Rating : 3.5
This book was a lovely cosy read and had many mini-mysteries strung together. The premise is extremely interesting : that horoscopes and Vedic astrology could be used to solve mysteries. I also liked the execution to a large extent. Manjiri’s language has a quaint ,old-worldly feel to it. It’s been written well , and paints a lovely picture of Pune, the city in which the book is set in. The mysteries themselves were pretty intriguing, and while I could a guess a few of them , most were fresh and clever. I liked the fact that Sonia relied on basic gathering of facts and logic as a primary means of solving the mysteries and only relied on astrology to complement her observations in most cases.
Somehow I found Sonia too uptight and really didn’t connect with her. I just found her characterisation too odd ( like the way she dances to get into the ‘mood’ of investigating a crime). This book would have been a 4 star for me if I had found Sonia slightly more likeable. I liked how the author has woven description of festivals in the narrative. It did seem like the book was being targeted at a Non-Indian reader by the words that have been used and the way some Indian stuff have been described. The mystery about the Owl was totally rushed and made me feel a little cheated. I frankly skipped through the parts where Sonia talks about the placement of planets on the horoscopes when she explains the cases.
But , there are so many things that I liked in the book. The book reminded me a lot of Agatha Christie’s writing. Mma Ramotswe popped into my mind several times while reading the book. Will I pick-up the next book in the series? Definitely! If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, this book isn’t for you.If you are looking for a nice cosy read , look no further!