It’s pronounced “GO-tay”.
What is the Inspector Ghote series about?
Coming from English crime fiction writer H. R. F. Keating, Inspector Ganesh Ghote is the police officer who is the main character in this long-running detective series.
Since his first appearance in print in 1967, Ghote is an inspector in the police force of Bombay (a.k.a. Mumbai), India. Mild-mannered, often hamstrung by his refusal to accept bribes or force false confessions, but unparalleled in his determination to catch his killer.
How to read the Inspector Ghote Books in Order?
Every book in the Inspector Ghote series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- The Perfect Murder – It is just Inspector Ghote’s luck to be landed with the case of the Perfect Murder at the start of his career with the Bombay Police. For this most baffling of crimes, there is the cunning and important tycoon Lala Varde to contend with. And if this were not enough, Ghote finds himself having to investigate the mysterious theft of one rupee from the desk of yet another Very Important Person-the Minister of Police Affairs and the Arts.
- Inspector Ghote’s Good Crusade – When American millionaire and philanthropist Frank Masters dies of arsenic poisoning, Inspector Ganesh Ghote of the Bombay CID takes a moment to picture himself in the papers, triumphantly solving the case. This is no ordinary murder, and he knows it will attract a great deal of attention.
- Inspector Ghote Caught in Meshes – When an American visitor to India is killed on the lonely, dusty road between Poona and Bombay, it seems like a classic case of highway robbery. But what Inspector Ghote of the Bombay CID learns from the victim’s brother – the distinguished hydrology professor, Gregory Strongbow – soon makes him suspect that everything is not as it first appeared.
- Inspector Ghote Hunts the Peacock – Inspector Ganesh Ghote of the Bombay CID is determined not to put a foot wrong when he arrives in England, the land of calm, dignity, and order. He is, himself, on the most dignified of missions: attending the Emergency Conference on the Smuggling of Dangerous Drugs, on behalf of his hospitalized boss.
- Inspector Ghote Plays a Joker – Inspector Ghote is taken aback when his boss cheerfully summons him with an unusual order: to stop a murder. But his boss’s good mood turns out to be the least bizarre thing about the situation. For the potential murder victim is an expensive flamingo – a gift from the US Consul – and if Ghote doesn’t prevent it from meeting the same tragic end as its three companions, it could result in serious embarrassment for the government.
- Inspector Ghote Breaks an Egg – In a small, provincial town in the heart of India, a politician’s wife has done her husband’s career a great service, by dying under suspicious circumstances. That the corpse and the trail have been cold for fifteen years hasn’t saved Inspector Ghote from being sent to investigate.
- Inspector Ghote Goes By Train – When Inspector Ganesh Ghote boards the train to Calcutta, he’s looking forward to spending forty hours detached from his responsibilities, but nevertheless still doing his job. He is on his way to collect legendary swindler A. K. Bhattacharya, who’s defrauded wealthy art-lovers for years, and bring him back to Bombay to stand trial.
- Inspector Ghote Trusts the Heart – Some crooks have tried to snatch the plump son of a business tycoon, and have accidentally made off with his playmate instead. But they’re not changing their plan: a payment is to be delivered to them or a small corpse is to be delivered to Inspector Ghote.
- Bats Fly Up for Inspector Ghote – There are bats everywhere. Swooping and darting overhead, portending darkness and its renewed flurry of uncheckable pickpocketing. But the modest yet determined Bombay detective must contend with more serious bats – the five, possibly corrupt, CID officers who make up the Black-money and Allied Transaction Squad, the anti-fraud team known as the Bats.
- Filmi, Filmi, Inspector Ghote – India’s most famous screen villain, Dhartiraj, lies dead on a Bollywood film set, his neck snapped by a falling stage light. There’s no doubt it’s murder, and Inspector Ghote, who’s thrilled to be personally assigned such a high-profile case, quickly discovers that there’s no shortage of suspects.
- Inspector Ghote Draws a Line – Inspector Ghote is ordered off to the remote, heat-soaked Indian countryside to protect an aged, unpopular, and rigidly obstinate judge of the British Raj era, against whom death threats have been made.
- The Murder of the Maharajah – A maharajah is murdered during a house party in India in 1930, and a plump American widow, her curvaceous daughter, the maharajah’s heir and aide, the British resident advisor, and a soft-metals king from the American West are among the suspects
- Go West Inspector Ghote – Wealthy Indian newspaper magnate Ranjee Shahani has a problem. His daughter Nirmala, who he sent to California to finish her education before her upcoming arranged marriage, has dropped out of college. Not only that, but she has joined an ashram near Los Angeles and emptied her bank account. Unsure how to proceed, Mr. Shahani turns to his good friend the Minister for Police for help.
