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Moghul buffet
Cheryl Benard
Adult Fiction BENARD

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Both a wickedly funny cross-cultural comedy of errors and an edgy murder mystery, Benard's lively debut begins with the disappearance of timid, pudgy U.S. businessman Micky Malone in Peshawar, an ultraconservative, crime-ridden Pakistani backwater on the Afghan border. As other corpses pile up (victims include a Pakistani banker, a closeted gay Indian movie star and an anti-American Islamic fundamentalist publisher), dogged but inept Detective Iqbal stumbles from suspect to suspect. Bernard choreographs a series of comic misunderstandings (between East and West, men and women), training withering irony on a range of characters: Mara Blake, an earnest American refugee-camp worker reeling from her failed marriage to a wealthy Pakistani; the Maulana, a self-righteous Islamic fundamentalist televangelist; Fatima, his young housemaid and pregnant sex-slave; and the Maulana's nephew and chauffeur, Mushahed, a leftist economics student in love with Fatima. Even if the comedy occasionally sputters with indignation, Benard nimbly swings from farce to social satire, describing with devastating wit and fiery feminist passion Pakistani sexism, censorship, corruption and human rights abuses. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

The American director of an Austrian research institute and author of several nonfiction works (e.g., "The Government of God": Iran's Islamic Republic, LJ 6/1/84), Benard debuts with a surprisingly successful black comedy/mystery reminiscent in its droll narrative style of the works of Australian author Peter Carey. The omniscient narrator weaves together seemingly disparate plotlines featuring rabid Islamic religious leaders, corrupt Pakistanis and Afghanis, naïve American businessmen, feminists from all cultures and walks of life, journalists and policemen, Afghan refugees, the Taliban, and sexually exploited village girls, creating a compelling whodunit that races along to a bloody climax in the inhospitable desert of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province. Micky Malone, a quiet American like so many others trying to follow the rules while doing business in Asia, seems to have been murdered in his Peshawar hotel room, but his body is missing. As more killings occur and notes left at the scene point to a serial killer‘clothed in a chaddri, the voluminous woman's coverall de rigueur in the province‘tensions mount inexorably. Is the killer working in disguise, or could it be‘horrors!‘that a lowly woman is offing these creeps? Clever, witty, and politically and culturally on the mark, this book is recommended for all collections.‘Jo Manning, formerly with General Books Lib., Reader's Digest (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Mara Blake
Refugee camp worker



Leftist economics student.

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