The Cambridge Geek

Mrs Sidhu Investigates
Mrs Sidhu Investigates

Ah, the amateur sleuth. Is there any field of employment that isn't capable of solving a grisly murder when push comes to shove? In this series featuring Meera Syal, our amateur is a recently widowed caterer, who is distracting herself from her bereavement by both cooking several hundred samosas, and interfering in police business. The police in question is Justin Edwards, whose bumbling approach to speaking, acting, and life in general makes him an excellent candidate to play Lestrade to Syal's Sherlock. (Or possibly Clithering to Miss Marple.)

I was surprised to discover this was a partwork, having expected a series of short mysteries, with one per episode. As such, I was initally worried that it started rather slow, but it looks like that's giving it suitable room to grow into quite a complex plot. It also means the various characters can have a bit more depth than the shallow stereotypes you often need in something that frantic. I do wonder about the value of the annoying son, though. He's a bit painful.

I'm also watching out to see if this turns into a fair play mystery in which the "reader" can solve the mystery before the detective. God knows why, because I never manage it, but might as well keep trying.

Still, even if I'm terrible at solving crimes, I'm going to enjoy the characters investigating or committing murders. Syal is a great delight as a sarcastic and nosy busybody, and listening to her interrogate the various soldiers of the class war is fun.

Highly recommended.