On the jacket:
A hundred-year-old stage steeped in tradition. Six contestants with a world to gain and everything to lose. Three judges who stand between them and their dreams. It is October in Shimla. The air is crisp, the mist is rising and the stakes are sky-high as the finalists of India's No. 1 reality cooking show, Hot Chef, are pitted against each other in a live shoot at the historic Gaiety Theatre. The spices are ground, the fires are lit, the knives have been sharpened? Then things start to go horribly wrong. As she picks her way through a maze of testimonies and motives, Shimla's Superintendent of Police, Niki Marwah, is more determined than ever to get to the bottom of a perplexing mystery - a mystery that this time around is dangerously close to her heart.
This was my first read of any of Swati Kaushal's books and I am now going to hunt down all her other titles, to read. I love whodunnits and more, if the author is a woman. Yes, yes, I am a die-hard Christie fan.
Lethal Spice not only has a very interesting cover, but if you open the book, what you see will surprise you! A small packet of spices with a pinch full of this can be lethal written on it! Intriguing, isn't it? There is more. The story is set in the mountains, in Shimla and our sleuth is a lady! Woohoo! I understand this is a sequel to another book, though I am yet to read it.
A reality television show, a cookery show named Hot Chef has reached it's final stages and the story begins where we have the six finalists readying themselves for the win. Superintendent Niki Marwaha has in her time at Shimla, managed to bring down to crime rate drastically and things are more or less peaceful now.
The contestants of Hot Chef are dishing out one brilliant dish after another, while, parallely somebody is planning something sinister. A very creative and fresh plot, very well defined characters and situations, and an absolute page-turner, Hot Chef was a fast paced, surprise book. A brilliant mystery story, every situation is such described that you will feel like an audience to the proceedings of the story.
[This review is for Hachette India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]