fourth person. If justice was the goal, all the actors had to do was to release the scandalous information to the media. If money was the goal, they could help Aaliya with legal procedures to ensure she got her fair share of the inheritance. Sympathy, broadly speaking, is a weak motive would not call for actions as drastic as what it would have taken to create this grand kidnapping plot. Who was the revenge against anyway? Bijli? She did not father the child. As far as money goes, she was a successful actress and did not exactly usurp her dead husband's fortune. So one could argue whether Aaliya ought to really inherit her share of the family fortunes.The whole Lal romance angle (particularly his feeble motive behind the phone call to the police) is just as ridiculous. And, in the parallel eunuch plot, revealing the Queen to be the long-lost child was too much of a stretch. If anything, it is way too Bollywoody. Does not quite work for this genre.(hide spoiler)] All in all, despite the good writing, the plot is sorely disappointing. For a well-commenced series, the audience tends to read on for a while merely out of a pleasant inertia. With this trajectory, this series is doomed to failure unless the next book is substantially better oriented.

  • Karen
    2018-09-24 06:23

    For those who enjoy a light hearted mystery book, this the book is for you. The story begins with a Bollywood star disappearing in front of a massive audience of which Inspector Chopra ( retired) his wife Poppy and the baby elephant Ganesha, are a part.The story continues with Chopra now a private investigator, accompanied by Ganesha the elephant, in their search for the missing star. Meanwhile Chopra's PI partner, Rangwalla, is on another case, which immerses him in the lives of India's third gender and their culture. Both cases come to unexpected endings.The twists in this book along with the antics of Ganesha made this a very enjoyable read. Thank you to Vaseem Khan for sending this me this book

  • Martina
    2018-10-06 04:00

    #3 in the Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series. Set in Mumbai, starring my favorite pachyderm, these books are great fun. Inspector Chopra is asked to deal with the kidnapping of a Bollywood star on the night before a huge shoot for his current movie. At the same time there is an upset within the Mumbai eunuch community and the Queen of Mysore asks for Chopra's help. Rangwalla is the main lead on that investigation, much to his initial discomfort! Chopra himself ends up in a dire situation, but Poppy and Ganesh assist there. Another set of cases solved! And Baby Ganesh ends up with a star turn at the end....Published in the US May 4, 2017.

  • Sue
    2018-10-06 10:10

    Won a copy from Good Reads. It was the first of these detective novels I had read and it reminded me of the Alexander McCall Smith series in the style of writing. Bad things happen but the atmosphere is never sinister.

  • Becky Hodson
    2018-10-12 04:56

    I was more than pleasantly surprised by this book; I couldn't put it down. I picked it up and read it straight through, probably to the annoyance of anyone attempting to talk to me. This is a real treasure of a book. Vaseem Khan writes with humour, is descriptive enough that I felt I was in Mumbai (and now want to visit) and yet also covers some important issues such as treatment of those outside standard male/female gender definitions in modern day India and corruption within the legal system. This is a fantastic detective novel starring Inspector Chopra (ret'd), his family, friends and pet baby elephant Ganesha. I'd like to say that baby Ganesha stole the show, (because who doesn't adore baby elephants?) but Khan has written all his characters with such skill that I simply can't say that. All of them captivated me. I loved Chopra's wife, who is one of those women who is just delightful when happy, but not to be crossed by anyone. A woman after my own heart - no-one messes with her man!I am not going to give anything away about the storyline, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. It is sufficient to say, as the title does, this is about The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star which is investigated by Chopra, and the mysterious 'Master' who repeatedly hires eunuchs to dance, sing and entertain in room empty but for themselves and a butler, investigated by Rangwalla (Chopra's business partner in his detective agency). It is not one of those detective stories you instantly solve, but instead is entertaining and has a number of red herrings. As I said previously, this is written with humour and had me laughing out loud at multiple points. I won this via a goodreads giveaway and can honestly say that has not influenced my review at all. I genuinely enjoyed this book far more than I thought I would, as my enjoyment of detective stories can swing wildly.

  • Roger DeBlanck
    2018-09-24 07:56

    During a spectacular concert to promote his current movie, Vikram "Vicky" Verma goes missing. His mother, a former starlet, summons Inspector Chopra to investigate her son's disappearance. In this third installment of the Baby Ganesh Agency investigation series, Khan again has Chopra in top form alongside his adorable elephant companion Ganesha, as they hit the trail to solve the mystery of the vanishing Vicky. What makes this series more memorable than other mysteries is the tremendous atmospheric settings that Khan creates. He is a fine writer with an affinity for vivid descriptions and great phrasings. His mysteries read like road maps with Chopra traversing a wide range of places throughout Mumbai. For this book, Khan demonstrates his impressive command of the Indian film industry. He captures both the nostalgia for its cinema and also the cutthroat and competitive nature of Bollywood. Chopra's interaction with producers, directors, and assistants is all very interesting while he gathers clues for uncovering why Vicky has gone missing at a time when he is set to shoot a pivotal scene in the most expensive production in Bollywood history. But Vicky has enemies due to his reputation of arrogance and erratic behavior. When ransom notes appear and possible insurance scams surface, Chopra must sift through the maze. A daring escape for Chopra and a clever twist in his search for the truth make this third book in the series another exciting caper. The insights to Bollywood are seamless in driving the authenticity of the narrative. Khan has a splendid detective team with Chopra and Ganesha.

  • Jen
    2018-09-23 06:55

    Well, if you liked the first two books in the Baby Ganesh series, then you will absolutely love this one. Full of the mystery and unique style of tension which has come to signify the tone of the first two books, The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star sees our intrepid Inspector Chopra come up against his old nemesis Rao once more, but this time it seems that the game may well be up for Chopra as his investigation into the missing Bollywood bad boy, Vikram Verma, plays right into Rao’s hands.Pressured by his wife Poppy into going to a live show featuring Bollywood’s latest heart-throb, Vikram Verma, Chopra, Poppy and Baby Ganesha, also a massive Bollywood fan, find themselves bearing witness to a fantastic spectacle of dance and music … and a rather unexpected and almost imperceptible vanishing act. Chopra notes that something is off about the final performance of the show, but it is not until Vikram’s mother, former Bollywood goddess, at least in Chopra’s eyes, Bijli Verma contacts him that Chopra realises quite what it was that was bothering him. Vikram has gone missing, not having been seen since the finale the night before, and his mother, and now Chopra, are concerned for his safety. Bijli convinces Chopra to investigate and to look into her son’s disappearance, and while there is no direct evidence, Chopra soon begins to suspect foul play. When a rather chilling ransom demand is received, the stakes are raised, but could it all be too late.I love the way in which Vaseem Khan is able to capture the spirit of Mumbai and India in his writing, and this is all the more obvious when coming to describe the opulence and, in this novel perhaps on occasion, underhand nature of the Bollywood movie industry. The sense of every man for himself and the whole idea of he rising star whose ego has grown too large for his own good is so brilliantly created on the page that you are not sure whether or not to feel sorry for Vikram, no matter how dire his situation may be. But then is his cockiness derived from being spoilt as a child or is he naturally arrogant? Either way, does anything warrant a kidnapping or possibly worse?Running alongside the main investigation is a strange case which is left to Chopra’s associate, Rangwalla, to investigate. Rangwalla is summoned to see the Queen of the Eunuchs who is concerned about the behaviour of a certain ‘client’ who has been paying for several of her Eunuchs to visit his grand house and yet taking no part in their visits, just simply watching them and having them play together. Despite nothing untoward having taken place, and the girls having been paid handsomely, The Queen has her doubts and engages Rangwalla to find out the truth about what is happening in the house. As the girls cannot give Rangwalla directions and nobody knows who their mysterious benefactor is, there is only one way Ragwalla can do this. By going undercover. This leads to some of the most humorous moments in the book, but also some of the most heartbreaking. If you are not moved by the story Rangwalla uncovers then there is definitely something wrong.Khan’s portrayal of the Eunuchs is without criticism, judgement or prejudice. There is no stereotypical presentation. Their situation, that of a society now finally given gender status within India is handled with care and respect and whilst still considered an oddity and a sub-species by most of the country, you can’t help but feel for them, many of whom are not in their current position through choice. And it is up to Rangwalla to determine who is the subject of this investigation, the revelation of which will be truly surprising.Another story which is handled with care and which demonstrates the kindly nature of Chopra’s young ward, Irfan, is that of a homeless blind woman who he prevents from being attacked by a group of children. She is someone who has been written off as a mad woman due to her confused state and terrible condition. It is only when Irfan, himself once a child of the street, shows the old woman some kindness that you see the true nature of the woman behind the ‘madness’. There is a kind of kinship between the two and what occurs later in the book certainly made me smile.What I had noticed was that there felt a little less of the personal element about this book, perhaps because we have already learned so much about Chopra and his family in previous books and the two investigations themselves were full on and at times action packed. In fact, in trying to pay a ransom demand, Chopra finds himself in great danger, allowing Rao the chance he needs to rid himself of Chopra once and for all. Much like Ganesha’s brief dalliance with incarceration in the previous book, Chopra finds himself behind bars, but it is the extent to which Rao will go to ruin Chopra that takes you by surprise.We learned in the last book that Chopra had made some powerful enemies, and the extent of their influence is clearly shown here. Chopra’s life is most certainly on the line and the tension in these chapters was palpable. If I hadn’t been driving I’d have probably literally been on the edge of my seat as I really couldn’t see how Chopra would get out of this one. But then Chopra also has some powerful friends, or if not quite powerful then at the very least resourceful.I really enjoyed this book, the twists, the turns, the action and the more poignant and heartbreaking moments all combining beautifully to form what I believe is the best book in the series yet. The conclusion perhaps wasn’t totally surprising, some rather large hints being dropped along the way, but I don’t think that either of the first two books made me feel quite so much like my heart was in my throat, nor have I felt quite so moved as I was in reading this with the possible exception of when it look liked Ganesha’s game was up in the last book. A brilliant addition to the series and I cannot wait for book four.

