It was a tough choice this week between this story and "Dead Men's Socks," by David Hewson in the same issue. I may have bene influenced by the fact that Hewson's story was in the same category as last week's pick, by S.J. Rozan. Both were excellent stories about maverick cops in foreign countries who solve problems in spite of their superiors.
Brown's first story is very different, more a bit of humor than a traditional tale.
"Welcome to the Spade Detective Angency. If your life is in immediate danger, please hang up and call the local authorities. For English, please stay on the line. Para el Español, por favor, pulse uno. Press 2 if you would like to hear about our weekly crime-buster specials..."
Yes, even detective work can be outsourced, with someone dubious results. The unlikely named Hamish, a proud graduate of the New Dehli School for Detective Studies, "the fourth-highest ranked detective school in all of New Delhi," is on the job, or at least the phone. His client, Miss Nancy Drew, is suspicious about the mysterious death of her husband...
All very silly. But we can't be noir every week, can we?