The Secret Keeper of Jaipur

Mira: Harlequin. Jun. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9780778331858. $27.99; pap. ISBN 9780778311454. $15.99. F
This follow-up to The Henna Artist picks up the story 12 years later, and is told alternatingly in the voices of henna artist Lakshmi; her protégé Malik; and Nimmi, Malik’s beloved. It’s 1969, and Malik is studying the building trade under the tutelage of the Singh family and apprenticing at the Facilities Office of the Jaipur Royal Palace. When a section of their largest project, the Royal Jewel Cinema, collapses on opening night, blame is quickly assigned. Meanwhile, Lakshmi is running the Lady Reading Healing Garden, while her husband, Dr. Jay Kumar, heads up the Community Clinic. They invite Nimmi to coordinate the healing garden, creating opportunities for the facets of Malik’s life—personal/professional and traditional/modern—to intersect. As Malik tries to clear the person blamed for the cinema collapse, he uncovers nefarious connections between his mentors and his life back in Shimla, which may put Nimmi in danger. It’s only after Malik employs the help of Lakshmi, and her connections at the Royal Palace, that justice may be served.
VERDICT With lush details, a return to favorite characters, and emotional complexity, this story satisfies on every level.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing