Newly appointed as Glasgow’s first Asian DI, Alok Patel’s first assignment is the investigation of the brutal murder of Nadia, an Asian woman. Her body was discovered in the aftermath of the Mela festival in Kelvingrove Park. During the Mela, a small fight erupted between a BNP group and an Asian gang, but was quickly quelled by police.
When Nadia is accused of having an affair with a local man, even more questions about her death arise. Was her murder a crime of passion, or was it racially motivated? Could it be an honour killing? The deep-rooted tensions within Glasgow’s Asian communities bubble to the surface as DI Patel struggles with his parents, who disapprove of his relationship with his Muslim partner, Usma.
As DI Patel struggles to gain any help from the Asian community, another body is discovered in the West End- the body of a white man. Is this new murder fuelled by revenge? Killed by an Asian gang? As the list of murder suspects grows, DI Patel finds himself grappling with the pressures of his new rank, including the racism of at least one fellow officer.
This novel peels away the layers of Glasgow’s Asian communities, while exploring the complicated relationships between Asian people and the city.
About The Author
Leela Soma was born in Madras, India and now lives in Glasgow, Scotland. She was a Principal Teacher of Modern Studies before deciding to write full time. Her poetry and short stories have been published in a number of anthologies and publications most recently, Issue 5 of Gutter magazine. She won the Margaret Thomson Davis Trophy for Best New Writer 2007 for her then unpublished novel Twice Born which was later published on YouWriteOn. She is on the Committee of the Milngavie Book & Art Festival and the Scottish Writer’s Centre. Her writings reflect her experiences as a first generation Indo-Scot.
First of all, thank you to Emma at damppebbles for organising the tour and giving me a free copy of the ebook in exchange for an honest review.
Murder At The Mela was a really enjoyable crime novel which explored the complicated relationship of all demographics of Glasgow’s population. I read a lot of crime novels and, thus far, they mostly feature a white male protagonist, so this was an incredibly refreshing read. Racial tensions were not shied away from and I felt this was really important; as I write this, I’m thinking about a recent news article about my local police force which is trialling a new hijab as part of the uniform, so I believe it is essential that literature reflects a diverse police force working within a multicultural society. It also highlighted how imperative it is to have own voices authors writing diversity as the book examines the nuances between different populations of British Asians, particularly in relation to religious tensions.
Murder At The Mela is absolutely perfect for people who want to read crime but don’t like looks of graphic description – this books focused more on the police procedure and the interviews, with only the odd part being the POV of the killer. A lot of crime I’ve read recently was quite gory in places and, although I don’t mind that, I know a lot of people can be put off by this. Murder At The Mela strikes a really good balance within the crime genre.
Although overall, apart from the angle of an Asian DI, I thought this book was fairly predictable in terms of common crime novel tropes, it was an easy, quick and enjoyable read which I’d recommend for fans of crime and murder mystery.
Purchase Links and Blog Tour Stops
Ringwood Publishing: https://bit.ly/2ZAdb00
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/37vvKa0
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2ZBMtnI
Published in paperback and digital formats by Ringwood Publishing on 3rd November 2020