With Lethal Spice, Shimla's Superintendent of a Police Nikki Marwah is back, solving a crime that perplexed the whole of the nation. Mala Joseph, celeb judge in the shot Chef show dies after a lethal dose of cyanide that found its way to her on stage.
A suspicious looking text message not sent out, a set of lab reports that complicates the problem giving it a new dimension and whispers that cast shadows on the complex web of friends she had, causes Nikki Marwah to suspect that the case that was touted as a case of simple suicide looks more like a murder.
No one is spared. Each one is a suspect, be it the judge on the show Kemaal of Kemaal's Kebabs who has shot to fame with his chain of restaurants or Rajat the host of the show who seemed to be besotted by Mala.
Or the contestants, Pallavi Anand, Leena Dixit, Sharon Sen, Vicky, Shaq or Dev.
As Nikki Marwah sets out to investigate the case, she comes across the fact that the show has been unlucky right from the word go. Whether it was the short circuit or the case of food poisoning or now the cyanide incident.
I loved the book cover with a spice jar in the background and an unmistaken smell of fresh spices emanating from the pages. I thought I was hallucinating until I opened the first few pages and found a pouch with a mix of spices taped to the page that remained fresh until long after I had finished reading the book.
The pace of the writing is fast and crisp and Nikki and the readers go in circles as they uncover facets of the contest and the contestants. The author weaves back stories and develops a strong case for each of them to become an eventual suspect however the motive seems to be evading the readers and Nikki until the very end.
Title - Lethal Spice
Author- Swati Kaushal
Price- Rs 350