Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review: Love Potion Number 10: A Jana Bibi Adventure by Betsy Woodman

On the jacket:

In the newest Jana Bibi adventure from Betsy Woodman, Jana, Mr. Ganguly, and the gang are back as their small town in India is rocked by an espionage scandal and a homemade remedy that has love on everyone’s mind

The Jolly Grant House still welcomes all its visitors with the sign Jana Bibi’s Excellent Fortunes hanging proudly outside its front door. Jana’s fortune-telling has brought a lot of attention to the small town of Hamara Nagar, and now that the dust has settled and the town is safe from the threat of being flooded by a government dam, all eyes are on the Scottish-born card-reader Jana and her feisty, loose-beaked parrot, Mr. Ganguly. Some people, though, are not to be trusted, and Mr. Ganguly finds himself the target of a potential kidnapping that puts Jana and her household on edge.

Meanwhile, love is in the air and, thanks to Abenath’s Apothecary, it’s also in a bottle. Abenath has created an intoxicating brew that he calls Love Potion Number 10, which seems to have Jana in a tizzy. While she explores her newest hobby, dream interpretation, her head is swimming with questions: Is a new love possible at age fifty-nine? If so, would she ever marry again? All around her she sees different kinds of love and connection—family, arranged marriages, chemical attractions, even intercontinental romance between people who have only met through letters—so when an old flame arrives and rekindles long-gone feelings, Jana begins to think that Love Potion Number 10 just might be the magic elixir its inventor thinks it is.


Have you read Enid Blyton as a child? If you have, you would recall how her stories about imaginary places, with endearing characters, pets with funny names, interesting characters and tales which you simple have to read from cover to cover? Yes? Betsy Woodman is Blyton writing for grownups, but with the same magical touch to her tales. Woodman's book was so impressive, I simply had to compare her to my favourite author, to just explain how much I love reading her!

This was my second read by Woodman, Jana Bibi’s Excellent Fortunes being the first. I had loved the former and reading Love Potion No 10 was but an obvious decision. This book talks about Jana and her staff, along with her pet witness people of the village, Hamara Nagar, an imaginary place up north, survive a scandal (an espionage). 

If you loved the previous book, you will adore this one. Even if you haven't read the previous book, you will adore it. Woodman has a definite charm which she weaves into her books. While reading Woodman's books, one is transported to Hamara Nagar and a few pages into the stories, you are a part of the tale!

A quick, fun read with eccentric characters, a mystery, love potions, attempts of bird-napping, car chases and everything to keep you glued to your seat, grinning with glee. 

Review: ****.5/5

[This review is for Random House India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

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