About the Book:
Name of the book: The Cosmic Clues
Author: Manjiri Prabhu
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Price: INR 299
About the author:
Author of 5 books, Manjiri Prabhu is a children's TV producer and a short filmmaker for over 20 years. She has worked as a freelance film critic for several distinguished newspapers reviewing more than a hundred English, Hindi and Marathi films.
Manjiri's other major concern is Animal Welfare; she strives for the protection of stray dogs and cats in the society.
About the cover and back cover:
The cover with a delightful combination of blue and black as the prominent shade is a rocker. The animated cartoon of a woman with a cat surrounded by small zodiac figures delivers a very apt feel to the book.
The back cover with a short preview of the book is intriguing. The combination of private investigation with Hindu astrology that the book promises would make you feel like flipping the pages immediately.
The Cosmic Clues maps the adventures of The Stellar Investigation which is a detective agency that combines astrological science with investigations. Sonia Samarth, masters in criminal psychology and a through scholar of the Vedic astrology sets up the agency despite drawing many sceptical views from family and friends. What was even more infuriating was the misunderstanding her ad in the paper seemed to have created- people assumed her to be an astrologer than an investigator.
But as the cases start pouring in, Sonia along with her faithful young assistant Jatin gear up their efforts to track what seem to be multitude of criminal minds.
It is a collection of 9 cases that come across Sonia that she handles with skill and intuition, finally wading off all the criticism she was met with initially.
My views on the story:
Astrological science with investigation- the very theme of the book is interesting and intriguing. Being a hardcore Poirot and Holmes fan who are the ultimate epitome of logical deduction, I couldn't help being curious about this new mode of investigation.
Since I knew absolutely nothing about astrology except for the names and number of zodiac signs, I was a little apprehensive about how the book might turn out to be.
It proved to be a pleasant surprise. With the right amount of suspense, witticism and humor, The Cosmic Clues is a fun read. The writing style is really good- the narration, dialogues flow seamlessly with each story.
The characters are well built with clarity-at the end of the story you are left with a distinct impression of each one of them (even of the cat Nidhi). The plots range from decent to excellent with my favourite stories being 'In the Shadow of the Stars' and 'The Proposal'.
The chemistry between Sonia and Mohnish is one of the high points of the story but what I loved the most was the possible connection with the mysterious genius of an international criminal, The Owl. I absolutely loved the last story; it tickled me so much, I couldn't help laughing aloud.
I felt that some conversations between Jatin and Sonia were a bit drawn and unnecessary. Also, the continuous personality quirks lauded on Sonia gave the impression of forcible spotlight being drawn on her many virtues.
The Astrological jargons associated with each story were necessary but being totally ignorant of anything related to it, I found them a bit tedious. I felt that this needed to be incorporated more tactfully so that it becomes comprehensible to all section of readers.
Apart from that, The Cosmic Clues is a good read. It is a book you can count on to cheer you up immensely. Overall, I would rate this book an 8/10. Mystery lovers, you have a book to look out for!
As for myself, I really cant wait to get my hands on The Astral Alibi. Yes, there is more to Sonia Samarth's story!