Friday, 15 December 2017

Behind the Scenes is #1 in Amazon Best Sellers - Romantic Category Section. I could not have asked for a better Birthday Gift.Thank you dear readers for making this possible. 

Saturday, 9 December 2017

A Season for Dying - ebook available at Rs. 19 only

Dear Friends

The ebook version of "A Season for Dying" is available at 87% discount in Amazon as a part of a week long lightning deal. Grab your copy today.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Hello Reader,

As you might be knowing, my latest work, Behind the Scenes  has been published in Amazon. Going by ratings, the people who have read the book, have loved it. I am honoured.

If you read the book and like it, then please spread the word. That is the only way I can reach out to more people. Please help and support me if you like my work :-)

Behind the Scenes 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 find this book to be entertaining.

The book is set in Darjeeling and Kolkata and is a special tribute to the "City of Joy” and it's wonderful people as well.

Personally, I feel that this is my best work so far.

The link to Amazon is :

Please give it a rating in Amazon and Goodreads if you love the book. The link to the amazon review page is:

For Goodreads, anyway you will be asked to give a rating when you finish reading the e-book so don't forget that please :-)

With Lots of Love and Good Wishes


Friday, 24 November 2017

Behind the Scenes - An intense romantic suspense story

#India #Romance#RomanticSuspense#Passion#Bestseller#KindleUnlimited#VikramRana#VikramRanaMysterySeries
#India #Romance#RomanticSuspense#Passion#Bestseller#KindleUnlimited
#Amazon Link:
A STANDALONE suspense story of the BESTSELLING series—The Vikram Rana Mysteries
#Blurb: 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.
The shooting was taking place in a large bungalow called ‘The Forest View House’, located on Nehru Road. It was a huge, red-tiled wooden bungalow, surrounded by beautiful gardens. Beyond the garden was a forest of ferns, birches, orchids, oaks, chestnuts and firs. Visible in the background were the tall, majestic mountains. One could see the Kanchenjunga in the north, glinting silver in the midmorning. One couldn’t help but appreciate the aesthetic sense of the person who had designed the bungalow. It was beautiful.
Veena said, ‘This is the hero Dinesh Kumar’s house. His real name is Ryan Gomez. He inherited this house after his wife, Sophia’s death.’
‘Oh. You are a walking encyclopedia of the Bengali film industry!’ Vikram said.
‘I do keep track of happenings, because Sheila is a part of this industry.’
Before Vikram could respond, they heard footsteps coming to the drawing room where they were seated.
Sheila came in with her mother. She was elaborately made up. She probably had been getting ready for the shoot. Jaya said, ‘Look, Sheila! See who’s come to visit you.’

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?

Thursday, 7 September 2017

This is a review of my book A Season for Dying in Amazon. I just had to share this because this kind of reviews makes me want to be the world's best writer and continue to entertain my readers. 
Thank you Chandini K I don't know you, but I will forever be grateful to you, because you make me a better writer as I want to please you even more with my next book .
Here is the review:
oh my goodness!! had to give it 5 stars because I couldn't find a single flaw!
1. Good writing? check! (No extensive use of Thesaurus just to sound fancy, simple and smooth writing with impeccable editing)
2. Plot and Story? check! (well researched, not a hollow story with insensible plot. Might not be Sherlock Holmes standards where the twist is at the end you can see it coming but it's totally worth the read too!)
3. Creativity? a 100% check (amidst conventional romantic crap written by the popular but idiotic indian writers this book is actually amazing. Makes one wanna say, "who said Indians can't write crime stories?"
keep up the good work sharmishtha and yes please invest in some marketing.

Monday, 5 June 2017

My latest book "A Season for Dying" has featured in the Amazon Hot New Releases. Thank you Amazon for the honor.
Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #133 Paid in Kindle Store
#12 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Crime, Thriller & Mystery
#28 in Books > Crime, Thriller & Mystery

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Thursday, 4 May 2017

A Season for Dying is #41 in the Amazon Bestseller list.

Customer review 4.2/5 in Amazon

100% positive review in Goodreads.

