Commander Joe Sandilands is the creation of Barbara Cleverly. A WWI veteran and former member of military intelligence now working for London’s Metropolitan Police, Joe Sandilands is intelligent, principled, and steadfast.
Set in post-WWI London in the Roaring Twenties, The Bee’s Kiss, the fifth book in the series, is a superb historical police procedural and whodunit with a complex plot, engaging characters, historical tidbits, and wonderful period atmosphere.
The book opens when Joe Sandilands, returning to Scotland Yard from India where he has been on temporary assignment to the Bengal Police helping them set up new protocols for gathering forensic evidence, is assigned to a special squad set up to handle sensitive cases involving the upper class.
Dame Beatrice Joliffe, one of the founders of the Wrens, the Women’s Royal Naval Service,has been bludgeoned to death in her suite at the Ritz and the emerald necklace she had been wearing is missing. Was it a burglary gone wrong? Or was it a far more sinister crime made to look like a burglary? Commander Joe Sandilands is determined to find out even though someone wants him off the case.
Note: The book can be read as a standalone, but there is a continually developing storyline about Sandilands throughout the series.
The first four books, The Last Kashmiri Rose, Ragtime in Simla, The Damascened Blade, and The Palace Tiger, are all set in early 1920s India. (The Damascened Blade, the third book in the series, is set in the tribal regions between what was then India and Afghanistan—what we now call the tribal region of present-day Pakistan where Bin Laden was for some time believed to be hiding.)