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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Reluctant Detective

When I was chosen by BlogAdda to review the first book written by one of the bloggers I love to read I was thrilled and really looking forward to it. And it definitely lived up to my expectations ! Thank you BlogAdda!

Kiran Manral is one of my favourite mommy bloggers who writes at karmickids. She is a freelance writer and media consultant. She is also the founder of India Helps, a volunteer network which works with disaster victims.

The cover reads "On how a housewife became a murder investigator between being a school-gate mom and her ladies lunches". The main character of the book is Kay (Kanan Mehra) who is a suburban housewife and mom. She is one of the most relatable characters I have ever come across in a book, probably because so many of her thoughts and feelings are things I have gone through too :). From the first chapter where Kay is obsessing about picking out a dress to wear for a party or later in the book where she talks about the importance of her afternoon nap, nearly every page had me smiling at a shared memory.

The normal routine of her early morning walks is rudely interrupted by not one but two murders close to each other, and at nearly the same spot that she walks by every day. As she is one of the first to be questioned by the police and considers herself a busybody and storehouse of information she finds it difficult to accept that she does not know the truth behind the murders.

Enter Runa, a detective friend of Kay's, whom she ropes in to help solve the murders, but little does she expect that she would end up doing a lot of the enquiries and clue-finding herself! At a point when it seems the police has already solved the crimes and she has nothing more to contribute, she still pulls out a few more surprizes leading to an unexpected ending.

All the characters in the book starting with the lady who is first murdered, to the friends and neighbours and maids that Kay spends time with are very believable and well fleshed out. The depiction of Kay's long suffering husband was also another highlight for me, with me trying to get hubby to read passages or even the entire book if possible to get his views on the depictions :).

I loved Kiran's style of writing - it flows well without the staccato style which many new Indian writers seem to adopt. She draws from the daily experiences of marriage and parenting and a lot of the instances will definitely strike a chord with any mommy/daddy readers :).

Though my original point of interest in the book was as a detective thriller, I found it more impactful as a humorous take on slice of life experiences - from the point of view of a suburban dweller, a mom, a housewife, a fighting-that-never-ending-battle-with-flab-but-still-love-to-pile-that-plate-full person. I think that is the biggest strength of this book, and may Kiran write many more such!

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


  1. I've been reading good reviews of the book. Looking fwd to reading it!

  2. Yes you must try it. It is a very relatable book, I think most of our thirty something age group would fel that way too. It was all the more for me because I've been following Kiran's blog for a while, and you know that makes you feel like you know the person really well :).