Who killed Gulab Sarin?
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?
~Synopsis from goodreads
In her introduction to this book (her début novel), the author Rasleen Syal pays her respects to Agatha Christie and counts her as a source of inspiration.
So going by that introduction, I went into this book looking for a taut closed room mystery in the style of the Dame herself. And Rasleen Syal delivers, for the most part.
Overall the book was a quick read and I finished it in one sitting. The plot is well-written and well-developed. There are suspects galore, and tons of red herrings, all the characters have something or the other to hide. Basically, everything that makes a murder mystery perfect.
I also loved how the murder victim’s character and personality is brought through her own voice and through the lenses of the different people who knew her and had a motive to kill her.
If there’s one thing this book lacks, it is a charismatic detective, but I guess the author was being a little realistic taking the Indian setting into account (Indian police are notorious for fumbling the most basic police investigations – the latest being the infamous rape case in Bangalore where they arrested one person and then couple of days later arrested two other people for the crime).
There is very little gore, so I would classify this book as one of those cozy mysteries. This is a book that can be read even by people who are put off by gory murder scenes.[title maintitle=”” subtitle=”Spoiler Alert”]
I didn’t like the ending. I thought it was a damp squib when you consider how well the book is developed overall. However, I did go back to the beginning of the book and checked that there was a big fat hint right in the beginning of the book, and I had missed it. So, yes, the author succeeded in surprising me with the way she developed the story. I do wish the ending was a little more dramatic maybe?
Huge thanks to the author for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.