Saturday, August 30, 2014

#BookReview: Under Delhi by Sorabh Pant

On the jacket:

With his hilarious flair and blatant voice, Sorabh Pant writes about a girl’s tribulations with the issues of sexual assault and rape in Delhi. As wise politicians and holymen will soon tell you, girls who are raped are merely “asking for it”. They wear skimpy clothes and eat fast food and chow mein, all of which add to their sexual vibes. Women need to take care of how they dress in public, and to do this they may need to ask a certain president’s son for fashion advice. After all, he is only too willing to offer it for free despite his busy schedule. And, of course, there is always the failsafe. Call your would-be rapist “bhaiya” and he will be filled with brotherly remorse, letting you go free. These are all that any woman in Delhi needs to do to avoid being raped. Or, they could just ignore the words of these wise men and kick men right in the family jewels. Angry with the issues of rape, Tanya Bisht decides to do just that, over and under Delhi.


Under Delhi is Tanya Bisht's story. Tanya is your regular girl who also breaks all stereotypes about girls in general and Delhi girls in particular. She works as a sales execitive with a builder's firm, which takes up most of her time. Yet, at night, she doubles up as a messiah for girls by bringing to justice those men who have wronged women but have been let off by the law. 

Pant is known for her wit. It's will not come as surprise to you that a topic which is not so serious is peppered with the author's wit and sarcasm, which only add up to the story's credibility. This is a man writing about a woman who is cruising the city to punish men who have wronged women. Geddit? It's not as easy for the writer as it may seem. And to top it, the book is crazy hilarious. 

I will refrain from getting into the story and it's details because this is one book I would recommend to all. You will crack up on this humorous take on a very serious issue.

Rating: ****.5/5

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

#BookReview : A Perfect Life by Danielle Steel

On the jacket:

The epitome of intelligence, high-powered energy, and grace, Blaise McCarthy is an icon in the world of television news, asking the tough questions and taking on the emotionally charged issues of world affairs and politics with courage and insight. A single mother, she manages her well-ordered career meticulously, always prepared on the air or interviewing world-renowned figures and heads of state. To her audience, Blaise seems to have it all. But privately, and off the set, there is another untold story she has kept hidden for years.
Blaise’s teenage daughter, Salima, was blinded by Type 1 diabetes in childhood, and her needs have kept her away in a year-round boarding school with full-time medical care and assistance ever since. When Salima’s school closes after a tragedy, Salima returns to her mother’s New York City apartment, and suddenly they face challenges they’ve never had to deal with before, and that Blaise feels ill-equipped to handle. A new caretaker provided by Salima’s school creates as many problems as he solves. Handsome, accomplished, thirty-two-year-old Simon Ward, with strong opinions on every topic, questions how mother and daughter view themselves and each other. Simon opens new doors for both of them and refuses to accept Salima’s physical limitations. He turns their world upside down, and the three become friends.
Then everything starts to unravel and Blaise can’t keep her two worlds separate anymore. A beautiful young anchorwoman is hired at the network; it is no secret that she is being groomed to take Blaise’s place. Her career as she has known it is threatened, and her previously well-ordered life feels totally out of control. For the first time, Blaise’s life is not perfect, but real.
In this unforgettable tale, the incomparable Danielle Steel has written a novel that pulsates with emotion and honesty as three people face the truth about themselves. A Perfect Life is about what we do when facades fall away and we can no longer run from the truth. As old ideas fail, everything changes, and life is suddenly brand-new.


For someone whose favourite author during her teenage years was Danielle Steel, I am a really disappointed reader in my 30s. Even today I would refer her books - Message from Nam, Daddy, Accident, Kaleidoscope and almost every novel I had read back then, to anyone who wants reading suggestions. But coming back to reading her, in the last two-three years, I have only been disappointed. I suppose I no more fall in the age group Steel writes for, but I wish I knew the reason.

Blaise Mc Carthy is world famous for her TV specials; she interviews world leaders, celebs and everyone who is the top in their profession, she herself being on the top of her own. HEr daughter, Salima, is diabetic, blind and lives the life of an invalid, in a school far away. She is dependent for all her chores and is a spoilt brat. When her caretaker dies, Salima is forced to moved in back home. The new caretaker Simon, is out to do everything Blaise and Salima had wanted to prove was not possible - that Salima can be independent. And he does make them see the point.

Romance develops between Blaise and Simon while thanks to him, the mother-daughter relationship takes shape for the first time, and that too in a positive way.