  • Debra Schoenberger
    2018-10-07 07:04

    Vaseem has done it again with another crazy action-packed adventure. Retired Inspector Chopra, together with his baby elephant Ganesh are called to solve a kidnapping.  Throw in a few unsavoury characters, an aging Bollywood film queen, and an obnoxious corrupt police official and Chopra and baby Ganesh are in way over their heads.  I enjoy the writer's audacious writing style as he pokes fun at the Bollywood film industry, the police and his adamantine mother-in-law.  The story splits into two, the other leading his employee Rangwalla on another case into the very secretive world of Mumbai's eunuch families.Although this is a cozy mystery (albeit with plenty of action), the author introduces several very thought-provoking and controversial topics into the storyline.  True to Bollywood form, there is a dose of "cheesieness" to make it feel lighthearted.  Do I hear stories about a movie being made?  I can't wait to see it!

  • Danielle
    2018-09-18 09:56

    Ondanks de wat speelse kleurrijke buitenkant, is The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star van Vaseem Khan een interessante schets van het leven in het hedendaagse Mumbai: getekend door traditionele rollen, tradities zoals kasten, armoede versus rijkdom, macht versus machteloosheid. In het derde boek in de Baby Ganesh-reeks wordt gepensioneerd politieman Ashwin Chopra geconfronteerd met al deze aspecten van zijn samenleving. In de zoektocht naar de ontvoerders van een Bollywood ster moet hij zijn eigen machteloosheid onder ogen zien, zijn collega Rangwalla krijgt nieuwe inzichten in de eunuchgemeenschap (een transgender gemeenschap, ‘het derde geslacht’ die in India nog steeds duidelijk zichtbaar een speciale rol heeft) en Chopra’s vrouw die de traditionele rol van vrouwen ontvecht. Het boek zit boordevol maatschappijkritische noten zonder de lezer lastig te vallen met zware verhandelingen. Tegen de achtergrond van het kleurrijke India is dit boek zoveel meer dan een crimeboek.

