Saturday, April 11, 2020

Murder in the Chowdhury Palace - Sharmishtha Shenoy

Read On April 5th 2020


Editon Details:
Format : E-book 
Page Count: 226 
Publiction: Vishwakarma Publications
ASIN: B086JZLY3W

Murder in the Chowdhary Palace- Sharmishta Shenoy
Murder in the Chowdhary Palace- Sharmishtha Shenoy

First Sentence:
There was scratching sound outside the door.

Story:
Durga was wealthy once. But after the death of her parents her wealth was taken away by her maternal uncle. Since then, she has always wanted to be rich and famous.

So, when Durga meets Debnarayan Chowdhury in her college and they fell in love, she thinks her wish has come true. Debnarayan is a heir to the rich Chowdhury family.  His grand-father was a big businessman who had accumulated a lot of wealth and left a huge estate.

But Chowdhury family has a dark past. They have been cursed and the elder son of the family has always died young. Durga doesn't belives in curse but Debu does.

When Debu's father Birendranath dies unexpectedly Debnarayan and Durga have to come to the ancestoral home at Kakdihi, a small village near Kolkata.
Soon Debnarayan also dies. People believe it's the curse but something doesn't feels right to Durga.


Soon, Durga finds herself in between the strangers. She is a widow, she is alone and though everyone seems to be loving her outwardly, she knows something is amiss. They don't like her.

And then things start happening. Bad things.

Was it really the curse that took Debnarayan's life? 
Will Durga be next? 
Who is trying to harm her?

Major Characters:
Durga - Narrator of the Story
Debnarayan Chowdhury - Durga's husband
Nagendranath-  Durga's friend
Birendranath Chowdhury - Debnarayan's father
Totona- Debnarayan's mother
Somendranath- Birendranath's sister Jagdamba Devi's son
Dola - A bengali actress and Somendranath's mother
Madhu - Somendranath's son and he used to take care of the estate
Ellora - Somendranath's daughter
Debendranth - A famous musician and Birendranath's elder brother
Rajshekhar - Debnarayan's younger brother
Bhupati mohan Chowdhury - Debnarayan's grand father
Kanaklata - Debnaraya's grand mother
Ram Sanyal - A local politician whose son was engaged to Ellora
Rajiv Sanyal - Ram's son
Dinu - Guard at Chowdhury Palace
Paritosh - Neighbour of Chowdhury's . He was the architect who had built Chowdhury  Palace
Manoj - Paritosh's son. He was a painter
Kumud - Paritosh's daughter and Ellora's friend
Professor Amol Bannerjee and Rita Bannerjee - Another Neighbour of Chowdhury 's

My View:

Murder in the Chowdhury  Palace is the newest book by Sharmishtha Shenoy. I came across her Vikram Rana Series a while back and wanted to read her since. So, when an opportunity was presented to me to read this newest book by her i took it without thinking twice.

The book as the title suggests is a murder mystery but it's also about Chowdhury  family. The story is about how money corrupts people especially family. The story is about masks that people wear and how their real self is not always visible. 

The story is narrated by newest addition in the Chowdhury  family, Durga. Durga is wife of Debnarayan Chowdhury  and has come to the Chowdhury  palace because of the unexpected demise of Debnarayan's father Birendranath. She has her own past and as the story progresses we find out that she is also not what she portrays to be.

Thus most of the characters in the story are someone that the reader would find difficult liking. I also didn't like Durga as she to me felt like an opportunist.

As far as the story is concerned, there were few things that i liked about the story and there were few things that i didn't like.

Things i liked:
Once the story picks up the pace, it becomes nearly impossible to keep the book down. The huge cast of suspicious characters makes it impossible to guess the real culprit. Most of them have plausible reasons to harm the people that are getting harmed and hence to single out the culprit is really difficult. The mystery is really well woven and the surprise is maintained till the end.

Things i didn't like:
There were few things in the book that i didn't like. The story takes too much time to pick up the pace. We are shown at the start that Debu is going to die and hence we know the main story is going to start after Debu dies. This point in the story comes after a very long time which was irritating to me. One has to read more than 40 percent of the book before the murder takes place. This was too much for me and took my whole will power to go through. The whole middle stuff before the chapter called The Haunting could have been shortened. That would have made the book much more taut.

Also, i think it would have been better if the prologue would have been different. Instead of Debu's death i think Kadambri's story and the curse on Shankar Dakat could have been shown. That would have set the tone of the story as right now we know that it's not the curse that's killing him.

I also didn't like Durga's character and hence couldn't feel sorry for her when her life was in danger and didn't feel joy when she was saved. Yes, as the story progressed she changes her ways but she still felt like an opportunist to me. If the narrator would have been more likeable then i think i would have been more invested in the story.

Conclusion:
Murder in the Chowdhury Palace is a good mystery. It does start slow and author does takes a lot of time to set it up but once it picks up pace it just grabs you by the throat and makes it impossible for the reader to leave the book before finishing it. I was not able to find out who the murderer was and for me that means it's a good mystery.

Though, I also think that if the novel would have been structured more properly then it would have had much more impact on me. Right now the reader has to wait for a long long time before something exciting happens. This waiting time could have been reduced. This waiting time is something which many readers could find irksome.

Rating: 3/5

Full Disclosure: I received this copy of the book by Book Review Tours in lieu of my honest opinion.

Some questions for the readers:
Question 1: Do you believe in Curses? Have you ever witnessed one?

Question 2: If you have to choose one, what would you choose: love or lots and lots of money? Why?

You can get the book from the following link:

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