The Cosmic Clues Reviewed
When I first heard of this book, I had no idea what to expect. The Cosmic Clues by Manjiri Prabhu is indeed a one of a kind genre of novels. As the cover page claims, it is the first Indian book about an “astro-detective”. Being one of those who don’t believe in Fate, Destiny & the stars, I admit being perplexed with the idea of an investigator who works with astrology. The combination was indeed worth a shot & though I still didn't ‘get it’, it can be safely regarded as a good one-time read.
Sonia Samarth is an intelligent lady with a Masters in criminal psychology. Perfect qualifications to start off a career in solving crime one would say. The only catch? She is also a student of Vedic astrology & insists on putting it into practical use when solving crimes. No wonder her agency Stellar Investigations receives a lot of requests to read horoscopes rather than mysteries & calls for help.
Everything changes when a cat decides to enter their office & stay put. Her first investigation-to find the cat’s owner triggers off a series of cases which make up the rest of the book & that ironically end with her finally meeting the owner! Paired with an over-enthusiastic assistant Jatin, Sonia sets out solving cases with the help of a sharp mind & of course by reading the horoscopes of those involved.
What initially started off more like a Famous Five/Secret Seven kind of book, finally picked up pace somewhere after the second case. The narrative appears to lag a bit with great emphasis being laid on how astrology isn’t the absolute solution, rather a guide to it. Since this is the first of an astro-detective series, one can understand the author’s attempts at justifying this field of science, but then it gets a tad too much at times. I can’t complain about the bits & pieces about Pune thrown into the narrative. They create quite a beautiful imagery & make my wish to visit the city only stronger.
The cases mentioned here sans the initial ones are quite interesting, not to mention diverse. Each mystery has the probable suspects & climax. Even with the astrological jargon involved, the plot remains tight & one can really enjoy the suspense.
The Cosmic Clues is the first of the Stellar Investigations series & though am not exactly holding my breath for the sequel titled The Astral Alibi, I cannot ignore the curiosity I have as to what happens next. The plus points of this book lie in the unique concept & the good narrative Any fans of astrology would definitely rate this book higher, but I’d only suggest it for a casual read. It’s not a racy page-turner but it doesn’t tend to bore either. An average 2/5 rating from me.