Sunday, 5 November 2017

Behind the Scenes - A Vikram Rana Mystery is a Delicious thriller that will keep you hooked....

Review by Anupama Dalmia  (

I had loved the last book in this series and the only thing that didn't work for me in that one was the sloppy editing. I am so glad that with "Behind the scenes", the author has ensured that the reader has a smooth journey through her book without the editing glitches. This is truly the hallmark of a good writer.
"Behind the scenes" is a taut, captivating and racy whodunit which takes us through the cities of Darjeeling and Kolkata. A superstar is murdered and Ms. Shenoy gets to the point right away. I loved how we get a glimpse of the locales in which the story unfolds with just the right amount of description that a tale of this kind requires. Vikram Rana is in form yet again supported by the endearing character Lobo in this edition. The plot is juicy and the backdrop of the film industry adds spice to the story. In between, somewhere I did guess the identity of the murderer but even then the climax caught me by surprise because I didn't expect it to unfold the way it did. The moment you think you have cracked it, you will be caught off guard by a twist in the tale. I also liked the structure of the narrative because it leaves no room for any confusion. Vikram Rana's clear analysis of all suspects makes everything clear to the readers too and we feel like we are a part of his investigation. The emotional touch in this murder mystery is also a factor that works in favor of the book. There were a few typographical errors here and there and I felt there was a minor blooper in the climax revealing which would give away too much. I don't want to kill the suspense hence I would reserve my comment on it. All in all, a fantastic read that deserves to be made into a Bollywood flick. Go for it if you are looking for a quick and riveting read!

A Perfect Plot

There’s an undeniable thrill about meeting a stranger and spending a few hours together, indulging in each other’s lives. It’s that spurt of saying whatever you want and leaving it behind with someone who’ll never look at you and think of it again. The author had beautifully linked up the break up and the suicide attempt, such that the reader already comes to know who the killer was except for the twist.
The concept of revenge was very metaphorically used here. The broken engagement on one hand seems to be the obvious motive; on the other it displays a very emotional note along with it. The person who hurt you--who raped you or killed your family--is also here. If you are still angry at that person, if you haven't been able to forgive, you are chained to him. Everyone could feel the emotional truth of that: When someone offends you and you haven't let go, every time you see him, you grow breathless or your heart skips a beat. If the trauma was really severe, you dream of revenge. Above you, is the Mountain of Peace and Prosperity where we all want to go. But when you try to climb that hill, the person you haven't forgiven weighs you down. It's a personal choice whether or not to let go. No one can tell you how long to mourn a death or rage over a rape. But you can't move forward until you break that chain.
The author had wonderfully drafted the puzzle for Vikram to solve and From this, one can make a deduction which is quite certainly the ultimate truth of jigsaw puzzles: despite appearances, puzzling is not a solitary game: every move the puzzler makes, the puzzle maker has made before; every piece the puzzler picks up, and picks up again, and studies and strokes, every combination he tries, and tries a second time, every blunder and every insight, each hope and each discouragement have all been designed, calculated, and decided by the other.
The case was well set. I felt like the case was made up of tiny puzzle parts that no longer fit together. Imagine working on a puzzle only to find that the final picture can never be complete because one of its pieces is missing. This is exactly what had happened to the case; it had become impossible to put it back together.
But the, How Vikram solves the case?
Read the book from-
to find out.
Overall I would like to rate the book 45 on a scale of 50.
5 stars out of 5
1. Originality of the plot and sub plots- 8/10
2. Net emotions in the story- 9/10
3. Usage of words and phrases-10/10
4. The title, cover and the illustration-10/10
5. The net impact on the readers- 8/10
Reviewed by-
Sayan Basak
Perfect thriller
 Review by Sarathbabu (

I have read the previous novels of Sharmistha Shenoy who has made an interesting character called Vikram Rana. In this novel, the detective Vikram Rana accidentally gets dragged into a murder case of a famous actor in West Bengal. What he did not knew by then is that it would turn out to be a maze which requires investigation on so many other people who were believed to be a suspect only to find out about a startling truth in the end.
The novel is a perfect read for those who love mystery and thriller and the characters were used really well by the author making it interesting which I would say would the real success to this. Having said that I am not waiting for the paperback to be released as well.
The story would keep you guessing from the beginning till the revelation is made by Vikram Rana which is by far the best and one of the most unusual story plots I have come across.

#Review - Behind the Scenes


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Behind the Scenes - A Vikram Rana Mystery has been published!

Dear friends and followers of my work,
I am happy to announce that my book, Behind the Scenes – A Vikram Rana Mystery , is now available in Amazon!
This is the third book in the Vikram Rana Mystery Series.
Link is below.
This is a book about love, and the desire to find inner peace. It is a book about break ups and departures, love that resembles obsession and that deep, transformative power of true love. Spiced up with suspense , I am sure that you will love this book.
The book is set in Darjeeling and Kolkata and is special tribute to the “City of Joy” and it’s wonderful people as well.
Enjoy!!! 🙂

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Book Blurb - Behind the Scenes - A New Vikram Rana Mystery

Fading superstar of the Bengali film industry Ryan Gomez is poisoned to death while shooting for a film in the pretty hill town of Darjeeling. Sheila Dhar, the film’s beautiful female lead with whom Ryan had recently broken his engagement is the chief suspect. Sheila attempts suicide and is shifted to a hospital in Kolkata for treatment. The CID, Kolkata, takes over the investigation and the film crew is allowed to move back to the “City of Joy”.
Though revenge for the broken engagement seems the obvious motive for the murder, there are several others who had reason to wish Ryan dead. Powerful film producer Rustom, the love of whose life ended up becoming Ryan’s first wife.  Screenplay writer Allan, who was in danger of being fired from the production house thanks to a public tiff with Ryan. Acclaimed film director Paddy, who was in love with Sheila. Sheila’s mother, Jaya, who was strongly opposed to her marrying Ryan. The family of Ryan’s first wife, who bear a deep grudge against him.

