Is crime fiction set in India unenjoyable as it's too close to home for me? Yes.
But as one sentence, does not an article make, even if covers, all that one wants to say, I will be writing a little bit more than one sentence!
One example to illustrate the above point is :There are millions of women of lower castes, rural areas, illiterate who work for the upper castes in states such as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, etc. These women are routinely abused and various crimes committed against them. Even if a few are foolishly optimistic enough to dare to complain to the police, the police will never ever take action against the upper class, upper caste goons. Instead these women may be further subjected to humiliation or worse, some more abuse in the police station itself!
There is an unexplored gold-mine for researchers of psychology, sociology, political science, economics, etc if they want to understand the behaviour of honest people in India. It is simply impossible for honest decent people in India to be socially adept.
Many people are either corrupt or worship the corrupt as they are 'successful' or are ignorant that a person is corrupt. If an honest person is aware that a person he is dealing with is corrupt, he has to be so detached and mature and socially skillful to deal with the corrupt person in a manner where he does not yield to corruption and also be polite and not be abused. Very very few people have such social skills and self-confidence unfortunately.
With so much privatization in India, post 1980s, I assume that there is less corruption in the private companies. But who knows? The corrupt government expects bribes from all private companies who expect to run in India and so there is some corruption when they are forced to bribe the government officials and they they have to make up for that expenditure somehow!
One major issue in India is that many crimes are NOT recognized as crimes even by the police! The attitudes towards many criminal behaviours are typically ignorant, patriarchial, retarded and illiterate! when a woman complains to the police (or anyone) that she is beaten severely by he husband, they will not 'take her complaint' but advise her to 'get along ' with him and send her back. I will add more examples to this later. Giving and taking bribes is another thing not considered as criminal behaviour but instead considered as a 'norm' by many people in India.
Post 2000, I am discovering that many Indians have become body and health conscious. There are many gyms opening and a lot of the urban people are exercising, etc. Care of physical health and looks was not so widespread before the 90s. So with people, more looks and health conscious now, I assume, we can look forward to 'fitter' Indian detectives in crime fiction too!
I am adding this line March 2016: I recently read the book Cut like wound by Anita Nair. It is a crime fiction set in Bangalore and it has captured the reality of cime and corruption in Bangalore and yet has a believable hero!! To my utter delight he is a Gowda too! ( I belong to the Gowda caste) I am so happy that there are crime fiction books from India, that too, Bangalore, my home town, that too with Gowda protoganists !!! Yippe!
I humbly take back what I said about 'not enjoying crime fiction set in India' after reading Nair's book
India produces literature in many languages and in English; I read only English.(It is not that I am too snobbish to read Indian languages. I am very slow while reading Kannada novels and it is so painful to read at the speed of 10 minutes per page.... So I have given up reading in Kannada, the only Indian language I can read) As far as I know, there are more social novels ( I like to call them social novels as they are about social life in India) than crime fiction. There are many romantic novels, books about Indian society, sociology, anthropology and other subjects. I know that a lot of new writers in India are writing crime fiction these days and writing in English too.