When I sat down to read this book, I was full of anticipation. After all, it had been long since I read a murder mystery, and that also with Mughal era as the backdrop!
The story begins with the main protagonist, Muzaffar Jung, discovering that his friend Faisal is arrested on charges of theft & murder. Knowing his friend’s innocence well, he decides to investigate the issue himself. He has partial support from his sister and brother-in- law, who also happens to be the kotwal of the town.
His quest lands him up with some vital clues that lead him further in his investigation. But then, there appears to be someone who is making all the efforts to stop him. An attempt on his own life and two more murders complicate the case. Muzaffar, or Jung Sahib, as he is also referred to, is not the one who can be scared away so easily. He continues his investigation, clutching on with every little piece of information he gathers in the process and finally manages to unveil the real culprits.
The story is gripping, it will keep you involved throughout. I will not say that it is difficult to guess who the murderer is, however, the way things move, they do make you doubt whether your guess is right or wrong.
The Englishman’s Cameo is set in the Mughal era. The settings and the characters are all well described, but as I read on, I just couldn’t help thinking of another very famous India detective, Byomkesh Bakshi. In Muzaffar Jung, you can very well see Byomkesh Bakshi.
The Englishman’s Cameo is the first novel by Madhulika Liddle and it was released in October 2009 itself. The author’s second novel is expected somewhere around February next year.
My advice for those who have not read the book – Go on, read the book. It is definitely a good book to spend your time with.