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The Reluctant Detective by Kiran Manral – review
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The Reluctant Detective by Kiran Manral – review

You are 30 plus something, you are a suburban housewife in one of the busiest city of India – Mumbai, you have a hyper active kid who keeps bouncing off the walls as if he has springs attached to his shoes, you are a person who has a knack of sticking her nose in the manner ‘what-come-may-I-will-get-to-the-details” no matter what in everybody’s day to day affairs, then if you get inspired by Kanan Mehra’s a.ka. Kay’s story; you are very well on the way of becoming a detective!!!

Jokes apart but if you are looking for some fun loving, rib ticking book with a wry humor which also makes you connect with the daily lives of a common man, ‘The Reluctant Detective’ (TRD) is the one you should spend on. It is a story of Kay who lives in Mumbai, has a 5 year old kid who keeps her on toes, who is overweight like couple of us, struggles as a jogger to knock of those extra pounds, worships her maids who come to clean her house and cook; doesn’t it remind us of as one of the amongst us? She has a habit of poking her nose everywhere including where it is not required to. Her purse is more of make-up kit and you will never find something useful which one requires in emergency like a safety pin! She has to shop for XL size and suffers from the jealousy pangs whenever she has to look at friends who are size zero. So how she goes on to become a detective and that too a reluctant one is the story all about….

The story moves at a fast pace, Kay takes the readers through a daily routine of a bored housewife with apt details, not to miss the ‘dreaded PTAs’, ‘the girly gangs out for lunch’, ‘a handsome husband who has put a limit to her debit card’, and of course ‘the full wardrobe of dresses still nothing to wear when it comes for an occasion’, ‘daily calls to the parents who have  it is all out there in the book and much more. The sarcasm with which Kiran has written about the daily soaps actors, the page 3 parties is really humorous. There are two murders in Kay’s locality in quick succession and her mission gets decided. She becomes a detective albeit with a realization that she may actually be not cut for this kind of job. Her detective friend Runa helps her in this mission. Whether Kay is able to find out the murderers or not is a different story altogether and how? Please read the bookJ. Oh yes! Kay is also haunted by the spirit of the dead 😉 and she truly believes that the ‘spirit of dead’ is giving her some message!

The characters are lively and very much next door neighbors whom we all might bump into on daily basis. The portions involving Kay’s kiddo are really hilarious and funny! I am sure each of us as a mother would have experienced all those anecdotes. When Kay asks Kabir (yes, that’s the kid’s name) as to what he did in school, pat comes reply ‘Fusht I hit Arman, an den I pushed Ronak, an den Miss tole me tu sid quiedly in the notty corner.” So, the hapless mother asks if he got the time to study in midst of all this, Kabir responds ‘nopes’. The mother truly believes that the kid is honest! This book is a must read for all those who actually believe in going by the funny titles and cover page of the books! It is attractive, funny, light on your mind and makes a good time pass with the tongue in cheek humour.

“The Reluctant Detective” should not be read reluctantly on any one’s part, you should feel it to read it. Not sure if the above line makes any sense but it did sound good hence, I am going to retain it as it is 🙂


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0 23 January, 2012 Books January 23, 2012

About the author

A Chartered Accountant by profession who enjoys writing or should we say keying ?! in her free time.

View all articles by Divya


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