Novels in the series –
All that Glitters (short story – kindle edition)
About the Detective –
Niki Marwah, as the Superintendent of Police is in charge of maintaining the law and order of Shimla. At 5ft 6inches, this razor-sharp minded investigator loves her stilettos as much as she enjoys chasing down criminals. When she is not dodging marriage proposals from her mother , she finds herself meeting men set up by her best friend Kamini aka Kam who understands how intimidating a woman in uniform can turn out to be for future prospects. When a body is discovered at the Sonargram cable car base, SP Marwah along with her team consisting of Inspector Gupta from the crime branch, the veteran Inspector Pande and the new recruit ASP Shankar Sahay start investigating the death of the 37-year-old Rakesh Mehta aka Rak – President, and CEO of a publishing firm. As the highly competent cop and her team start delving into the details of the death, involved parties start getting exposed and the truth of the events turn out to be different from they are presumed to be. During the course of the investigation, she also runs into Captain Ram Mathur, a close friend of the murdered CEO and despite the development of a budding romance, a sudden discovery of past relationships lands him in the list of suspects. This action-packed thriller takes a reader through multiple twists and turns before revealing the identity of the killer.
In her second book, ‘Lethal Spice’, the author creates six contestants battling for the title of the winner in a reality cooking show ‘Hot Chef’. When one of the three judges is found dead, SP Marwah, who is more confident and self-assured now, is in charge of solving the case. Along with her team including the previously mentioned ‘cheeky and witty’ Inspector Sahay, Marwah travels to Mumbai and Goa in search of the backstory of the contestants and what might have prompted one of them to take to the route to murder. This book is a perfect example of an author building every character of her novel with minute attention to details while creating a gripping plot filled with uncertainty and drama.
While the first book in the Niki Marwah series had humor and subtle romance intertwined with the element of mystery and suspense, the second novel focuses more on the functioning of the mind of a killer and his/her methodologies. Both the books are engaging and keep the reader at tenterhooks.
My bookish connection –
I read Swati Kaushal’s ‘A piece of cake’ way back in 2006. It had become a book so close to my heart that I had chosen to keep a track of the writing journey of one of my favorite authors as well. I remember purchasing ‘Drop Dead’ through Flipkart on the second day of the book going live for ordering. It took me three hours to finish this book and four-and-a-half hours to finish her second novel. Both these books have managed to keep the readers guessing until the climax. The details with which the author has managed to portray the functioning inclusive of corruption, bureaucracy and hierarchy of the police force is quite commendable. It was refreshing to find a capable and nonchalant female protagonist on the side of the law heading a team, cracking mysteries and smashing gender stereotypes. It also needs to be mentioned that the author has managed to maintain a fine balance of the feminine aspects of SP Marwah with her tough act as a policewoman. It would be a delight to watch Niki Marwah on screen while I also hope that the author has plans to continue writing more books in this gripping series.
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This is the 7th post in my ‘Favorite Indian Detectives’ series. You can check my first post on Feluda, the second post on Mehrunisa, the third post on Vish Puri, the fourth post on Byomkesh, the fifth post on Inspector Gowda and the sixth post on Janardan Maity.
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