BOOK REVIEW “The Englishman’s Cameo”
Author: Madhulika Liddle
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Cost: 295 Rs.
Publisher: Hachette India
First Published: 2009
Madhulika LIddle’s first novel “The Englishman’s Cameo” is a murder mystery set in Mughal Era of Emperor Shahjahan. It describes Delhi in early 1656 when Aurangzeb was advancing with his army to take over the throne. What can me more interesting than this, right? So I decided to read this one.
When Delhi was going through political turbulence (isn’t it always..) in 1656 as Aurangzeb advancing with his troops against his father Shah Jahan, the kotwali of Delhi are entangled in a murder mystery. Young Muzaffar Jang, in an attempt to save his friend from being executed, follows the trail of a dead merchant, a scheming eunuch, and “too many Englishmen”. As Jang, the poetry-loving nephew of the Kotwal, investigates further, we meet Mehtab, the legendary courtesan (who is murdered soon after), her mysterious step-sister Gulnar and Akram, the affable nobleman who follows Jang around.
The novel scores high on all grounds. Not only is the mystery in the book fascinating, but historically also it is simulating. Liddle’s depiction of Shahjanabad, its culture, life style is exciting and very much believable. I think this book is a movie material and I hope someone will make one very soon. The author has very good characters at her hand to start a detective series. I am sure she could find many murders in Mughal Era to solve.
This one is Must Read Book for everyone, do not miss it. If I have to rate it I will give it 10 out of 10.
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