The thing about Steel's novels is that the pattern is same. Strong woman, who has built it all herself, has everything she ever wanted when suddenly her world will collapse which she will slowly pick up, since she is a winner. The repition of this pattern is probably what has become boring now, for someone who has read dozens of her titles. 

Having said so, as a story, this is a decent weekend read. 'Coz, after all, Steel is a good story teller, no doubt.

Rating: ***.5/5

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

#BookReview: Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan by William Dalrymple

On the jacket:

In the spring of 1839 British forces invaded Afghanistan for the first time, re-establishing Shah Shuja on the throne, in reality as their puppet, and ushering in a period of conflict over the territory still unresolved today. In 1842, the Afghan people rose in answer to the call for jihad against the foreign occupiers, and the country exploded into violent rebellion. In what is arguably the greatest military humiliation ever suffered by the West in the East, more than eighteen thousand cold and hungry British troops, Indian sepoys and camp followers retreated through the icy mountain passes, and of the last survivors who made their final stand at the village of Gandamak, only one man, Dr Brydon, made it through to the British garrison at Jellalabad. An entire army of what was then the most powerful military nation in the world was utterly routed by poorly equipped tribesmen. The West's first disastrous entanglement in Afghanistan has clear and relevant parallels with the current deepening crisis today, with extraordinary similarities between what NATO faces in cities like Kabul and Kandahar, and that faced by the British in the very same cities, fighting the very same tribes, nearly two centuries ago. History at its most urgent, The Return of a King is the definitive analysis of the first Afghan war. With access to a whole range of previously undiscovered sources, including crucial new material in Russian, Urdu and Persian, and contemporary Afghan accounts including the autobiography of Shah Shuja himself, prize-winning and bestselling historian William Dalrymple's masterful retelling of Britain's greatest imperial disaster is a powerful and important parable of neo-colonial ambition and cultural collision, folly and hubris, for our times.


Who doesn't love reading a Dalrymple! I sure do! Such a detailed study of a place, masterfully retold. 

When I started reading this book, I realised how less we know about our neighbouring countries. At least, I know very less. Afghanistan isn't exactly a neighbouring country (as much as the others), but it is a neighbour all right. A neighbour we hear and read a lot about. If you are a Bengali, you must have heard tales of the Kabuliwallahs travelling all the way from Kabul to Bengal, carrying dry fruits from their countries, to sell in India. Their stories have a mystical essence as well as a whole new world out there, to explore through the tales.

Return Of a King has in-depth account of the first Anglo-Afghan war, with Dalrymple presenting facts researched from Afghan, Indian and Russian archives. How Shah Shujah, who was ousted from his position, manipulates the British and gains his place on the Afghan throne. A story of the first 19th centure British invasion in Afghanistan; while it is basically a recount of the history, it is also a gripping novel. 

Best thing about this book is that a reader can literally jump into this thick, hard bound book of pure history of no worries about gaining incorrect knowledge of the history, because it's a Dalrymple book! And trust him to bring boring history back to life. Vivid sketches of recount of incidents, wars and invasions that happened decades ago are stated in a brilliant way, making them alive. A brilliant read, no doubt.

Rating: *****/5

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

#BookReview : Private India by James Patterson, Ashwin Sanghi

On the jacket:

In Mumbai seemingly unconnected people are dying, strangled in a chilling ritual and with strange objects carefully arranged with the corpses. For Santosh Wagh, head of Private India, the Mumbai branch of the world’s finest investigation agency, it's a race against time to stop the killer striking again. In a city of over thirteen million, hed have his work cut out at the best of times but this case has him battling Mumbai's biggest ganglord and a godman who isn't all he seems and then he discovers there may be an even greater danger facing Private India. Hidden in the shadows is someone who could destroy the whole organisation along with thousands of innocent Mumbai citizens.


I'd read Ashwin Sanghi's Chanakya's Chant and marvelled at how well-researched the book was. From being a snob who looked away from the Indian fiction section, to now being someone who is experimenting with reading Indian authors, weeding out the average authors while I stock up on books by authors I would want to refer to others. Sanghi is one such author. I want people to read him. I am also a fan of Patterson’s Alex Cross series.

Private India is James Patterson's collaboration with Ashwin Sanghi. There are a series of murders in the city that never sleeps, Mumbai. The murders seem to be connected and the killer is leaving clues which are not adding up, while they also give the hint that the killer wants attention.

Santosh Wagh is the man on the case. He is the Indian head of Private and his boss is of course, Jack Morgan. The city’s police force is overworked, so happily hands over the investigation to a private investigating company as long they get credit for the result.

