Thursday, August 14, 2014

#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.]

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