Grab your copy today!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017


Reviewer : Sarath Babu(
Rating: 5/5
When I got this book, I never realised that the author has already penned few novels. I was made aware of this fact due to the presence of abstract of couple of stories in the end of the novel which seemed equally interesting and intriguing.

Coming to the actual novel – A Season for Dying is a perfect title for the novel since the death occurs eliminating one character or the other throughout the novel. It all begins with a murder of a housewife and it continues with the killing of few more ….

Read the rest at

Reviewer : Rahul Basu
Rating: 5/5

I like to read murder mysteries because the logical skills of finding a pattern and deductive reasoning are often skilfully laid out. Ms Shenoy’s A Season for Dying does not disappoint and illustrates the above point successfully.

Vikram Rana, Hyderabad’s own Byomkesh Bakshi, is at his wit’s end trying to trace a serial killer who is brazen enough to send letters to the press after each murder, challenging the Hyderabad police.

The writing style is simple yet elegant and the plot is challenging keeping the readers hooked.

The author has craftily used red herring and yet leaves tantalising clues behind. But the reader is still thrown off the scent.
In summary, this is a five star book that gets an extra star for captivating me from start to finish.

Rest of the reviews are available in :

Monday, 10 April 2017

Both my ebooks (Vikram Rana Investigates and A season for Dying - A Vikram Rana Mystery) are in the top 100 bestseller list in the crime, thriller and mystery section. I could not have wished for a better start of the day. :-)

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Dear Reader

My new book, “A Season for Dying” is now available in Amazon. 

The link to the ebook is :

The paperback will also be available in Amazon by next week. It is currently available in Walden and Himalaya Book Shop in Hyderabad.

Please visit my website for more details.

Thanks for your love and support.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Note from a killer 
“This is Prakash writing. I am the murderer of Padma Manepally. I am attaching photos of her dead body taken in her apartment today to prove that I am indeed the killer. Old ladies make nice soft targets. I think I will wipe out an old lady next. …Catch me if you can.”

1st April, 11:30 am Charminar: A housewife is strangled to death.
15th April 5:30 am Begumpet: A reputed doctor is bludgeoned to death near Begumpet Station while out on her morning walk.
A ruthless killer is on the loose. He has openly challenged the Hyderabad Police to catch him. The reputation of the Hyderabad Police is in tatters. The psychopath is roaming freely across Hyderabad killing indiscriminately. Or is there a method in this madness? Who are these victims and why they have been selected by the murderer? He ropes in good friend Vikram Rana to help him. As Gopi Reddy admits, 'Random killers are the hardest criminals to catch.' But to Vikram Rana something about these brutal incidences does not ring true and these crimes seem to be related…. Will Vikram and ACP Reddy be able to prevent another murder in this race against time before this monster strikes again?

