Review: Stellar Signs by Manjiri Prabhu

BY Titiksha Jindal IN A+, General Fiction, Thriller Comments Off on Review: Stellar Signs by Manjiri Prabhu

Stellar Signs

Join Sonia Samarth and her Stellar Investigations Detective Agency, as they confront a rash of baffling misdeeds plaguing the city of Pune and solve them as only they can, with a unique combination of traditional Indian wisdom, modern-day detection and ancient astrology.
After a slow start to the new year, Sonia Samarth’s crime-solving services are in high demand. There is the bride whose arranged marriage may include murderous in-laws, the theatrical team whose death scene was no act, and the deceptively happy couple whose stars foretell domestic danger. Good thing Sonia has her opinionated assistant Jatin to help, except that even he may be caught up in the unlawful fray. Fortunately, it takes more than a few misguided souls, not to mention a preposterous proposal from the world’s most notorious diamond thief, to rattle this yoga-practicing, astrologically inspired sleuth

The protagonist, Sonia Samarth runs her own private detective agency in Pune. Each chapter deals with a different case that Sonia cracks using astrology, something not explored before in Indian English writing. Stellar Signs picks up from where Cosmic Clues had left off. Sonia is at her best with Nidhi purring happily in a corner, Mohnish trying to make Sonia accept her love for him and Jatin, being the bossy assistant that he always was. Nidhi, Sonia’s pet cat, whose moods are captured by Prabhu impeccably actually forms an important peg in the story.

Like Cosmic Clues, this too has an alternative story running in the background, which not only keeps the reader glued to book but also adds to the drama and suspense. The writing is good. The author knows exactly how to build up suspense. In addition, the way Sonia catches the culprits is so innovative that you cannot wait for her to get another case.

All cases, be it the demise of a music guru or the theft of antiques, are so unique in the way the plot builds up, that reader feels mesmerized with the fresh writing. If your heart reaches out to Vidya, a victim of dowry death, Sonia’s next case about two lovers dying on stage leaves you stunned.

Being an avid reader of mystery novels and murder mystery movies and TV series, one normally ends up predicting correctly what the plot twist would be. However, just when you think you know what the plot twist is, something happens which leaves you completely awestruck. The author very cleverly bends the story in such a way that you end up thinking ‘it’s so obvious who the culprit is’ and then BAM! what happens next completely leaves you in awe of the author’s exceptional creativity. Prabhu’s meticulous description of people and places transports the reader to the scene of actions.

‘Stellar Signs’ is definitely a good read cutting across all ages. Waiting eagerly for the next book in the series.

Titiksha Jindal
Titiksha is an eighteen year old who is proud of the fact that she is the only Titiksha Jindal on Facebook. Her love for reading started when she issued Secret Seven in fourth grade on seeing the colorful cover and hasn’t looked back since. Reading under the blankets with a torch has led to her poor eyesight, but meeting the love of her life in Harry Potter more than made up for it. She also loves to watch movies at home instead of cinema halls.

Her favourite genres are mystery and fantasy fiction, but she’s not a big fan of philosophical books probably because she knows whats good for her and refuses to do so anyway. An aspiring Chartered Accountant, she is also doing B.Com Hons.

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