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Neha and the Nose by Ruchika Chanana

2 self- designated teen detectives, Neha and Johan are the best of buddies,   13.75 years old and solving cases and mysterious happenings however big or small at their school in Delhi is their number 1 passion. Experienced and dedicated they are and the best part is that Johan,  psst…. has a secret weapon up his sleeve.

There was a theft at school and excitement was buzzing in the air. The Sadanand Trophy for Extramural Excellence, which was a rolling award had been stolen from the principal, Mr Jamaal’s office and Ramji the peon had been blamed for it. Neha and Johan smelt something fishy and knew they had a case on their hands and got to work to prove Ramji’s innocence.

Neha thought logically and believed that solving cases is about observation. And Johan, an intelligent nerd, teacher’s pet and Mr know-all smelt things differently. His secret weapon was his long nose that had a mind of its own (yes, you read it right!). His secret ability is his nose. His nose is able to smells clues….it snorts, sniffles, scrunches and also makes sounds of different tones, shrill squeaks and sub human whines whenever excitedly close to solving a case. 

Using their skills and ideas after watching many episodes of CSI AND Criminal Mind they follow clues left behind by the culprit and are successful in catching the real thief. Now, whenever the two are on a case prowl, they usually do it unofficially but since they were successful in solving the case of the rolling trophy they manage to win the trust of Mr Jamaal and for some time are treated as mini celebrities by students who have either bullied them in the past or many who have paid them no attention. 

One day after the summer vacations Mrs. Menon, the warden of the girl’s hostel is attacked and left unconscious in her room with the room in complete disarray and the police have been called for investigation. At the same time mysterious strange goings- on in the girls’ hostel are noticed which are stranger than ‘Stranger Things’ the Netflix serial. The principal calls the two to investigate. Amid rising tensions Neha and Johan go to the hostel to have a look and Neha channels her inner Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games and goes into strategizing mode with the Nose sniffing away. 

Meanwhile beautiful solitaire earrings go missing from Sarika’s room who is the undisputed queen bee of the school and most of the boys at school have a crush on her including the Nose whose nose goes quivering, hormones and all when she passes by. Amidst all the excitement and tensions, edge of the seat moments, Neha and the Nose try to find if there is a connection between all the happenings and catching the culprits in time. How, Why, What, When, Where are the answers to the questions that Neha and the Nose have to solve before the police do.                                                                                                  

Read this captivating and gripping book by Ruchika Chanana who is a writer, editor and theatre practitioner. She has written short stories, non- fiction books and is a content writer for many websites.

Ruchika knows what attracts and ticks the reading pulse of the new generation. The ‘whodnnit’ crime mystery successfully interweaves an entertaining story using a school premise as a backdrop. There are many believable characters from school life, students as super sleuths and not to forget the added fun of the ‘NOSE that has a mind of its own’. 

Buy the book and go on an enthralling reading ride with Neha and the Nose! 

                                                                                                                                          Title: NEHA AND THE NOSE                                                                                        Author: Ruchika Chanana  Genre: Crime and Mystery                                                                                                                  Age: Middle Readers, 10+                                                                                         Publisher: Duckbill Books, 2019

Poyani Mehta

Poyani Mehta is a former School Librarian, freelance storyteller, and storyteller with the Secret Passages Storytelling Circle. She writes travelogues and articles on various topics. She is a bibliophile, rescues injured birds, and enjoys spending quality time with her young daughter and Shanti her indie pariah dog.