Gentle mystery set in Sri Lanka

  • Book: Trouble in Nuala. The Inspector de Silva Mysteries #1
  • Location: Sri Lanka
  • Author: Harriet Steel

Review Author: JSAauthor



This gentle mystery follows the charming Inspector de Silva as he solves crime and murder cases in Nuala, Sri Lanka. Much of the time we are in his head, thinking about society, past cases and his wife, Jane.

Reading this book reminded me of taking a pleasant train journey. There is a rhythm to the story that pulls you in and keeps you reading. The settings in Sri Lanka are gorgeous and described so well you can visualize the landscape, tea plantations, colonial outposts and busy cities. I also enjoyed learning more about the social structures and ethnic composition of the country. The caste system, interracial marriages, colonial attitudes and treatment of plantation workers are all discussed.

The murder mystery is secondary to this story and is only introduced towards the middle of the novel. Much time is spent establishing (what I assume will be) the core cast of engaging characters in this (currently) four book series.

I enjoyed traveling to Sri Lanka with Harriet Steel and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

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A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

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First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

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Entries close 6th November 2021