Book – The Adventures of Mum and Princess
Author – Payel Bhattacharya
Previous Works – Midnight, A Warrior Dies Dancing
Mum has an unexpectedly brilliant and problem-solving mind and enjoys the guise of a harmless little lady. Mum has a remarkable facility for observation and notation of the trivia which often leads her to solve impossible cases. Her daughter Princess is very ill but doesn’t spend time brooding over it. With her anxious searching gaze and flashing her brilliant determined smile twiddling with various theories, she helps Mum solve locked room mysteries. She is intelligent and she helps Mum unraveling puzzles and solving cases with riddles. Verma Sharma detective duo is the avatars of Thomson and Thompson, providing comic relief by their meticulous nature. Inspector Arin of the homicide department depends on Mum for solving the complex cases.
Will Mum be able to confront the madmen with the hunger of their own greediness residing down in the fiery depth of hell? Will she be able to intercept their gluttony? Will she be able to bring a final end to those suffering, being ruined by those modernist figures, hell’s esteemed gentries?
The collection contains six beautifully crafted stories.
The Adventures of Mum and Princess by Payel Bhattacharya is an anthology of six short stories, featuring Princess and her Mum who go around solving murders and mysteries. Princess stays mostly unwell so is confined to her mother’s care. They have a brother who works at a distance in the police department, but eventually he comes home. Mum stays with Princess to take care of her.
I loved the idea of making Princess a child with boundaries. She isn’t healthy like other kids but that doesn’t stop her from being her. She is curious, intelligent and loves a challenge. She confides in her mother the most and this leads to the introduction of a strong female character. The Mum is a smart and empowered woman, she helps the cops, is elegant with her manners, takes care of Princess and she has all the potential characters of a role model for a girl growing up. While Princess stands for the children with disabilities, with her zeal towards life, Mum stands for the women who are pillars for their children.
This is the sort of book I would want a child to read. It will fill them with amaze and wonder. It’s the perfect company to grow up with. I’m not sure if it’s a children’s book or not, since its not particularly mentioned anywhere in the book.
The book is informative at times, builds character if you look close and has a few facts from time to time. Most importantly, it glorifies the fact that, you can solve anything if you make the effort. If its in the children’s book category, it would be a hit.
The writing is lucid, all the tricky parts of the stories are well explained. The riddles and the puzzles were put together at their proper places. The plot of each stories are different than the previous ones which provides something new to the reader. Every story has its own mystery element, but the stories are well spun and not overdone in any aspect.
Ratings- 3.5 stars out of 5
Coming to adults, the book is lovely, its written in a sense to create curiosity about the next but its not enough. The stories aren’t tough enough to thriller a seasoned reader if they pick it going by the category.
You might find some oddities that you might not be able to wrap around your adult brain. For example, why was Mum getting invited to be a part of crime investigations? Its highly unprofessional on the part of the police to seek intelligence assistance from a civilian. But as not-an-adult brain, its exciting that even the police needs, civilian help.
Reviewed by- Banaja Prakashini
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About the author
The author Payel Bhattacharya was born and raised in Kolkata but she currently resides in Delhi for the past decade. She was struck by a rare disease early on in her life known as VHL or von Hippel-Lindau disease. She underwent countless surgeries which intervened with her studies and acquiring degrees and getting herself established in life. She expressed herself and the turmoil she was in through her sketches and poetry.
After her diagnosis she wrote an article on VHL in natureasia.com. She wrote her first long poem “The Warrior Princess” to describe the way she is combating the dire situations. She has the rarest form of multiple brain tumors and took it as a challenge to write detective fiction. She has lost vision of her right eye due to an optic nerve tumor in brain and she writes with her one-eyed vision. “Mum and Princess go spying” is her first attempt to write mystery stories which was followed by the novelette “Sweeter than revenge”. Her autobiographical fictional account of life has been published by Sahitya Akademi’s bimonthly journal of the September- October issue 2018.