Book Review: Engraved in Stone

'All I'm interested in is whether or not you're capable. Were you right? Were you lucky? Did you succeed simply because you are a nobleman and could bully people into confessions?'
In Agra to escort home the beautiful Shireen, Muzaffar Jang - maverick nobleman and ace detective - reluctantly finds himself at the centre of yet another murder investigation when Mumtaz Hassan, a prominent trader, is found dead under mysterious circumstances. The Diwan-i-kul, Mir Jumla, on his way to invade Bijapur, hands the task of finding the killer to Muzaffar. With almost no evidence to work with except an ambiguous scrawl on a scrap of paper found clutched in the dead man's fist, Muzaffar knows he must find the killer before the Diwan-i-kul returns if he wants to save himself an invitation to a beheading. As he begins to uncover the dross beneath the golden opulence of the dead man and his murkily amorous past, Muzaffar chances upon another mystery: a long forgotten tale of a woman who vanished inexplicably one evening. Two years after the Taj Mahal is finally built, many secrets shroud its walls and Muzaffar Jang once again has to pit his wits against an array of potentials suspects - even as he loses his heart ...

In her book Engraved in Stone, Madhulika Liddle brings to life a fictional detective character from seventeenth century India. The vivid description of setting that provides the necessary historical backbone of this novel is deeply engrossing and will hook the historical fiction readers right from the beginning. However, the painstaking effort to portray the historical setting has occasionally slowed down the pace, which in turn may disappoint the usual readers of detective fiction. But that is until Chapter three: that is until the murder really happens and from where the story gains momentum usual for a detective novel and the reader is forced to follow its course.
'Huzoor!' the voice was just above a whisper, troubled and urgent. 'Huzoor, please wake up!'
 Book Information

Author:Madhulika Liddle
Publisher:Hachette India
Year of Publication:2012
Number of Pages:Approx 320 with cover

Book Review: Engraved in Stone

This particular genre of fiction demands an intricate balance between History and Crime and for most of this book, the author has succeeded to maintain this balance accurately. I had received the review copy from Hachette India. Thank you Hachette India for giving me the opportunity. You can buy this book at amazon or at flipkart in case you live in India.

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