Coming soon.....A Season for Dying... A Vikram Rana Mystery

Friday, 10 February 2017

The man in the dark hoodie was waiting in the shadows. It was nearly dawn – the sunlight was subtly shining through the cloud, an indication of the clear day to come. It was peaceful and calm, but he was hardly aware of it. He was seething with a violent inner excitement, anticipating his next move. He saw the elderly, slight woman in her late fifties, clad in a saree and wearing Nike trainers walking briskly towards the steps leading from the Begumpet station parking lot to the Greenland’s flyover. Seeing her, he grinned and moved swiftly yet stealthily towards her. As he was bringing the cosh down on her head she heard him and turned her head around. She let out a stifled scream as he hit her and groaning she crumpled and rolled down the steps. A long distance train roaring past the station masked the sound that she made. He hit her repeatedly as she tried to get up giggling softly to himself till she lay inert. Blood started pooling round her head where she lay. He suddenly felt tired and sleepy, yet highly gratified. This was way better than any drugs. He took out the camera and took some photos. He looked around furtively to check if anyone was watching. Luckily the place was quite dark and the parking lot was deserted. But there was a lot more work to do – he must hurry or he might be caught.
The dead body of the victim was discovered the same day, i.e., on 15th April, around 6:30 am in the morning by an auto driver who had come to drop a few passengers to the station. The police quickly barricaded the crime scene and informed the Begumpet police station head, Inspector Satish Rao, who in turn called Gopi Reddy. The auto driver, who had found the body, hung around looking nervous.
When Inspector Satish Rao arrived at the crime scene, he found a crowd of people surrounding the dead body. The auto driver was trying to ensure that nobody touched the body. The victim was identified by the local people as Dr. Renuka Reddy who stayed in an apartment in Brahmanwadi, very close to the station. She was a gynaecologist and had her own nursing home in Begumpet. Her daughter-in-law had been informed by some locals and she was already present along with another woman when Inspector Satish Rao arrived at the crime scene. When she introduced herself, Inspector Rao asked her to wait till he finished talking to the auto driver.
Satish Rao now looked around him and enquired, ‘I hope nobody has touched the dead body?’
The auto driver came forward to say, ‘Sir, I had informed the police and I have not allowed anybody to touch the body since I discovered it. My brother-in-law is a constable in the Police force. Also I have seen enough movies. So I know a bit about police procedures,’ he added proudly
The auto driver was an intelligent and reliable looking middle aged man. Right now he looked visibly shaken. Satish Rao asked, ‘What is your name?’
He replied, ‘Srinivas Goud, Sir. This is the first time I seeing something like this. I never want to experience it again. This is horrible.’
Satish Rao made a commiserating sound, ‘I know how you feel. But the investigation has to proceed. Tell me, how did you notice the body?’
‘Sir I had dropped a few passengers who were taking the Faluknama Gulbarga express at 6:08 in Begumpet Station. They were already delayed. I was curious to see if they caught the train as I know them.’
‘How do you know them?’
‘Sir they stay in Kamalapuri Colony. I also stay nearby. They use my services quite often.’
‘Okay so you were curious to see whether they caught the train. What happened then?’
‘I waited at the entrance near the ticket counter from where I can see the platform number two. As the Faluknama Gulbarga Express was delayed by 15 minutes, they were able to catch the train. Then I turned around went back to my auto and was lighting a cigarette when I noticed the body. I called my brother-in-law who then informed the Begumpet Police,’ Srinivas explained.
He was clearly becoming more and more nervous on being asked so many questions. To put him at ease, Satish Rao said, ‘Well done. Give your name and address to Constable Sumon there and then you can leave.’
Looking proud for himself, Srinivas Goud strutted towards Constable Sumon.
While Satish Rao was questioning the auto driver, he had noticed that Renuka’s daughter-in-law was getting impatient and was angrily trying to draw his attention.
As he turned towards her, ACP Reddy arrived with his team.  She barged her way towards Satish and Reddy and began shouting, ‘Look at what happened to my mum. What steps are you taking to nab the killer?  I thought that Hyderabad was a safe city to stay. How can a respectable citizen like my mother be murdered in a public place like this? And you are not even talking to me.’ Tears of anger and frustration were running down her face.
Constable Sumon, who was a local of that area, whispered into ACP Reddy’s ears, ‘This is Dr. Priya Reddy, the victim, Dr. Renuka’s daughter-in-law. The other one is Dr. Renuka’s long-time friend Barkha Bisht.’
Dr. Priya’s eyes were red from recent weeping. As soon as she heard the news, she had just put on a mismatched salwar suit and ran down from her home. Her hair was undone and she looked half mad with grief. She was obviously very fond of her mother-in-law. Barkha had also been crying, but she was now more composed. She was trying to soothe Dr. Priya.
