cover image A Will to Kill: A Harith Athreya Mystery

A Will to Kill: A Harith Athreya Mystery

R.V. Raman. Polis, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-951709-07-5

In this intriguing contemporary whodunit and series launch from Raman (Conspirator), private investigator Harith Athreya receives an invitation to Greybrooke Manor, a colonial-style mansion in southern India’s Nilgiri Hills, from its owner, wealthy businessman Bhaskar Fernandez. Legend has it that the manor is cursed and that every owner will die violently. Though Fernandez’s father, who owned Greybrooke before him, was believed to have died accidentally when he fell from a moving train, Fernandez fears he may become the victim of foul play. To guard against this possibility, he has prepared two simultaneous wills: one to go into effect if he dies of natural causes and the other in case he’s murdered. Fernandez wants Athreya to get to know the possible heirs, who are guests at Greybrooke, and in the worst-case scenario investigate his death. Despite Athreya being on hand, someone’s throat is slit, setting up a classic closed-circle inquiry, complete with a gathering of suspects before the final reveal. Only the ending is a bit of a letdown. Fans of golden age mysteries will look forward to the sequel. Agent: Priya Doraswamy, Lotus Lane Literary. (Oct.)