20 January, 2014

#BookReview :: The Cosmic Clues (Stellar Investigations Detective Agency #1) by Manjiri Prabhu

SONIA SAMARTH couldn’t have predicted it. It had only been a day, but her first advertisement had drawn dozens of responses. In the bustling city of Pune, with its winding alleys and exotic customs, Sonia has launched a brand new business – private investigation guided by Hindu astrology. Her unique brand of investigation might raise eyebrows but before long, she seems to have found her niche.

When a cat leads Sonia to her very first investigation, she uses astrology to unmask the killer. Suddenly, clients begin streaming in – a persistent, handsome TV personality; a terrified bride-to-be; a missing husband with suicidal tendencies. These cases initially seem like isolated experiences, but Sonia soon finds that they are bound by an invisible thread. Very soon she will have to look closely at her own stars: a notorious international criminal has just crossed Sonia’s path – and he has his own plans for her future!

Sonia Samarth is a smart and independent woman who is an entrepreneur of a brand new business – private investigation guided by Hindu astrology. The initial response that she receives from her newspaper ad and after solving her first case is awesome and clients keep pouring in. But soon Sonia discovers a connection between more than two of her seemingly different cases and there is no turning back. With her new friends and admirers in tow, Sonia is all geared up to solve her cases but is she prepared for what a hardcore criminal has in store for her?

The first aspect of this book that demanded my attention was the procedures involved and Sonia’s very unorthodox methods. I mean we have seen ‘grey cells’ in action and forensic evidences leading to the solution in detective stories, but Astrology? That is something new in this area and I admire the author for taking the risk to explore new detection avenues. 

There were a lot of characters involved in this book – from its protagonist to her friends, colleagues and many clients. For the most part, the characters were all very well fleshed out who played their individual roles well. But as we bring them together it was like watching a rainbow take form with the many myriads of the characters. The plot was also interesting and the parallel investigations kept it going well enough. However, unlike most detective/mystery novels, this one doesn’t really encourage you to play the guessing game along. For one, some crucial information about the cases is withheld till the last moment. On the other hand it also contributes to the page turning quality of the book. 

Overall, this book was a breath of fresh air in IWE. I enjoyed getting on the ‘Stellar Investigations Detective Agency’ journey and would love to read more in this series.

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