The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter is the 1st Blake and Avery Mystery, set in the untamed wilds of nineteenth-century colonial India. It is nominated for an Edgar Award for “Best Novel.”
“You’re a better man than, I, Gunga Din.”
That’s one of the most famous lines in cinematic history, from the movie Gunga Din, in which three movie stars—er, British soldiers—take on the Thuggee cult. The first time I watched Gunga Din, I was inspired to look up the Thuggee cult, and was surprised to learn it was a real thing and not a Hollywood invention.
And, of course, “Gunga Din” is also a poem by Rudyard Kipling, which concludes that the title character is superior to the British officers to whom he’s given his life.
It was good to be reminded of that as I read The Strangler Vine.