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Masala and Murder by Patrick Lyons

Bollywood provides good fodder for stories, especially those filled with thrilling and juicy secrets! Here is a murder mystery, a gripping page-turner that will have you guessing till the very end. Masala and Murder by Patrick Lyons (Olive Turtle, Niyogi Books) begins in Australia with the supposedly natural death of an upcoming Bollywood starlet, a seemingly talented and beautiful young girl. Melbourne-based Anglo-Indian private investigator, Samson Ryder finds himself in the midst of this mystery.

Will Ryder be able to get to the bottom of it all? On the surface, this is a simple case of untimely death. But, not everybody thinks so. A wealthy Indian industrialist engages Ryder to ‘solve’ this mystery and get to the bottom of things.

But Ryder has demons of his own past that continue to haunt him. As he delves deeper into the case, it leads him to Mumbai, where it all began. With the help of his godmother, Mabel, he jumps right in to search for the truth. The reader takes a roller coaster ride into the world of Bollywood and the truth behind the glistening mask of glamour. Affairs, black magic, curses, fickle friendships and power plays all jostle with each other and tell the tale of a true masala murder!

If you’re a murder-mystery kind of reader, this one will have you on your toes. The pace is quick and the plot line well developed. The book has you guessing right up to the very end. The story is set partly in Melbourne and partly in Mumbai, which makes for an interesting layer. Ryder’s own past and the shadows that haunt him somehow weave well within the main storyline, giving us a detective who whilst solving the mystery at hand, is also resolving his own issues. It somehow gives a very human angle to Ryder.

This was a quick weekend read for me. The thrill of a well-written mystery is worth experiencing, and I’m keenly waiting for the next ‘Ryder’!

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Dhanishta Shah

Dhanishta is a Counselling Psychologist and a freelance writer. She is the Founder of Bookedforlife.