Private is an investigative agency, private of course, and is headed by an ex-CIA agent, Jack Morgan. It has branches all over the world, including India. In India, it's in Mumbai. Santosh Wagh is an investigator armed with a bottle of whiskey, in which he tries to drown his troubled past.  He has his team; the best there are in the industry.

The story is gripping, no doubt. As is expected in murder mysteries, as soon as you as a reader start thinking you have solved the case, you turn a page and you are rudely thrown off the track. Only to start picking on the new clues and to solve the whodunit, alongside the pages that you are turning. But I would have liked this better had been it a one author book. Of course, the mythological research comes from Sanghi and the pace is Patterson’s. I wish I could say the collaboration has made it a splendid read. Most of Patterson’s Private books that I have read have given me the same feeling, why the collaboration. Now, I am saying this purely from a reader’s point of view, a reader who is a fan of both the authors equally.

This is not a book I can compare with either writer's independent books. The story is an unputdownable page turner. The short chapters make it more gripping, each chapter ending at a note where the author is left wondering, and their mind racing to see if they can finish the puzzle.

I won’t say I am disappointed. ‘Coz this is a good story. The end was unexpected and the way the plot was woven was smooth and practiced. There however remains a doubt that maybe, just maybe it could have been better had this been written by a single author?  There is Mumbai. There are multiple murders which need to be solved. There are two brilliant authors. And, there is a fast paced novel they both have written. No reason why one shouldn't read it!

Rating: ****/5

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

#BookReview : Catching the Departed (Andy Karan, #1) by Kulpreet Yadav

On the jacket:

The dead don’t speak. But sometimes they leave a trail. Andy Karan, an investigative journalist, is tasked to probe one such – the death of a local lawyer. He ends up grievously wounded. His new found love Monica’s life is in danger too. It’s not that Andy wants to live for ever. But to die at the hands of enemies of the nation will be a shame that will transcend even death.


Catching The Departed is the first in the Andy Karan series by Kulpreet Yadav. Andy is an army man who is now an investigative journalist, his task being unearthing the mystery behind the death of a local lawyer. What starts as a death of a lawyer transcends to levels least expected and unearth hidden plots Andy was not prepared for. 

Set in Mumbai and Murud Janjira, Yadav has done a fine job in putting together this thriller. Characters are well defined and ones we can relate too. Though the plot didn't have anything new per se, it is ideal for a Bollywood movie.

A page-turner, Catching The Departed  has been written in simple yet effective manner. The plot flows smoothly, and one is compelled to keep turning the pages to know what happens next. All in all, a perfect weekend read.

Rating: ***.5/5

[This is an author request review. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Einstein Pursuit by Chris Kuzneski releases on September 16, 2014

Chris Kuzneski's book The Einstein Pursuit is due for release early next month. Presenting to you the synopsis and the first chapter of this book, along with links to contact him. My review to the book can be read here.

The Einstein Pursuit
Chris Kuzneski 


Working in secret, an acclaimed group of scientists has developed a radical new approach to modern medicine that could change everything we know about the human body and its limitations. But such knowledge does not come without risk. When their laboratory in Stockholm is attacked, it becomes clear that someone will stop at nothing to keep this research from reaching the masses.   As more details come to light, Interpol director Nick Dial realizes that the bombing in Sweden has exposed a hidden collective of the world’s greatest minds. What’s more, this group has been operating in the shadows for more than a century. What have they learned during all that time? And why would someone want them dead? Jonathon Payne and David Jones soon find themselves drawn into the mystery. On a collision course with the man behind the massacre, the duo must follow the history of scientific discovery in order to stop a villain determined to use modern advancements to create his own vision of the future—a future where he alone controls who lives and dies.   
Bursting with action, suspense and humor, THE EINSTEIN PURSUIT is Chris Kuzneski at his very best.   

