A Closetful of Skeletons by Tanushree Podder- Review

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Name          – A Closetful of Skeletons
 Author                 – Tanushree Podder
 Publisher              – HarperCollins
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Bollywood is a mirage for a common man. Anything written and shot about Bollywood always generates an intrigue in the readers, more so if there is a murder mystery and suspense element. Author has knitted a complicated yet interesting tale about an yester-year Bollywood star who has settled in the suburbs of Delhi. Ramsar, a heavenly and seemingly imaginary place is the centre of ll the action.

Ramola, the fading movie star invites her ex-lovers an underworld don, a director, two movie stars and one struggling actor to her fortieth birthday party where she announces her autobiography, to the dismay of the guests. The guests are unhinged by the announcement that may tarnish their personal as well as professional lives. They learn that Ramola has changed to a different personality on reaching Ramsar and made a few friends who are retired couples. While they are contemplating a negotiation with Ramola on dropping the plan of publishing the book, with the help of Tia, everyone is shocked to be caught amidst a gruesome murder. Ramola’s neighbour, retired army officer and amateur sleuth, Colonel Arjun H. Acharya, joins Jim in solving the murder. Will they be successful in finding the culprit?

The book unveils on a very calming background with the silly arguments between retired couples and innocent flirting from the neighbours but later after the murder the mood changes. Some of the characters are projected beyond measure while some others remain in the background, presumably in an attempt to deviate the concentration from them.  Author has followed the primary rule of a thriller, especially murder mystery- Having a lot of characters. Author has also included the romantic indulgences of Ramola without being sleazy. 

The undercurrent of tensions and indifference in the Bollywood industry is subtle depicted in the book. The character of Ahuja reminds us of a 70s superstar who later faded from the memories of the movie lovers. Every character is carefully crafted so as to make them relatable. Author has made the murder part subdued and skipped the eerie details. The suspense is also maintained quite well. 


Overall the book is a cliffhanger without extreme violence.

Scenario:   4 /5
Narration    : 4  /5
Character   :   4.5/5
Entertainment Quotient: 4/5

This review is in return of a free book from Writers Melon

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