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Welcome to Bali, where violence, intrigue, and infidelity are all part of a day's work for Inspector Singh. Inspector Singh, everyone's favorite portly and wheezing homicide detective, is still recovering from his last case when terrorists set off a bomb on the neighboring island of Bali.

With Singapore's anti-terrorist team busy defending the home front, Inspector Singh's bosses ship him to Bali to assist with the investigation. Unfortunately, Inspector Singh has as much experience with terrorism as he does with proper diet and exercise — none. When the police find a skull fragment of a man who was killed before the bomb went off, Inspector Singh is assigned to the case.

With Bronwyn Taylor, a peppy and eternally optimistic Australian cop, at his side, Singh's investigation leads him to the wife of the murdered man, and her group of entitled, expatriate friends. The murder seems like an open-and-shut case — that is, until Bronwyn and Singh realize that this crowd is riddled with enough cheating and discontent to fill out a soap opera.

This simple murder is quickly becoming more complicated than Singh could have imagined. And how does it all tie into the act of terrorism that brought him to Bali in the first place? Set in an exotic locale and starring an unforgettable cast of characters, this second mystery featuring the utterly lovable Inspector Singh is exciting, funny, and suspenseful, with an ending that even the most seasoned detective couldn't predict. The sounds of Bali were so different from the din of construction sites and car engines that he was used to in Singapore.

The policeman scratched his salt-and-pepper beard thoughtfully. The night-time cacophony did have a certain familiarity. He realised that the racket reminded him of his wife's cross tones on those regular occasions when he arrived late for a family dinner or had a few beers too many at the Chinese coffee shop around the corner from his home. Singh took a deep breath.

He smelt the spicy warm scent of ikan bakar , fish wrapped in banana leaf, on the hotel barbecue. His nostril hairs quivered appreciatively. Wherever he was, the smell of cooking food was always enticing. Singh grimaced - even by his own standards it seemed callous to be longing for dinner at such a time.

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His ample stomach immediately protested his conclusion, rumbling like a distant storm. The policeman shrugged and ordered a cold Bintang beer and a nasi goreng. After all, onehad to eat. He wouldn't be helping anyone by eschewing food. Not, he thought ruefully, that he was helping anyone anyway. Singh watched the luminescent white foaming tops lapping the distant shore. The beach was deserted and so was the beachfront dining room. Those few tourists who remained had ordered room service, he guessed. No one wanted to gather together in groups, not even to eat. The Bali bombings had turned gregarious visitors into reclusive loners, glancing sidelong at strangers in suspicion and fear.

His nasi goreng arrived, a neat hemisphere of fried rice topped with a fried egg, its soft yellow yolk trickling down the sides like lava from a newly awakened volcano. A chicken drumstick, six sticks of satay , achar or pickled vegetables and a couple of cucumber slices, were neatly arranged around the circumference of the plate. He ate every last bit with gusto, including the small bowl of sliced green chilli padi floating in light soya sauce.

Singh tried to avoid thinking of the oily food coalescing around his arteries. His doctor had been hinting of dire consequences if he did not improve his diet and fitness. The policeman had listened with half an ear, nodded to show that he was taking the advice seriously, pointed out that his trademark white sneakers showed he was ready for exercise and then stopped at Komala Villas, his favourite restaurant on Serangoon Road, the main drag of Singapore's Little India, for a cup of hot sweet tea and some ladoo , a sugar-filled Indian snack. Talking about exercise was hungry work.

Remembering the ladoo made him yearn for dessert. He beckoned a waiter, requested a menu and scanned it carefully. He sighed. The problem with these fancy Bali hotels was that their menus catered entirely for Western tourists. Instead of having a genuine selection of tasty meals anddesserts, there was standard European fare like spaghetti Bolognese and fish and chips.

The Asian food was a tepid imitation of the original - to give tourists a flavour of the East without sending them running for the toilets. The dessert menu didn't have Asian options either. Singh ordered another beer.

Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul : Number 2 in series

There was not much light in the outdoor dining area. He moved the floating candle closer. The white frangipani flower perched decoratively on the rim fell into the flame and curled and blackened, its rich fragrance giving way to the rancid smell of burning organic matter. His contemplation of the fragility of nature was rudely interrupted. I've been looking all over for you. I might have guessed you'd be in the restaurant. Inspector Singh gulped some beer, feeling the gas bubbles tickle his throat.

A layer of foam enhanced his moustache. She said, 'Every time I see you, you're clutching a Bintang like a favourite teddy bear.

His pink full lower lip pouted slightly, the only outward sign of his discomfiture. This woman was as tiresome as a roomful of his Sikh relatives - whining about his bad habits to each other and to him.

Inspector Singh Investigates: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul Inspe... 9781937384357

AFP members had been sent down to Bali to assist with security and counter-terrorism measures after the Bali bombings. Inspector Singh of the Singapore police force had been despatched to Bali with the same task. Falling out with the Australians would not endear him to his bosses. He knew very well that looking for anexcuse to turf him out of the police force occupied many of the leisure hours of his superiors. He didn't intend to make it easy for them.

Inspector Singh Investigates

Bronwyn, part of the AFP's public liaison team, collapsed onto the seat across from him. How do we keep the world safe for democracy? He ignored her question and asked, 'Have there been any developments in the investigation? They've identified bomb residue on an abandoned motorbike - it was used by someone involved in the attack.

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Trace the owner? She pushed them away with an impatient hand. Singh noticed that Bronwyn's features were all gathered together in the middle of her face leaving swathes of flesh around the perimeter. Small gold earrings were lost on her large ear lobes.

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She continued, 'The motorbike must have been stolen. The bombers can't have been as thick as to buy one here in Bali. Her fine blonde hair, usually gleaming under the Bali sun, had lost its lustre. She sat on a polished teak folding chair, perched on the edge like a nervous schoolgirl. Her pale hands shredded a white paper serviette into tiny pieces. The two couples, her companions around the table, stared at her with varying degrees of sympathy and concern.

One of the women, Karri Yardley, said, 'I can't believe he's disappeared like that. Do you think That's the usual reason, isn't it? Karri was sunburnt. Her hair was a deep black this week.

A fake tattoo of a bird of paradise adorned one wiry brown arm. Tim Yardley said gruffly, closing his hand over Sarah's, 'There's no reason to suspect that. She said, oblivious to the angry looks from the others, 'Sarah's been saying that things haven't been going well. Richard wasn't communicative. He was going out on his own a lot.

Sounds like an affair to me. Sarah drew her hand away. She didn't want to get involved in one of the never-ending spats between the Australian couple. She noticed that Tim was trying to catch her eye but she looked away. Julian Greenwood asked, his voice low and consoling, 'Are you certain he wasn't at the Sari Club? He said, 'He might have been in the area The others turned to her, except for Emily, Julian's wife.

She was absorbed in her glass ofwine, sipping it with small nervous jerks, staring into the ruby liquid as if it were a magic mirror.