"Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it. ~ Novelist Jeanette Winterson

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Crows Of Agra | Book Review

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At a Glance....

Title:The Crows Of Agra
Author: Sharath Komarraju
Publisher: Amazing Reads
Pages:218
Genre : Mystery / Fiction
Format : Paperback
ISBN :9-788192-910956

This is an Akbar- Birbal mystery, a book that I had purchased long back.I took this along with me on a road trip and read it all through the way , snatching a few minutes here and there to see where the story was going!

I like historical fiction and I was sure this one wouldn't disappoint me. The author was new to me but the term 'Birbal Mystery was enough to encourage me to read on.

At the very beginning, the note from the author states that this is a work of fiction and should not be related to history!It can be called a murder mystery with a historical flavor or simply a murder mystery.This being said, it is easier to accept the twists and turns in the story!

The story takes placein Agra in the 16th century where Akbar has no inking on what is going on in his empire. 

Bairam khan, who has been gaurding the throne is also said to have been ganging up with other rulers to dethrone Akbar and ascent the throne to rule Agra.Maham Anga ,Akbars foster mother and her son Adham Khan, Empress Ruquiya who has not been able to bear a heir to the throne, Salima, the wife of Bairam khan,who is said to be in love with Akbar, Akbar's elderly aunt Gulbadan are some of the main characters in this book along with Mahesh Das / Birbal .

Akbar meets Mahesh Das when he is captured by a group of dacoits ,Mahesh Das cleverly saves Akbar and takes him to the palace.

Bairam Khan is murdered and there starts Mahesh Das's investigation in finding out who the killer is.

In the end, he solves the mystery and Akbar is very much happy to see his way of investigation and asks him to continue to be with him as his eyes and ears of the palace.

My view on the book:

It is fast paced,especially after Biram Khans death and Akbar asking Mahesh Das to investigate. 
There are some incidents that are fictional yet add a nice layer to the story.
It is written in simple language.
You can get a good glimpse of the Moghul Era and the ways of the King and the people.
All in all it is a quick and easy read that can be finished in one sitting.




Linking this to:

  1. 52 books in 52 weeks
  2. Mount TBR Reading Challenge
  3. Review Writing Challenge
  4. Wild Goose chase Reading Challenge for the key word- Species of a bird.



Until next post....

And Then There Were None - Book Review

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At a Glance....

Title: And Then There Were None
Author:Agatha Christie
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers India
Pages:317
Genre : Mystery
Format : Paperback
ISBN :978-0-00-728231-9

I took this  book along when I went to drop of my daughter for an exam. Since the exam center was quite far from home, I decided to wait there till she finished her exams. I was so engrossed in the book that I never realized how fast time flew until I saw my kiddo come out of the hall!

This book is about 10 people who are invited to stay in an island mansion by a mysterious U.N.Owen.Each of the characters travel by train / car and then are taken by a ferry to reach the mansion.

The characters are Vera Claythorne,Miss Emily Brent,General Macarthur,Dr.Amstrong,Antony Marston,Detective Blore, Philip Lombard,Mr. & Mrs. Rogers are the caretakers of the mansion who have been employed just a few days before this strange group reaches the mansion.

Each of of this group have been given a different reason to dtay in the mansion and no one suspects the intentions of U.N. Owen .

They have all been assigned rooms and Vera notices a big square of parchment with a nursery rhyme...

Ten little Soldier boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine little Soldier boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight little Soldier boys traveling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven little Soldier boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Six little Soldier boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five little Soldier boys going in for law;
One got into Chancery and then there were four.
Four little Soldier boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three little Soldier boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two little Soldier boys playing with a gun;
One shot the other and then there was One.
One little Soldier boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none. 

They all assemble to dine and there are 10 little china figures in the dining room. After dinner, a gramophone record is played and instead of a song, all the guests are accused of some wrong doing and are asked if they have anything to say in their defense!

Everyone is petrified after listening to The Voice . Each of these people have been involved in a death for which they do not hold responsibility. They still maintain that the death has nothing to do with them and they are not guilty yet in their hearts they know it is not so.

One by one is killed in the same manner as mentioned in the poem.As the murders start, the remaining people have no means of getting of the island / contacting the people in the town. They live each minute in fear and not knowing who will be the next target.

Each one suspects some one else and the as the needle of suspicion moves to the other we sit there at the end of the seat wondering who the real murderer is!

Finally, all the 10 people are murdered and then the police finds a letter from the murderer and that twist is something which I did not see coming!!!

My view on the book:

Truly engrossing read that will keep you turning page after page.I was on the edge of the seat at every turn of events!!

The ending is something that you will never expect!!

You can easily finish off the book in 2-3 hours time.

If you love murder mysteries go for this book, I am sure you will not be disappointed.




Linking this to:
  1. Monthly Keyword Challenge where the keywords for Feb are - And, Rose, Promise, Every, Deception, Blazing
  2. 52 books in 52 weeks
  3. Mount TBR Reading Challenge
  4. Review Writing Challenge
Until Next post