The Secret of the Rai Zamindars: An Aalo and Adhir Mystery by Tanmoy Bhattacharjee

Book Cover


Date of publication: November 21st, 2021

Genre: Mystery, Young Adult

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

Strange things are happening in the sleepy Bengal village of Dongajora. A thief being chased by the only village policeman vanishes into the thin air, an old woman paralyzed with drugs is found at the site of the theft, and the only object stolen is a bottle of turpentine, instead of the highly coveted statue rumoured to be the key to fabulous treasures. Puzzled, the constabulary enlists the help of the village doctor and his two gifted children.
Aalo and Adhir are anxiously awaiting news of their mother, an army major who has been missing in action for three months; and jump at the chance of a distraction. As they delve deeper into the mystery with their mentor Shayeen, all leads start pointing towards the local Zamindars – the Rai family. Hints of foul play in the death of the family head, of his wife being blackmailed, and of dangerous ancestral secrets begin to emerge… and so does the motive for a heinous crime.
A catastrophic storm about to hit the village will provide a perfect cover and wipe away all the evidence… Aalo and Adhir have only a few hours to get to the heart of the mystery and stop a murder…

First Line:

Constable Gokul Bishash strained his ears.

the secrets of the rai zamindars: an aalo and adhir mystery by tanmoy bhattacharjee

I have been in a mood to read mysteries lately. I have been almost craving for them, and most of the books I have been reading are either romances, women’s lit, or paranormal stuff. So, when I got the email from the author to review The Secret of Rai Zamindars, I jumped on it. I figured this way; I could get my mystery fix.

The Secret of the Rai Zamindars has a fast-moving and exciting plotline. The entire book takes place within a day of the opening events. Because of that, the book had to move fast. There was some lag towards the end of the book (when they were figuring everything out), but it didn’t affect how I liked the book.

The Secret of the Rai Zamindars had an exciting plotline. Aalo and Adhir are two children who live in a small village with their Doctor father. After a break-in at a local house, they are drawn into the mystery when they find a tablet that belongs to a wealthy local family. They also discover a mysterious older woman, who is paralyzed, in a seldom-used part of the house. But, with a category five cyclone bearing down on them, the children need to solve this mystery fast. Things amp up when everyone is at the childrens’ house, and a murder is committed. Who committed the murder and why? Who is the older woman, and why are people after her? What secrets is someone willing to kill to keep?

The children, Aalo and Adhir, were the stars of this book. Both were amazingly smart, and they both wanted to solve this mystery. I loved how they had their father’s support (and protection) and the other adults in the village. But, they seemed older than they were (Aalo was 11 and Adhir was 14). And some of the situations were sketchy (even if they had trusted adults around). But overall, I enjoyed watching these kids solve this complicated mystery.

The secondary characters were interesting and added extra depth to the storyline. The antics amused me that some of them got into. But some of them grated on my one last nerve. The teenager who finds herself in a love quadrangle (is that a word?) probably shouldn’t have been there. The author could have written the men she was interested in into the story differently. I didn’t care to read about her trying to decide who she loved (and wanted to be with). It drove me nuts.

The mystery angle of the book was well written, and it did keep my attention for the entire book. The author threw in several red herrings, and there was a twist in the plot that I didn’t see coming.

There are no trigger warnings in The Secret of Rai Zamindars.

The end of The Secret of Rai Zamindars was interesting. The kids did solve the mystery. But it was how it was deciphered that I liked. Put it this way, it was like Clue, and they had a limited amount of people to interview/investigate. Of course, there is a twist in the plotline that I didn’t see coming. It did take me by surprise because of what was revealed.

I would recommend The Secret of Zai Zamindars to anyone over 13. It is a clean book. There is no sex, no language, and mild violence.

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