Urdu is an opulent language and I am instantly attracted to it. So it goes without saying as to why I picked up Murder at the Mushaira by Raza Mir. The book is published by Aleph book co.The murder mystery has poet laureate Mirza Ghalib at the helm and in a sleuth’s guise. (If this won’t make you pick up the book then idk what will!) It couldn’t get more interesting than this. The story takes place in the year 1857, the first war of Indian Independence. We see rebels rising in every nook and corner of the country. Most drama is set in the north. Sarfaraz, is a rebel riding from Mathura Delhi with a secret message for the crown but he is injured by British guns and takes shelter in Nawab Hasan’s haveli. Unbeknownst to the residents of this haveli, he is hidden and suffering because of infection. Events take a swift turn when at a Mushaira hosted by Nawab sahib, a particular Khairabadi is murdered. It turns out Khairabadi was a British spy. Britishers want the murderer to be caught at the earliest and so Ghalib is employed by them to solve this twisted murder mystery.The book is rooted in history, dipped in sweetness of Urdu and has the zaika of Nawabi delicacies. It intermingles facts and fiction quite well. Infact, I felt like it blurs the thin line between fact and fiction, and we start viewing the story as if it were a part of the history. One can call it a slice of history. It shows us how the rebellion could have unfolded, and how the Indians suffered at the hands of Britishers. The book is extremely detailed and sometimes gets a tad boring. However, the first half of the book does a great job of keeping the readers at the edge of their seats.Last word – It isn’t the quintessential murder mystery but it does well if you are a fan of historical fiction. Also if you are a fan of Ghalib, Urdu language and the grandiose that comes with it, this can be a good leisure read.

Rating – ⭐⭐⭐.5
Publisher – Aleph
To buy the book, pls click – https://amzn.to/3jDusyo

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