- The Sheriff of Bombay – Inspector Ghote is in the worst trouble of his career so far. Given a task which at first seems merely embarrassing – that of escorting an aging British film star on a tour of Bombay’s notorious red-light district, the ‘Cages’ – he is, before long, confronted with something infinitely worse: murder.
- Under a Monsoon Cloud – What had until recently been a police sergeant is now lying at Ghote’s feet bleeding its last. An accident it may have been, but Ghote saw exactly what happened, and it’s his duty to arrest the killer. Isn’t it? Or can the inspector better serve his beloved police force by disposing of the body, by concealing a crime? And if he does, will he manage to keep his terrible secret?
- The Body in the Billiard Room – Inspector Ghote is flattered when he’s expressly summoned by a former ambassador, Surinder Mehta, to investigate a mysterious murder in the faraway hill station of Ootacamund. A body has been found on the billiard table at the genteel Ooty Club, a gathering place for well-to-do Indians and Englishmen – and the influential Mehta believes that only Ghote will be able to solve the crime.
- Dead on Time – Ramrao Pendke, the heir to a massive country fortune, is in Bombay recovering from a kidney transplant operation when he’s bludgeoned to death at the Tick Tock Watchworks. The murderer, the watch shop’s owner, promptly confesses. So Inspector Ghote is puzzled to be called in by the head of the whole State police force, to investigate such an open-and-shut case further.
- The Iciest Sin – Miss Dolly Daruwala may well be the most practiced blackmailer Bombay has ever seen, or so Inspector Ghote’s superiors tell him. Dolly has angered – and impoverished – many highly placed officials, and has become an embarrassment to the influential Parsi community. They want an end to her vile practices.
- Inspector Ghote, His Life and Crimes – Short story collection. This collection of short stories brings together some of the best of Ghote’s shorter adventures. From ‘The All-Bat Hat’ to ‘Murder Mustn’t At All Advertise, Isn’t It?’, these stories celebrate Ghote and his painstaking investigative powers.
- Cheating Death – Bombay University is in the grip of a cheating scandal, centered on one of its most deplorable colleges. A final exam paper has been stolen and sold prior to the test, leading to calls for the principal’s immediate resignation. The prime suspect for the theft, the student Bala Chambhar, is in a coma, after taking an overdose of sleeping pills.
- Doing Wrong – The late Mrs. Shoba Popatkar was a beloved national figure, known throughout India for her lifelong commitment to virtuous causes. But now her life has been brutally snuffed out, and the killer comes from the most unlikely place: the holy city of Banares, where the waters of the Ganges welcome thousands for the ultimate pilgrimage. Inspector Ghote is sent to investigate the peculiar circumstances surrounding her murder.
- Asking Questions – Inspector Ghote is taken aback when Bombay’s Commissioner of Police visits him at home early one morning, with a confidential request. The commissioner’s film-star friend, Asha Rani, has asked for help with an unpleasant matter at the charity she supports, the Mira Behn Institute of Medical Research. Someone is smuggling samples of an experimental medicine out of the institute.
- Bribery, Corruption Also – Inspector Ghote is not a happy man. His wife has inherited an estate in Calcutta – and she is determined that they both move from his beloved Bombay to live a life of luxurious retirement there. But when the couple travels to the noisy but vibrant city to view her legacy, they find their property inhabited by hostile squatters and in a terrible state of disrepair.
- Breaking and Entering – All Bombay is buzzing with news of the murder of influential millionaire Anil Ajmani, who was found stabbed to death in his heavily guarded and tightly secured mansion. Every inspector in the Crime Branch hopes to be the one to nail the killer – and that includes the good-hearted Inspector Ghote.
- Inspector Ghote’s First Case – Assistant Inspector Ghote is overwhelmed with joy to receive the news that he has finally achieved his life’s ambition: he is to be promoted to the rank of Inspector. His heavily pregnant wife, Protima, is delighted . . . but also preoccupied with their upcoming evening plans: he has promised to take her to see a showing of Hamlet, her favorite play, at the cinema.
- A Small Case for Inspector Ghote? – Newly-promoted Inspector Ghote is not having a good morning. His office is too hot, his assistant Bikram is late for work and he can’t concentrate on his interminable paperwork, distracted by an insistent, unpleasant smell. Ghote’s day does not improve when he discovers its horrible source: Bikram’s severed head, wrapped in newspaper and stuffed in his office rubbish bin.