A book that will take you to a world of sleuthing with a different twist to it in the end!
The Cursed Inheritance is a novella by Sutapa Basu and she has chosen to set her entire story in the ‘City of Joy’ itself ‘Kolkata’. The story begins on a normal pace with giving us a hint in the very first chapter that something riveting is in store for us as we flip through the consecutive pages further that will soon take us on a roller coaster ride along with the protagonist of the story.
The book puts light on the protagonist Anahita Sarkar who is a London return and successive heir of the once famed ‘Sarkar Bari’ which she is about to inherit from her grandfather Mr. Hirendranath Sarkar, who is no more in this world. Here in the mansion she meets some intriguing characters who have added to the charm of not only to the ambience of a Bengali Household but the typical native words used by these characters like Lokkhi Mashi and Gonuda have also increased the volume of the language making it a pleasant read. Though I am typically not a big fan of borrowing in novels or stories, of the other language other than English but it varies from case to case. Sutapa has precisely used the perfect dose of Bengali terms by wherein and why they should have been placed, making it an easily understandable narration for readers of all kind.
Moreover, in the novel you get the concoction of both, the whim of the classic world merging well with the modern. All though everything is happening only in the present with fewer episodes taking place in the past but they work as the most important strings to bring the story to the present and also making it clear for Anna aka Anahita to find the missing pieces of the puzzle. She compulsively gets attracted towards sleuthing because of the very first night that leads her to many mysterious things archived in the mansion. Also the suspicious behavior of people around her becomes a huge reason that she finds herself sleuthing from the time she sets foot in this Bari. She gets to unfold the mystery one by one, at the stake of finding herself in trouble as well but there is someone who is with her on her journey of unfolding many secrets hidden into the ‘Sarkar Bari, whom you will enjoy finding about on your reading.
Likewise, the pressure on her to sell the mansion and be gone her way, becomes another of those reasons to know why its caretaker Mr. Raha is safeguarding some secrets from her. But after few incidents that lead her to certain hints towards the truth that some cursed treasure is there in the house, she becomes even more adamant to get to the end of the story. And along with Anna you will also sleuth along and find each chapter becoming more interesting than the other. This is the point where you will surely would want to finish the book in one go. It’s totally unputdownable and no wonder Sutapa’s extreme intelligence of writing in such a genre will surprise you as mostly her earlier books have been on historical fiction. No wonder what the title suggests the inheritance will come as a curse to Anna but what she makes of it is for you all to know but one thing to take notice here is that the writer has wisely chosen the plot moving around the title and doing justice to it.
Chrysanthemum Chronicles’ Verdict: To end this review I would say that there is a guarded secret which even I won’t want to reveal as it would be a total spoiler, but you will find it to be the most enthralling one. There would be many skeletons coming out of the closet slowly as you will journey through each chapter. Talking about the language if I have to, undoubtedly there is a smooth flow of the words dancing joyfully over the pages as Sutapa has great command over it. But compared to her earlier novels this one seems fast paced and the structure of the words creates a subtle charm. I would rate this book 4.5 on the basis of its content, great mindfulness, predictable yet a beguiling story; it will make a satisfying read for all age groups.
Sutapa Basu is a best-selling author.Her latest book, The Curse of Nader Shah won the Best Fiction Award by AutHer Awards, 2020 instituted by JK Papersand The Times of India. She is the 2016 First Prize winner of The Times of India’s Write India Campaign for Amish Tripathi while her debut, a psychological thriller, Dangle was nominated for the Anupam Kher Award for Debut Novels in 2017. In March 2021, she has been awarded for Excellence in Publishing by the Public Diplomacy Forum.
She is well-known for her best-selling historical fiction, Padmavati, The Queen Tells Her Own Story (2017, pub Readomania). Her second historical fiction initiated the Invader Series with The Legend of Genghis Khan(2018, pub Readomania) and continued with The Curse of Nader Shah (2019, pub Readomania). Recently, her two anthologies, Out Of The Blue, Stories with a Twist and The Anatomy of Affection, Tales That Touch You(2020, pub Readomania) have been released. A cozy-mystery adventure, The Cursed Inheritance (2021, pub Readomania) was released in February this year.
A poet, author, publishing professional, her short stories have appeared in anthologies, Crossed & Knotted, Defiant Dreams, When They Spoke and Write India Stories. Her poems have been published in Kaafiyana and The Dawn Beyond Waste.
Sutapa also runs a live chat show Bistro Buzz Conversations with Sutapa Basu that hosts unique people from across spheres and the world. Read her works on her website storyfuntastika.com& Readomania.com.