"The Beer Drinkers"

"While Mahboob Ahmed Chaudri is a Pakistani from Karachi, his present bailiwick is the Persian Gulf island of Bahrain, where he is attached to the Public Security Force. The cultural background in the Chaudri stories, therefore, is Bahrainian — in the present case, modern politics and ancient ethnographic treasures in the National Museum. The 'beer drinkers' of the title is the most important relic of Bahrain's ancient history, a priceless gold medallion which disappears from under Chaudri's very nose and causes him considerable consternation before he finally deduces what became of it. Mahboob Chaudri is one of crime fiction's most delightful new detectives. 'The Beer Drinkers' and several other of his cases have appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine over the past two years, and more are planned. Happily, his creator is also considering a Chaudri novel for the not too distant future. A teacher by profession, Josh Pachter has lived in Bahrain (as well as Amsterdam, West Germany, and several other countries in Europe and the Near East) and writes from first-hand knowledge of the island and its people. He sold his first short story to EQMM in 1968, while still a teenager, and followed it with too few others; after a hiatus of several years, he is now writing fiction again on a regular basis. He is also the editor of a recent authors'-choice anthology, Top Crime (1984), as well as several other anthologies thus far published only in Europe; and he is presently editing a news series of crime-novel translations for a Dutch publisher."

from Bill Pronzini's introduction

The "Beer Drinkers" really is one of Bahrain's most important archeological treasures, and it really is on display in the National Museum. The illustration (reproduced here) was drawn by my friend Piet Schreuders, a graphic artist in Holland and the author of Paperbacks, USA, which I translated from Dutch into English.

You can read the story here.

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