"The Dilmun Exchange"

"It has been over ten years since we last published a story by Josh Pachter, who wrote his first published story, 'E.Q. Griffen Earns His Name' (EQMM, December 1968), when he was sixteen years old. Now, sixteen years later, he has created a new detective, Mahboob Ahmed Chaudri, eighteen months a natoor on the Bahraini police force and ready any day now for his first promotion...."

Living in the tiny island emirate of Bahrain in 1982-83 and teaching a light course load for the University of Maryland, I found myself with time on my hands and — for the first time in almost a decade — the desire to write. Since most members of the Bahraini Police Force were in fact from Pakistan, I decided to make my detective a Pakistani.

Over the next few years, Mahboob Chaudri would appear in a total of ten stories, and, in 2015, Wildside press collected all ten of them in a trade paperback titled The Tree of Life. In his classic anthology The Ethnic Detectives, author/critic Bill Pronzini called Mahboob "one of crime fiction's most delightful new detectives."

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