For release on September 16, 2014


Chapter 1


Present Day

Monday, July 22

Stockholm, Sweden

The lab was packed with many of the brightest minds in their field, all focused on a secret project that would change mankind forever.
In a matter of seconds, they would all be dead.
Of course, none of them knew why they had been called to the facility in the middle of the night. Most had assumed a major breakthrough had occurred, and they had been brought in for a historic announcement that simply could not wait until morning.
Instead, they had been summoned to their slaughter.
The assault had started hours earlier, long before the researchers were misled. Guards had been killed. Locks had been breached. Specimens had been located and stolen. All had been done with a surgical precision the scientists might have appreciated under different circumstances—circumstances that wouldn’t lead to their deaths.
Dr. Stephanie Albright was the last to arrive at the sprawling warehouse. Not because she was running late, but because she had the farthest to drive and was on the verge of exhaustion. Over the past few months, she had averaged less than four hours of sleep per day, a figure that included the naps she took when she was on the verge of passing out in the lab. But she never complained. Neither did the others. They knew how important their project was, and they were willing to forgo food and sleep if it meant reaching their goal a little bit sooner.
Tonight, they would give up more than that.
They would sacrifice their lives.
Albright rushed into the lobby and took the elevator to the third floor. She was so lost in her thoughts she failed to notice the vacant guard station. And the blank security monitors. And all the other things that weren’t quite right. Most important, she overlooked the man in the boat who had watched her every move from the calm waters of Riddarfjärden Bay.
He had waited seventeen minutes for Albright’s arrival.
It was time to finish the job.
His detonator was a state-of-the-art transmitter. It was capable of igniting multiple devices from up to one thousand meters away. Explosives had been placed throughout the warehouse near load-bearing walls and columns. His goal was to collapse the floors, one after another, with no time for escape. A smoldering coffin of steel and concrete for those trapped inside.
The assassin smiled at the thought.
He had killed many times before, but never so many at once.
This would be his masterpiece.
With the touch of a button, the charges erupted with so much force he felt it in the bay. Chunks of stone and shards of glass filled the air before crashing to the earth like hail. Columns cracked and walls crumbled as the warehouse screamed in pain. Amplified by the water, the deafening roar forced him to cover his ears, but he refused to cover his eyes.
The show was just getting started.
Acetone is commonly used in laboratories around the world to clean scientific instruments. Most of the time, it is stored in polyethylene plastic containers, but this particular lab was equipped with a customized delivery system that would pump the acetone throughout the building to a multitude of cleaning stations. This setup required large drums of acetone to be housed in the upper floors of the building.
The assassin knew this and used it to his advantage.
To cover his tracks and to prevent survivors, he had rigged the barrels of acetone to rupture from the initial force of the blast. The flammable liquid rained down on the destruction below. Within seconds, the fumes ignited and a flash fire occurred. Flames swept through the warehouse like a blistering flood, killing everyone in their wake. The heat from the blaze was so intense that bodies and evidence literally melted.
Like a crime scene crematorium.
On most jobs, he preferred to work alone. But that wasn’t the case tonight. This project was far too complex for a single cleaner, even someone with his experience. To pull this off, he needed the help of a local team—men to do the lifting and the drilling and the grunt work.
Men to do the things he didn’t have time to do.
Men who were expendable.
He had thanked them for their service with gunfire.
Then he had left them to burn with everyone else.
About Chris Kuzneski  

CHRIS KUZNESKI is the international bestselling author of The Einstein Pursuit, The Hunters, The Death Relic, The Secret Crown, The Prophecy, The Lost Throne, Sword of God, Sign of the Cross, and The Plantation. His thrillers have been published in more than twenty languages and are sold in more than forty countries. Chris grew up in Pennsylvania and currently lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida where he will probably die alone because he spends way too much time writing and watching sports.   
Connect With Chris   
·         Website: 
·         Twitter: 

#BookReview: The Turning Point edited by Nikita Singh

On the jacket:

The Turning Point features stories by some of the best young Indian writers, each contributing a distinct tang to this interesting cocktail. The collection explores multiple emotions, ranging from nostalgia to obsession, the feeling of first love to that of delusion, from doubt to self-belief and from resignation to hope.  Eight stories, eight spirited young writers--and a must-read book that doesn't just make you smile and think at the same time, but also brings you closer to the joy of reading and the craft of writing.


An anthology of stories by some of the authors I have loved reading before and a few I haven't read earlier, put together and edited by Nikita Singh, The Turning Point has a pot pouri of good stories. The stories are by  Nikita Singh, Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, Durjoy Datta , Judy Balan, Harsh Snehanshu, Shoma Narayanan, Parinda Joshi, and Atulya Mahajan.

The book starts with Raghavan's Insert A Carrot. I have read reviews of this story where it has been trashed. I fail to understand why. In my opinion, this is a brilliant piece of work. One needs to be patient the first 2-3 pages and witness the story fulfill but can you imagine a story being written out of only, I repeat, only a conversation between two friends. Only dialogues, no explanations. Two best friends, Anushka and Maya, start talking when Anushka realises there is a spelling mistake in Maya's tattoo. From here, the conversation travels across time, topics and emotions all in the span of probably an hour, at the most. A brilliant story to start reading an anthology with.

