For an introduction to India's cultural and culinary delights, you might hop a flight to Delhi or book a trip to Mumbai. But to meet the country sans passport free of airport indignities, you could just curl up with the crime novels of Tarquin Hall.
Vish Puri, Hall's opinionated private investigator, is a 50-something Punjabi super sleuth with a fondness for family and food. The mustachioed detective cracks open India's underbelly with a caseload that delves into forbidden love, corruption in Indian cricket and the deadly clash between science and superstition.
Authorities in India say they've arrested one man and identified four others in the alleged gang rape of a young photojournalist, apparently the latest victim in a series of recent sexual assaults that have shaken the country.
NPR's Julie McCarthy reports that the woman, in her early 20s, and a male colleague were doing a photo shoot of old buildings in south Mumbai when the incident took place early Thursday evening local time.
India has accused Pakistani troops of killing five Indian soldiers after firing across the Line of Control, the de facto border in disputed Kashmir. Pakistan denies any firing from its side, and calls the allegation "baseless."
This latest incident comes amid attempts to renew diplomatic overtures for peace between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
Indian officials say Pakistani soldiers fired into Indian territory overnight, ambushing a patrol of Indian troops.