It is Inspector Ghote's bad luck to be landed with the case of the perfect murder at the start of his career with the Bombay Police. As if it were not enough to have to contend with the cunning and important tycoon Lala Varde, Ghote finds himself investigating a mysterious theft of one rupee from the desk of yet another Very Important Person, the Minister of Police Affairs and the Arts. "If people would only behave in a simple, reasonable, logical way," sighs the Inspector, as he struggles through the quagmires of incompetence and corruption to solve these curious crimes.
The title refers to the attempted murder of a Parsi named Mr Perfect. He is seriously injured at the beginning of the novel but doesn't die. The residents of the house where the incident happens are thoroughly uncooperative. It is only very occasionally that Ghote gets his questions answered. Finally towards the end, he makes a major leap of intuition and solves the case. There is a parallel track of a minor mystery which doesn't amount to much.
The later Ghote books are more polished and realistic. Even when the plot was weak, the writing was enjoyable. Perfect Murder is a rambling work with characters who are caricatures. The plot is not particularly interesting and it moves in fits and starts. Even though this is the first book in the Khote series, a reader should probably start with one of the later works.