Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt Ltd – Book Review
Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd. – Book Review
Book: Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd.
Author: Richa S. Mukherjee
Reviewed By: Manas Mukul
Publisher: Black Ink (25 August 2019)
Pages: 296 (Paperback)
Price: 250 INR
ISBN-13: 978- 9353571511
Genre: Mystery thriller
My rating: 3.5/5
We have grown up on stories and shows based in small towns in the early 90s and when it is coupled with a wannabe detective story the delectable pleasure is even more. Whether it was Malgudi Days or Byomkesh Bakshi, the nostalgic aroma that these names bring in is so soothing and end up bringing a smile to the face.
Richa S. Mukherjee’s mystery thriller, ‘Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd.’ Is a whodunit that brings back the rustic charm of small towns with joint families. The book is laced with humour flavour in abundance. I would like to express my gratitude towards Blogchatter’s Book Review Program for considering me this book review. There is a reason why this is my favourite genre and I am blessed that I end up getting more and more books from the same.
About the Author
Richa S. Mukherjee is a celebrated blogger and writes for several online platforms. Her first novel, I Didn’t Expect to Be Expecting, was a humorous take on the rollercoaster ride of pregnancy. She now lives in Mumbai juggling work, writing and often her five-year-old daughter as well. This is her second novel.
The cover page of the book has a door, with the name of the agency (and the book) printed on it and a silhouette to welcome you into its mysterious world. It is definitely catchy and would surely demand your attention on a book shelf in a store. The back cover introduces the main protagonist and gives a short blurb of the plot.
The major part of the story is set in Kanpur and Mumbai. The story revolves around the life of a wannabe detective Prachand Tripathi, who till now spent most of his time chasing pets and infidel partners. The story is ably supported by the other joint family members of the Tripathi family. Vidya, his wife, becomes his partner in solving the crime as well as an accomplice in the crime (at least the police thought).
Richa has put in the small towns flavours really well, where Prachand’s father seems to be forever disappointed with his son’s career choices, a nagging old granny funnily complemented by a daughter-in-law (Prachand’s mother), a friend, Yatish, who spends more time at their house compared to his own, a Justin Bieber fan, Prachand’s younger brother, who can hardly pronounce Bieber correctly.
Just to highlight the kind of small town milieu the book has – the Tripathi household in Kanpur is also home to a cow, Hirwa, that comically acts more like a dog than her usual self. Now try to remember when was the last time you saw people housing a cow.
This is a coming-of-age story where Prachand lands up with a case that ends up turning his life upside down. He is required to tail and shadow actress Shailaja Kapoor when she visits their town but in the process witnesses her abduction and the murder of her husband.
Once the police gets a sniff of Prachand snooping around the crime scenes, they try to pin both on him instead of finding the real criminal. From a detective, he, along with his wife, becomes a fugitive on the run in the quest to catch hold of the actual abductor and killer.
Richa has nicely ticked off most of the boxes while writing this thriller. A kidnapping takes place followed by a murder. There are suspects with motives and the regular Indian police doing its best to put the blame on the easiest scapegoat in a high profile crime case.
The composition of humour element is equal to the mystery element. In fact if this book would have been promoted as a humour fiction, it would have equally worked fine. It has a certain nostalgia attached to it the way its characters and the locations are designed, especially the Kanpur bit of the story.
The vocabulary of the book is good and still doesn’t provide any resistance to the pace of the story. At nearly 300 pages, it is long but the way it is written you will end up finishing it in about two sittings. Sometimes, crime fictions can end up being too dark and gory, which Richa masterfully avoids treading to and keeps a lighter note all throughout the book.
The book dives into the main crime/case somewhere around the page 60, which is a bit stretched build up and we only witness the buffoonery of the large Kanpuriya family till then. Deep in the story, the kind of twists and turns that the plot takes, it feels more Bollywood-ish & commercial and less suitable for a murder mystery. There is less of detective work and more of chasing and hiding, which serves as a let-down as this is touted as a mystery thriller.
The book has a lot going in favour then otherwise. It is a light-hearted fun-loving roller coaster story of a new small town detective on the scene, Prachand Tripathi. Richa S. Mukherjee’s Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd. is a good one time cocktail of humour and mystery.
I am going with three and half stars for this Khoofiya ride. You will not come up out with shock-n-awe but it will definitely bring a smile to your face.
Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul
This review was done as part of the Blogchatter’s Book Review Program. Please sign up if you are a bibliophile.