Book Title: Murder at the Mushaira
Author: Raza Mir
As the story goes: The Ghalib of Raza Mir, in this novel set in eight days of May 1857, is an eager plotter as the conspiracy to rebel against the British develops. He is sucked into the narrative following the murder of a much-despised poet, Sukhan Khairabadi, at a mushaira. Before being killed, Khairabadi, spying for the British, had warned them by sending an ivory letter opener — “a signal of the gravest danger, the matter of utmost urgency”.
This plot made me intrigued that Ghalib in real who was afraid of the British goes against the same British and solves the cases. Without much ado, I recommend this historical yet interesting murder fiction to everyone.
What to expect from the story?
Expect a fine and artistic murder story.
Expect a story filled with sweet surprises and bloody secrets.
Expect a story that has romance, love, relationships and revenge.
Expect Mirza Ghalib as the investigative officer and a detective to work on the murder mystery.
Who can read?
This book allured readers of historical fiction, murder stories, and mostly to the people who love and admire Ghalib Saab! Every Urdu poetry lover has his explanation and reason for liking Mirza Ghalib. Similarly, in this book and every reader thus resonates and gets attracted to the story.
How good are the characters?
Mir has lived Ghalib in the story! Ghalib’s verses in every story from Mir’s pen are excellent to read. Every story has this rich Urdu language flavor, which draws the readers’ minds closer to the story. Other than this, many characters I chose not to disclose or else it would become a spoiler are written with grace and equal action.
How good is the narration?
Being a murder mystery with the famous and historical characters of Ghalib, the story is an absolute treat. As the story progresses and the poet’s death comes into the light, the story takes a drastic turn. Here, it is to be noted that Author Mir has taken extra care and interest in recreating the 1800’s era with poise. Therefore, the narration sparkles like a gemstone, and it’s shining in the form of colorful narration.
How good are the language and grammar?
The colloquial and rich language with adequate vocabulary adds more beauty to the narration of the story.
How good is the Author’s writing style?
Author Mir’s elegant style of writing with unusual plot allures the readers to the maximum level extent. The intrinsic detailing of the story, the nuggets of history, the story set up in a Haveli, the then riches and flashy lifestyle that can be imagined and visualised – all add up to the great writing. This happens to be my first book from author Raza Mir, and I am completely spellbound by his writing skills. But in contrast to the fictional setting, after the murder that unveils in the story, a greyish film flashes at every point. This is where the Author’s experiences spark.
How entertaining is the book?
The story is set-up in the vibrant and pompous times of 18th Century in Delhi. It is undoubtedly entertaining with interesting sub-plots and rich heritage of the then life popping up at every nook and corner of the story.
A gripping historical fictional thriller!
[Reviewed by Swapna Peri]
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