ACP Reddy said curtly, ‘It’s also Dr. Renuka’s fault. There is a dangerous killer on the loose. She shouldn’t have come out alone this early in the morning. Anyway, what was she doing here?’
‘Every morning she goes for a swim in the country club. She takes this shortcut from our apartment to the club though the station. The steps at the end of the parking lot lead to the Greenland flyover and from there it is a few minutes to the club.  She has done this for 5 years and nothing had happened. We have been staying in this locality for fifteen years and everyone knows us.’ Dr. Priya spat out.
‘That doesn’t mean that a sociopathic killer won’t attack her in a lonely spot. We’ll need to take the body away for autopsy. I suggest that you go home and try to take some rest. Come, let me drop both of you back to your apartment.’
‘Oh, it is only a short distance. We can walk back.’ Barkha said now.
‘No, it’s alright. I am anyway going to that direction, I will drop you.’ ACP Reddy gently guided them towards his car after requesting Satish Rao to make arrangements to shift the body.
During the drive back, Dr. Priya said, ‘Generally she would start for the club around 5:30 am walk for an hour around the Kundanbagh area and then swim for 30 minutes, but as she had a delivery scheduled around 9 am, she must have decided to  go to the club a bit earlier than normal. I am a light sleeper, so I heard her close the front door of our apartment around 5 am. It was still dark when she went out. It would have been dawn by 5:30 am and she would not have been killed.’ She was gibbering, talking feverishly, more to herself that the ACP. She looked dazed and traumatised and tears were falling freely from her eyes.
Barkha said sharply, ‘Priya – please try to calm down. You will fall sick if you do not pull yourself together.’ Priya ignored her.
‘You stayed with your mother-in-law?’ Reddy asked Dr. Priya.
‘Yes. I am a widow and as my husband was her only child, I became like her daughter. Oh, why do I always lose the people I love?’ she wailed hysterically.
Gopi Reddy felt a twinge of compassion for her. But he said sharply, ‘Pull yourself up. Going into hysteria won’t help anybody. Try to compose yourself and think about whether Dr. Renuka might have known the killer. Maybe the killer had a grudge against her and singled her out. Think about it. If you can recall any unsavoury incidences let us know.’
Then in a more gentle tone he continued, ‘I understand that this is a very traumatic time for you. You take some rest. We might need to question you again, but we’ll do so a few days later. Right now I have most of the information I need.’
A large number of neighbours and acquaintances had already come over and after handing over the weeping and hysterical Dr. Priya to one of the elder relatives, ACP Reddy walked next door to Vikram Rana’s home. He wondered what his ex-colleague and close friend Vikram was doing and whether the news of the murder had reached him as yet. It was almost 8 am and as he knew that as Vikram was an early riser, he would not mind a visit from Reddy. He would also like to hear the news of the murder directly from him. Reddy was also not ashamed to admit to himself, that Vikram, being Dr. Renuka Reddy’s neighbour, might be able to provide some more information about the family.
Vikram was tall and had been athletic. But due to his hectic work schedules, he had lately been unable to exercise and like Reddy, being a big time foodie, had put on weight. He had been put under strict diet by his health freak wife Veena. So he had been pushed out of his bed by 6:30 am and had been forced to run on the treadmill that she had gifted him. Though Vikram was tough with criminals, he was prudent enough not to get on the wrong side of his wife. She was the undisputed boss in the Rana household.
After jogging for an hour he had been hoping for a hearty breakfast of aloo parathas and yoghurt, but instead was given oats and soya milk.
Looking at the bowl of oats he said in an outraged voice, ‘What’s this?’
‘This is a bowl of oats. You are approaching middle age Vikram and you should eat more healthy food.’ Veena said sternly.
‘But this tastes like sand.’
‘What nonsense. This is organic steel cut oats. Extremely good for your health. I have added soya milk. That is why it tastes a bit funny. But you will get used to it soon!’
Vikram put a spoon of the oats gingerly in his mouth. He nearly gagged at the taste. ‘It has no sugar! It tastes horrible,’ he protested, thumping the table so loudly that the newspaper nearly flew off the table.
Veena looked at him even more sternly. ‘Sugar is bad for your health. I will add some honey okay? And try not to make such stupid noises so early in the morning. The neighbours will complain!’
Vikram went purple in the face, but knowing that it was no use trying to argue with his wife, he manfully swallowed another spoonful of the oats when the doorbell rang.
Thankfully abandoning his breakfast, he opened the door to find Gopi Reddy standing outside.
Vikram raised his eyebrows in surprise on seeing Reddy so early at the door. ‘What happened?’
‘The second murder happened right here near the Begumpet Railway Station.’ ACP Reddy said rather baldly.

‘What! Right under my nose? Who was the victim?’