There are suspects galore, but the murderer has not reckoned with the tenacity of Vikram Rana. 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Behind the Scenes .......... A New Vikram Rana Mystery


‘Ryan, you are a master of these kinds of scenes, so we should be able to close this in one take,’ Paddy, the director, said.
He had just outlined the scene in which Ryan would be standing before a mirror and delivering an angst-ridden monologue on the pains and ironies of life.
‘Yes… yes… can we just get the shot done?  My stomach ache seems to be getting worse.’ Ryan grimaced in pain. ‘At least emoting the scene won’t be a problem. It will be my most natural acting.’
The film shooting was taking place in the drawing room of a, sprawling bungalow in Darjeeling. The camera had been fixed to capture a drunken Bengali gentleman or bhodrolok, being played by Ryan Gomez, more popularly known as Dinesh Kumar.  The female lead, Sheila Dhar was seated nearby, ready for the next shot which involved both of them. Jaya, Sheila’s mother, said, ‘Sheila, I have some Ayurvedic medicine which helped me when I had similar trouble a week back. Can’t we give him a bit of that?’
Sheila said, ‘Well, it can’t harm him…..’
Olivia, a character artist in the film, said to Ryan, ‘You should just take a Fumedil . It’s very effective.’
Jaya said, ‘No, no, this Ayurvedic medicine is very good, it works wonders for me.’
Ryan looked at Jaya and said politely, ‘Thanks… I’ll try it.’
Jaya hurried out of the room to get the medicine.
The shooting was about to begin by the time she came back, and Ryan had taken his place on the set. She put down the glass of medicine on a table beside Ryan’s empty chair. She said to Sheila in an undertone, ‘I am going to the curio shop. Make sure he drinks the medicine.’
Sheila nodded and Jaya left the set.
Ryan started to speak, and then stumbled and doubled over with a sudden spasm of pain. Paddy shouted, ‘Cut. Cut… Are you okay, Ryan?’
Ryan muttered, ‘Dear God, this pain is killing me.’
Sheila handed the glass of medicine to Ryan. ‘Drink this. You might feel better.’
Ryan drank the medicine in one gulp and grimaced. ‘Everything tastes so foul today!’
The producer, Rusty, called out to Ryan, ‘We can cancel the shoot if you are not up to it.’
 ‘No… it’s fine,’ Ryan said, irritably. ‘I will be okay after some rest. Can we just get this shot over with?’
The shooting resumed. This time the scene was approved. Ryan breathed a sigh of relief.
Paddy looked at his watch. ‘Oh, it’s already lunch time! Let’s do the second scene after lunch. Please hurry up, folks. We are already behind schedule.’
Ryan grunted his agreement. ‘I think I will skip lunch. I will rest for some time. Call me once you are ready for the second scene.’
Rusty said, ‘Sure Ryan. Do you want me to help you to your room?’
‘No, no, I am fine. Don’t treat me like some helpless old codger. You know I can’t stand fuss!’ Ryan snapped. He staggered towards his bedroom, with the film crew looking on in helpless silence.
After the lunch break, the cameras were checked. The same room would be used for the next scene. Sheila was in her chair, looking slightly annoyed, as she waited for the shooting to resume. Paddy sent the assistant director, Bala, to inform Ryan that the shooting was about to resume.
Bala came back looking nervous. He approached Paddy and said, hesitantly, ‘I knocked on the door, but Ryan sir is not responding.’
Concerned, Paddy, Sheila, Olivia and Rusty rushed to Ryan’s bedroom. As he still did not respond, they tried to open the door. It was not locked. They entered the room to find Ryan lying inert on the bed. Sheila rushed to the bed and shook the unresponsive figure, ‘Ryan, wake up. Please wake up.’ By this time some more crew members had entered the bedroom.
Rusty said tersely to the assistant director, ‘Bala, send for Dr. Gupta immediately! He lives right next door. All of you, clear out! Let the poor man get some air. Move…. move.’
All the crew members trooped out and Bala ran out to fetch the doctor. Only Sheila, Olivia, Paddy and Rusty remained.
Rusty glared at Sheila and said harshly, ‘What medicine did your mother give Ryan? Why is he not responding? And where is Jayadi?’
Sheila looked up from the bed, fear and confusion writ large on her face. ‘What are you saying? It was just some Ayurvedic medicine for stomach ailments. My mother takes it. Why would my mother cause him any harm?’
Dr. Gupta rushed in at that moment. Rusty turned towards him and said, ‘Ryan was unwell since the morning. Now he is not responding. Please do something!’
Dr. Gupta took Ryan’s pulse. After a moment, he shook his head. ‘I am afraid nothing can be done. He is dead.’
Sheila screamed. ‘No, Ryan! You can’t leave me. Please…, oh please, come back.’
As Rusty looked on confused and helpless, the doctor said sharply, ‘I know Ryan’s medical history.  He had no major health problems. His death is certainly very sudden. I am afraid that I cannot issue a death certificate. The police should be called.’
Sheila wept, her head on Ryan’s chest. Nobody stepped up to comfort her. Instead, all eyes were fixed on her

Questioningly? Accusingly? Warningly?