  • David Fox
    2018-10-08 04:04

    For the third time I embarked on another voyage to Mumbai, this terrifying, exotic, strange and voluptuous city. Accompanied by Chopra our true and noble hero I followed him and the elephant Ganesh as they followed the cold trail of a suddenly missing Bollywood superstar. The latest novel plays out similar to Vaseem's previous mysteries. However, it still felt fresh and exciting. Perhaps that was due to the greater role that Chopra's partner plays. He sets off on his journey, hired on behalf of a group of eunuchs who have some serious questions of their newest client, a wealthy land owner outside of Mumbai. In the end, it turned out to be a light thriller, full of hope, courage and miraculous escapes. It once again gave me a insatiable hunger for India and I've been eating lunch at an Indian buffet ever since. I'm looking forward to book four!

  • Carolyn
    2018-09-30 07:13

    3.5 stars.It is always a pleasure to revisit Detective Chopra, his wife Poppy, family and friends, and Chopra's delightful and adorable companion, Ganesha, a baby elephant. Ganesha frequently accompanies Chopra on his criminal investigations in the city of Mumbai. This has many elements of a cosy mystery, where the crimes are solved by deductive reasoning and skillful interviewing techniques by clever detectives, rather than modern scientific methods. Added to this is the enjoyment of the story set in an exotic place, Mumbai. On the other hand, there are two separate investigations, both very complex with with the introduction of many characters. It took some concentration to keep all these people straight.I love this series and am looking forward to the further adventures of Chopra and Ganesh.

  • Wendy Hearder-moan
    2018-09-17 09:56

    Essentially a fun read, but don't be deceived, Vaseem Khan is an excellent writer. I like his succinct and sometimes quirky descriptions of people and places, such as Bijli Verma "a vision of immaculate fury in a sari". In the case of this particular book, however, I wonder why he included the second plot line involving Rangwalla and the eunuch community. Although interesting, it didn't seem relevant. I kept waiting for some intersection with the main plot, but it didn't happen. The only link seemed to be the theme of a child separated from a parent. But, like everyone else, I am a big fan of Ganesha, the baby elephant cum detective, cum Bollywood star, and I look forward to the next episode in the story.

  • Divya Talreja
    2018-09-16 12:00

    I have been living away from Bombay or Mumbai for the last 9 years, so it was nostalgic for me the places and people. The description of the city was the only thing I enjoyed. The story itself was a bit far fetched and some things were a bit too convenient. The part were Chopra is sent to jail and no one knows or when he escapes too with the help of his wife. Really is it that simple??? I am still not sure what was the role of the elephant? Or was why all of a sudden Usha decided to teach Irfan? A lot of loose ends. The side story was honestly a very sorry Bollywood plot. I finished the book hoping something exciting would happen. Very disappointed.

  • Deepak Saxena
    2018-09-27 12:05

    I'm in love with the Baby Ganesh Detective series and this one builds on the earlier two novels. The book is a sheer delight and it keeps you interested till the end (maybe last chapter was unnecessary). Both plots are quite engaging and include some relevant social commentary (a hallmark of Khan's writing). However, my only dismay was that these two plots were completely disjointed. Even towards the end, I expected some link but it stayed disjointed. It is as if a quick-read interjected within a novel. Still, it makes a great read and makes me wait for the fourth encounter with Chopra and the baby elephant, Ganesh.

  • Susan
    2018-09-23 06:54

    Two entirely separate plots set in contemporary Mumbai. In one, Inspector Chopra (ret.) gets involved in solving the kidnapping of an up and coming Bollywood star. Baby elephant Ganesh gets to meet some of his larger relatives appearing in a film extravaganza, to play the tambourine in a traveling show, and to ride in a motorcycle side car. In the other plot, Chapra’s assistant Rangwallah pursues a case set among the eunuchs of Mumbai and, although a little heavy-handed, is an intriguing story. Each plot involves a murder. One is resolved by a restoration of some of the balance of the world. The other, as well as an attempted murder, is glossed over, making for an unsettling ending.