Dutta's The English Teacher is a story about a teenage school boy and his obsession with his English teacher, which crosses all limits. The story has been construed in a smooth manner, events unfolding one by one, revealing the plot yet not revealing it altogether. I had imagined the end in the first few pages, but then got fooled into believing otherwise, only to have the climax thrown at me as a surprise. Loved it.

I've always been Balan's fan, be it her books or be it her blog. I read her with relish. The Return Of The (Original) Vampire is a bit different from her usual tales but her style of writing is so fine, she does a commendable job here as well. Shoma Narayanan's The X-Boss and Parida Joshi's The Unlikely Accomplice were nice reads. Harsh Snehanshu's Summer Showers is a different sort of love story, though it didn't appeal to me much. If you are a sucker for young love stories, this would be your story. Atulya Mahajan's The U-Turn was probably a page out of the lives of a lot of young couples, trying to balance the career graph and their families. A fine story. 

A well-edited book, Nikita Singh did a good job with her story A Whispered Prayer too. Heart touching and sensitive, the plot is very well spun and a story made out of what is truly happening to many women across India. Only if every such girl found a partner as caring as Anjali did.

Rating: ****/5

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

#BookReview: Happily Murdered by Rasleen Syal

On the jacket:

The radiant new daughter-in-law of the influential Mehta family dies mysteriously on the very next night of her wedding. The murder is an inside job, the police are certain. It could be anyone, the adulterous husband, conniving in-laws, jealous friend and the love struck ex-fiance. With an aim to save themselves and incriminate others, it is not long before these suspects turn into amateur detectives, hunting for clues and delving into hidden secrets only they can unearth. They coerce, pry and blackmail in an attempt to get to the bottom of this mystery.   Will one of these nine unlikely sleuths finally unravel the mystery behind Gulab's death and avenge it? Or will the truth die as viciously as Gulab?


I love mystery authors, and have a special soft corner for them. Mystery novels challenge the reader's mind in ways unimaginable; a good mystery story is a tale which lingers in the reader's mind for a while after putting the book aside. Agatha Christie is my favourite mystery novel writer, no doubt. The idea of reading a book written by one of her fans was interesting in itself.

I picked up Happily Murdered.... with a lot of expectations. I follow Syal's facebook page and going by the posts there, I knew she means business when telling a mystery tale. 

So, Gulab Sarin is dead. The morning after her wedding to Sid Mehta. Suspects are the Mehtas and the Dullas who were all staying at the venue. We have Biji - Sid's grandmother, his parents, his two brothers - Vikram and Yuvi, his sister-in-law Monica and her siblings, the twins Ned and Sara Dulla. Also in the house were six servants and Vikram & Monica's twins - Jack & Jill. Every family member, except the kids were suspects. Yuvi was Gulab's best friend. Rest every adult of the two families had reasons to kill Gulab. Ned was engaged to Gulab and Sara to Sid before the engagements broke and Gulab and Sid decided to get married. However, Sara gets arrested because the initial clues point to her. Later, Sid's father finds out that Gulab had left all her money to Sid making him a fresh suspect.

Each member has to prove themselves innocent and is trying to find the real culprit. The climax unfolds, keeping the readers on their toes. A very unexpected climax, this takes the mystery to another level altogether. A brilliant end. Characters are very well defined and the plot unfolds like butter sliding on a hot, flat surface. Sizzling slightly, and leaving a trail. I would call the book unputdownable, something that happens rarely while reading fiction by Indian authors these days, that too a debut author. Syal is definitely an author to look out for.

Rating: *****/5

[This was an author request review. However, the views expressed are my own and honest representations of the reading experience.]

Thursday, August 14, 2014

#BookReview: When Mr. Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan

On the jacket:

Dylan Mint has Tourette’s. For Dylan, life is a constant battle to keep the bad stuff in – the swearing, the tics, the howling dog that escapes whenever he gets stressed. And, as a sixteen-year-old virgin and pupil at Drumhill Special School, getting stressed is something of an occupational hazard.   But then a routine visit to the hospital changes everything. Overhearing a hushed conversation between the doctor and his mother, Dylan discovers that he's going to die next March.   So he grants himself three parting wishes: three ‘Cool Things To Do Before I Cack It’.  It isn’t a long list, but it is ambitious, and he doesn't have much time. But as Dylan sets out to make his wishes come true, he discovers that nothing – and no-one – is quite as he had previously supposed.  A story about life, death, love, sex and swearing, When Mr Dog Bites will take you on one *#@! of a journey . . .


