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April 12, 2018

Murder, They Wrote: The New Books We Recommend This Month

Text by Zaral Shah

Verve’s reads for the month will take you on a roller-coaster ride complete with suspense, satire and spellbinding stories

Murder In Seven Acts — Lalli Mysteries
Kalpana Swaminathan
Speaking Tiger
Lalli, the detective and protagonist who was created by the author about two decades ago, has appeared in six novels since. The brainchild of Swaminathan — whose previous works include Bougainvillea House and Ambrosia for Afters, and whose book Venus Crossing won the Vodafone Crossword Fiction Award in 2009 — Lalli has been going strong, solving some of the most complicated cases over the years. Ever so engrossing, the seven stories are a perfect mix of intriguing plots and sharp writing. From a murder to a suicide with hints of foul play, this is a book for everyone with a penchant for mystery.

A Murder On Malabar Hill — Perveen Mistry Investigates
Sujata Massey
Penguin Random House India
In this book, young lawyer Perveen Mistry — who comes from a respected Zoroastrian family — finds herself drawn to examine a case that comes her way while working at her father’s law firm. While fulfilling the will of an affluent Muslim mill owner, Perveen notices that the three widows he left behind have all signed over their inheritance to a charity. The narrative moves interestingly and Massey steers this work of historical fiction finely, pushing the reader to the edge of their seat, with the turn of every page!

Death At The Durbar
Arjun Raj Gaind
Harper Black/Harpercollins India
Set during the British Raj, this is the second book (the first being A Very Pukka Murder) in the Maharaja Mysteries crime trilogy by Gaind — and it keeps you intrigued right through. From beginning to end — starting with Maharaja Sikander Singh of Rajpore being ushered to the king’s camp to solve the murder of Zahra, a nautch girl who seems to have been strangled to death — the book draws you in, making you want to finish it all in one go. With a large pool of suspects to pick from, solving this puzzle is nothing short of a challenge for Sikander whose journey makes for an engaging read.

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