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Book Name : A Closetful of Skeletons

Author Name : Tanushree Podder

Published By : HarperCollins

                                                                         A whodunit with a twist!

The book begins with Subroto Sen, a film director, Sameer Kelkar, a politician, Vikram Ahuja, a fading star, Arif Khan, a don, Rohan Sharma, a struggling model and star all receiving a telephonic invitation to attend a birthday party in the hills. First they refuse, but eventually they all decide to attend the party, the lure being a certain ‘announcement’ that a lady is about to make.

The lady is Ramola, a reigning star of her times, who had disappeared not only from the silver screen but tinsel town itself. The reclusive star’s rise to fame was as sudden as was her disappearance. As all the five men have a role to play in her life and now that she is about to launch her memoirs, she wants to break the news to them, hence the invitation. The autobiography will reveal her connection with the mafia don, her affair with a renowned director, an ambitious politician, a superstar, and the eventual heartbreaks that has caused pain and anger.

The stage is set, Ramola makes the announcement and a night later she is murdered, which undoubtedly had been provoked by her announcement. From here on the ‘the whodunit’ tale is taken over by Ramola's neighbour, retired army officer and an amateur sleuth, Colonel Arjun H. Acharya. He has found his first murder to solve. So is he able to solve the case? Is the murderer from among the invited guests? You will have to read the book to know the murderer. And I bet you will be unable to guess who has committed the crime till the end, of that I am sure.

About the author

The author Tanushree Podder, has been one of my favourite authors.  She has written several successful books like Nurjahan's Daughter, Escape from Harem, Boots Belts Berets, On the Double and Solo in Singapore. I have read three of her books but this was a googly …I did not expect a detective story from her. But I am not surprised as she is a self-confessed Agatha Christie fan. I would like to say that she has done a great job! Expecting more from her and now I am waiting to be surprised yet again!

My take

It is a captivating detective story which captured my interest from the very beginning. Soon after the invitation had been sent out even I wanted to know what the announcement was and what consequences it would hold for each of the five men. The author has captured the most classified information from the film world, and pieced it into a well knit story interspersed with dangerous liaison with the underworld and politics, almost like an insider. Similarly, she has described the hill station, the star’s retirement abode, in detail, which quite obviously has an autobiographical tinge.  The contrast of a metro with that of a quite hill station has been captured well. The characters are relatable. The story builds up and finally the murderer is a surprise.

Do pick up the book, you will definitely love it!

Candid Moments