What do you look for in a mystery novel? For me, a mystery novel is perfect if the story keeps me hooked till the end and I don’t get to know who the killer is.
A few weeks back, I picked up the review copy of Tanushree Poddar’s A Closetful of Skeletons. A murder mystery, the story of this book revolves around Ramola, a fading movie star who has recently finished her autobiography. She decides to throw a party and launch her tell-all memoir. The memoir documenting her rise to fame puts each of her ex-lovers careers in jeopardy. As each of her ex-lover tries to save himself, Ramola is drawn back into the very web of lies and deception she had left behind. And by the time her party is over, her neighbor, retired army officer and amateur detective Arjun Acharya have found his first murder to solve.
Now, in regards to the review of the book, it was a disappointment. And I am unsure where, to begin with, the mistakes of the book. From the very first page itself, it didn’t grab my attention at all, thanks to flimsy cum filmy exchange of dialogues between Ramola and her new found friend. The setting was not right, and it didn’t look real or remotely fictional at all! It was like forcefully the characters were meeting, making plans for launching Ramola’s memoir and having fun.
Coming to the storyline of The Closetful of Skeletons, it was damn slow! Mystery novels are supposed to be quick and page turning for a reader, not slogging on a single page trying to understand the not-so-great dialogues. The exchange of dialogues in the entire book was so boring that I can’t even begin to explain. And the cherry on top was, I guessed the murderer way before the climax. And that was it for me.
In a nutshell, this book was a major disappointment for me. It had a lot of potentials to be the brilliant murder mystery with better dialogue exchange and less boring characters, but it didn’t work out for me. So the only advise from my side is that read at your own risk.