MYSTERY

A Will To Kill

Agora. (Harith Athreya, Bk. 1). Oct. 2020. 340p. ISBN 9781951709075. $26. M
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A famous detective receives an invitation to a secluded country house. It will be a gathering of the second generation of a family around the wheelchair-bound, wealthy patriarch who has just developed two wills—one if he dies of natural causes, one if he is murdered. A landslide isolates the group as the detective arrives in the valley. What could go wrong? The first interesting twist is that this country house is Greybrooke Manor, in the Nilgiris district in India, which adds to the story’s atmosphere. Rumored to be haunted by the ghost of an Englishman, the manor has been the site of several sudden deaths. That and the knowledge that his family is waiting for him to die, so they can inherit, is what drove Bhaskar Fernandez to write two wills. He also invited well-known sleuth Harith Athreya to the mansion. When a murder does occur, Athreya goes to work.
VERDICT Reminiscent of Agatha Christie mysteries, this first in the “Harith Athreya” series is a sure hit for readers who love a taste of foreign intrigue and a solid whodunit. Fans of Ngaio Marsh’s A Man Lay Dead and Patricia Moyes’s Dead Men Don’t Ski will also enjoy.

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