Book Review: The Cosmic Clues

the-cosmic-cluesMeet Sonia Samarth, a private investigator with a twist – she solves cases uses Hindu astrology as a crime solving tool. Within a day of advertising her services her phone starts ringing non-stop. Of course, there are a lot of calls from people asking her if she is an astrologer and can help them with their family problems! But soon enough, a cat leads Sonia to her first murder case. Combining investigative techniques with the secrets revealed by people’s birth charts, Sonia unmasks the murder with ease. Soon, the cases start pouring in, and Sonia’s little investigative agency takes off.

One name that keeps popping up is that of The Owl – an international criminal who has evaded capture. The police don’t know who he is or what he looks like, but his path seems to have crossed Sonia’s and he has his own plans for her future.

The premise of the book is quite interesting and rather unique, and the cases that Sonia solves are quite interesting too.

Sonia’s style of solving cases is reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple – she uses her sharp observation, combines it with astrology, and then unveils the case once it is solved. Sonia’s character is also the most well-defined one. She’s strong-willed, observant, and needs loud music and dance to clear her mind and get clues into focus. Her assistant Jatin loves his food, is devoted and in awe of Sonia, and unwilling to take a single day off from work because he doesn’t want to miss out on any of the mysteries. Then there’s Monish, a TV journalist who had come to interview Sonia about her unique skills, and ends up becoming her friend. He seems to follow her around wherever she goes. And then there’s a Secret Admirer in the mix – a mysterious person who sends her a large bouquet of flowers almost every day!

The cases are quite interesting too, and some of them have excellent twists. There’s one where the victim turns out to be the mastermind behind a sinister plot, another where a murdered man comes back to life, and a third where a person who seemingly cannot walk or move around manages to commit murder – all of them are quite interesting and have very believable scenarios.

Where the book comes up short, for me, is the lack of connection between the cases. It just reads like a bunch of mysteries put together that Sonia solves effortlessly, which is also rather strange. And though references to The Owl come up from time to time, he himself doesn’t make an appearance until the tail end of the book. Perhaps she has set it up this way so that she can take it forward in the sequel. If that’s the case, it should, hopefully, make an even more interesting read.

And then there’s my pet peeve – the language. While it’s not completely horrible, it isn’t flawless either. It has its stumbling blocks, but luckily, it doesn’t really hold back from the story.

Overall, I’d say if you find the premise of the novel interesting, you could give it a whirl.

Title: The Cosmic Clues
Author: Manjari Prabhu
Publisher: Jaico Books
Pages: 315
Genre: Fiction/ Mysteries and Thrillers
Rating: 3 of 5
Reviewed for: Publisher

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