Even though these days grown ups read a lot of YA fiction, I am not particularly fond of this genre. I have lliked maybe 1 or 2, but those were really good. When Mr. Dog Bites is different. Superbly different. YA fiction this might be, but it has a heart and a soul.

We have Dylan Mint, a 16 years old but not one bit your average teen. At one point of time, he thought he is going to die in a few months. So, with very less time left to live, he plans his life. And what happens really. A phenomenal tale with humour and a lot of heartfelt stages, this story is about Dylan who has the most hilarious outburts. His best friend Amit is autistic and is extremely adorable.

Dylan is a character easy to love but difficult to forget. He is adorable, someone you would want to keep for yourself. Dylan and Amir's friendship is cute and their school life interesting and relatable. 

Rating: *****/5

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

#BookReview: Dead in a Mumbai Minute (Reema Ray #2) by Madhumita Bhattacharyya

On the jacket:

A private island, a bottle of ridiculously expensive wine, a late-night party hosted by a glamorous diva … for Reema Ray, this is not a taste of the good life -- it’s a matter of life or death.   As a private detective in Calcutta she had impressed maverick security expert Shayak Gupta with her sleuthing skills, leading to a new job with his firm Titanium. Now in Mumbai she is given the case of the year – the murder of Ashutosh Dhingre, former assistant to fading Bollywood superstar Kimaaya Kapoor.  The location of the crime is Kimaaya’s private island. The suspects – her house guests, and Kimaaya herself!  Reema learns of Kimaaya’s prior relationship with Shayak, and can’t help but think it is a conflict of interest. Equally puzzling is Shayak’s repeated absence. And what of the continuing attraction simmering between her and her secretive boss?   Despite the state-of-the-art facilities at Titanium, Reema is soon back to her own devices – which sometimes involves cooking up something for a spot of culinary meditation – to get to the bottom of a crime that points to a deep and sinister plot.  As the body count increases, can Reema crack the case before more blood is spilled?


Some authors amaze me. I pick up a book skeptically and I am stunned beyond words. Dead in a Mumbai Minute did just that. I understand this is a part of a series and there was a book previous to this, but I had not read it. Regrettably. I said regrettably, for two reasons. One, because I love who-dunnits and this is a very finely crafted story. So the first one would have been smashing too. Secondly, I was at a loss in a few places. Events or memories which were being carried on from the first book made little sense to me and I had to halt.

Having said that, let me tell what I loved the most about Dead in a Mumbai Minute. We have Reema, our protagonist, joining Shayak Gupta's sleuth service firm, Titanium. Only, Titanium is much more than just sleuth service. The author has delved into the description of how such a firm could or would be and let me tell you, it fascinated me a lot. Yes, yes, I have dreamt of being in the FBI once upon a time, at age 6. So you can imagine, the minute details of such an agency captured my attention. This, coupled with a mystery, some romance, some tension and a sinister plot, this story is a winner. 

Former assistant of a fading superstar gets killed in an island owned by the superstar. The house guests and the superstar herself are the suspects. Peppered with few excepted and few unexpected events, Dead in a Mumbai Minute is quite a gripping read.

Rating: ****/5
[This review is for Pan Macmillan India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

#BookReview : The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen

On the jacket:

Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother - Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid - was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea's uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea's 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother's guard - each pledged to defend the queen to the death - arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding...  And so begins her journey back to her kingdom's heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother's legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea's story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance - it's about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive...


A book I was curious about since the time I had heard about it, The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen didn't let me down. In a very fairy tale-ish manner, our protagonst Kelsea Glynn was sent to live away, and returns to her kingdom only when she is nineteen. Along with Lazarus, she saves her people, her countrymen from the evil clutches of the Red Queen. Life isn't as easy as it sounds, for Kelsea. 

Kelsea got on my nerves many a times. She is real, born to be a queen but is your average teenager full of herself.
The cast is fairly large and the author has done a good job in maintaining them all, and their plots. 

The main antagonist, the Red Queen of Mortmesne, is could hve been more developed. One doesnt really understand her point of view until the very end.

Rating: ***.5/5
[This review is for Random House India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

#BookReview : The Shrine of Death by Divya Kumar

On the jacket:  Prabha Sinha, an IT professional in Chennai, is plunged into a murky world of idol theft, murder, and betrayal aft...