In March of 1910, Dolly Prentice, wife of a British Bengal Grey Officer, dies a horrible death in a fire in Panikhat, India. The bandits held responsible are executed immediately, but every March since then, save for the war years, another officer's wife dies. The deaths—by a fall, drowning, and snakebite—are assumed accidents. But in March 1922, when young Peggy Somersham dies, evidence proves it's murder.

Joe Sandilands, visiting India from Scotland Yard, is asked by the Governor to investigate. Helped by Nancy Drummond, friend of the latest victim, Joe soon realizes that all of the deaths were actually murders. He also learns that these deaths are the result of an evil more terrible than anything he has ever seen.

The splendor, beauty and politics of the last days of the Raj come brilliantly to life in THE LAST KASHMIRI ROSE. All the characters, Indian and British, are fully fleshed out, and Ms. Cleverly is also a dazzling plotter, with talent to rival the grand masters of the genre. (Sep., 288 pp., $24.00)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg