Author(s): Brian Stoddart
Madras in the 1920s. The British are slowly losing the grip on the subcontinent. The end of the colonial enterprise is in sight and the city on India's east coast is teeming with intrigue. A grisly murder takes place against the backdrop of political tension and Superintendent Le Fanu, a man of impeccable investigative methods, is called in to find out who killed a respectable young British girl and dumped her in a canal, her veins clogged with morphine. As Le Fanu, a man forced to keep his own personal relationship a secret for fear of scandal in the face British moral standards, begins to investigate, he quickly slips into a quagmire of Raj politics, rebellion and nefarious criminal activities that threaten not just to bury his case but the fearless detective himself. The first Detective Le Fanu Adventure, A Madras Miasma, tells a classic tale of murder, corruption and intrigue with a sharp eye on British colonial politics and race relations. It is a story that, like its main protagonist, has its heart firmly in the right place.
Brian Stoddart is a writer, broadcaster, commentator and blogger of New Zealand descent, based in Australia and working around the globe. He works as an international higher education consultant and has worked on programs in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Syria and Jordan as well as in the UK and USA. This work follows a successful career as university researcher, teacher and senior executive which culminated in a term as Vice-Chancellor and President of La Trobe University in Australia where he is now an Emeritus Professor. That academic career took him all over the world including long periods in India, Malaysia, Canada, the Caribbean, China and Southeast Asia. He has written extensively on sports history, politics and culture as well as on India and south Asia in which field he completed his PhD. Most recently he has begun writing on his contemporary experiences, beginning with his life in an old house in the Old City of Damascus immediately before the upheavals of 2011-12. He is also a crime novelist, with A Madras Miasma the first in a series of books set in 1920s Madras in India, and featuring Superintendent Chris Le Fanu. He also writes extensively for mainstream and new media as well as expert commentary for press, radio and television. Brian is also a cruise ship lecturer, specialising in international affairs and history. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, reading (especially crime fiction), travel to new places, and listening to music, especially gypsy ja