The Monochrome Madonna

Updated: May 14, 2010, 13:04 PM IST

`The Monochrome Madonna`: Written by Kalpana Swaminathan is published by Penguin-Books India.

Kalpana Swaminathan`s Lalli is the first credible Indian woman detective in the English language. The third book of the series, "The Monochrome Madonna", begins with the violent death of a man in a strange apartment, 4, Kalina Sputnik, inhabited by S Shah and V Dasgupta.

Detective Lalli, a retired police inspector in her 60s, is out of town and her niece is entrusted with the task of investigating the murder before Lalli returns.

The novel is a part psychological thriller and part mystery penned in a racy coloquial English that is easy to identify with. The book sees Lalli "use her most astute instincts to interpret a murder without any motive". Swaminathan is a surgeon and writer.