Sonia Samarth, a beautiful, intelligent young woman with a bent for investigating, decides to set up her own detective agency in the bustling city of Pune, India. Not only is this an unusual career choice for an Indian woman, but it is also remarkable because Sonia brings her impeccable flair for astrology to this otherwise very logic-oriented career. With her young and enthusiastic assistant Jatin and the good auspices of an adorable cat named Nidhi who adopts Sonia, their fledgling agency gets off a wobbly start.
Customers initially come with a great deal of skepticism but to their amazement, leave with spectacular results for Sonia’s unique combination of astrology and good old-fashioned detecting unfailingly brings results. Time after time, Sonia is called upon to investigate the bizarre, the ordinary and the unlawful. Each time, combining her astute and innate deductive ability with some footwork and her excellent and analytical reading of the horoscopes of the people involved, she solves the case and unmasks the true culprit each and every time no matter how difficult the case or apparently obvious.
Manjiri Prabhu’s tale of a young Indian female detective solving cases with the help of astrology strikes the right balance between the logical and the whimsical, the mysterious and the fantastic. As such the book is simply irresistible and compels the readers to rapidly flip the pages to discover how Sonia Samarth, the talented and somewhat eccentric young detective, solves case after bizarre case. Prabhu makes good use of Sonia’s investigations that take her across the length and breadth of the historic city of Pune, India, to provide scenic descriptions that make this traditional and growing city come alive.
The author also highlights the depth, subtle nuances and traditions of the Hindu religion as well as the somewhat opposing Eastern and Western influences that somehow coexist harmoniously in Indian culture and its effects on young Indians, all through her able protagonist. The series of small cases that populate this novel appear simple enough but are suitably twisted to keep even the ardent mystery-lover in suspense. A growing romantic interest and a continuous running thread of a criminal mastermind ensure that this is one book that readers will not want to miss!