A Mysterious Death at Sainik Farms


A Mysterious Death at Sainik Farms by Rukmani Anandani

When Ugrasen drops dead at No22 Sainik Farms, his niece Anjali is horrified, upset and confused. Though only fourteen years old, she knows something is amiss. Healthy Punjabi businessmen don’t just expire. And just that evening there had been talk of a consignment of rubies.

In search of the truth Anjali seeks help. Knocking on Private Investigator Ganapati Iyer’s door is her first smart move. It’s now up to the inimitable Ganapati and his North Indian namesake Vinayak to get to the bottom of the bizarrely perpetrated murder.

It’s an odd and interesting collaboration, with Vinayak perpetually wanting to upgrade Ganapati’s skills with the ladies and the gifted South Indian quoting couplets from the Tirukural for Vinayak’s benefit.

The real question is will this improbable duo succeed in solving Ganapati Iyer’s first case involving a very mysterious death at Sainik Farms

~Synopsis from Good Reads

This book is a short whodunnit in the classic mystery style made famous by the likes of Agatha Christie and such. The story is fairly straight-forward. A dominating patriarch Ugrasen is found dead, and very quickly it becomes obvious that he has been murdered, and that the murderer must be one of the people in the house – a classic closed-door mystery.

The two detectives must then search for clues, interview all the suspects, and close in on the killer. There are a few red herrings thrown in, and enough suspects to suspect.

However, I must admit that I guessed the killer within the first few chapters itself, which was just too big a bummer. Maybe I have read way too many whodunnits, but in my opinion the author could have created a little confusion to complicate things a little more. A couple of additional murders that throw suspicion a little more generally may have done the trick.

Apart from the murder mystery itself, I liked the settings and the characters. The detectives Ganapati and Vinayak are charming characters and have the potential to star in their own series (provided the plot is stronger).

Overall, I liked the writing and the story is pleasant. It’s a good book, but somehow missed the potential to become an even better one. In spite of these drawbacks, I like this book, it shows a lot of promise, and I definitely want to try future books in this series (if that’s the plan).

Thanks to the author Rukmani Anandani and Rupa Publications for sending me this book in return for an honest review.

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