Cover Image: Partho, The Unconventional Investigator

Partho, The Unconventional Investigator

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Member Reviews

I greatly enjoyed reading this. It's not a boring, run-of-the-mill mystery, and engages the reader, pulling you into the story. Partho may have unique gadgets to help with the investigation, but they aren't so out-of-this-world that the reader can't imagine them really existing. Great for quirky mystery fans.
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I enjoyed this book.  While it was somewhat short, it was a quick fun read.  I loved Partho, the quirky, ingenious main character and his wife.  The story itself gently pulled you in, and kept you involved.  Overall, it was a great book, and I can't wait to read Partho's Future adventures.
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Partho, the Unconventional Investigator is a sweet story and at the same time mysterious and interesting.  I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it to others who enjoy mysteries.  Apparently one of the main characters, Dev, looks for mysteries to solve and he teams up with Partho who is an inventor of all kinds of unique gadgets.  The book is close enough to reality not to be considered sci fi, but some of the gadgets are definitely not the norm.  The gadgets themselves added quite a bit of intrigue to the book.  I also appreciated that Partho is deeply spiritual and meditates and does yoga so he tends to approach the crime solving in a more mellow way.

I admit, that it took me awhile to get used to the Indian names, places and writing style but it didn't detract from the book at all.  I liked the details of the food, places and other descriptions found in the book, they actually added to my enjoyment.  

The plot is well thought out and the characters are quite unique.  Actually, most of the things in this book are unique so you won't think you've read it before!  That happens to me sometimes when the thriller books kind of all run together and start seeming the same.  This book definitely stands on its own!

I received a copy of Partho, the Unconventional Investigator through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  My thanks to the publisher and to Rajib Mukherjee for the opportunity.
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When I think of Partho and Dev, I think of Holmes and Watson. Partho is highly intelligent and in the beginning the reader would not associate him with crime investigation. But as the story unfolds throught the eyes of Dev, Partho shines, making ingenious deductions and solving the crime before the other members of the party even had a clue.

I really liked this book. A bit on the short side, but I hope there will be more of Partho to come.

I would recommend this book to all lovers of mystery suspense, who likes quirky characters and an eccentric investigator.

Thank you to Netgalley and the author for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.
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The Unconventional Investigator is the perfect description of the main character, Partho. I liked him and his unique ways of solving things. Many twists and turns that make you keep turning the pages to solve the mystery.

The author wrote an intriguing mystery that held my interest. His descriptive writing brings people and places to life in your mind. This was my first book by him and fairly short but very enjoyable. I look forward to more of the adventures of Partho and Dev. 

* I was provided an ARC to read from the publisher and NetGalley. It was my decision to provide a review.
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Partho, the Unconventional Investigator – The mystery of the missing bags was a sweet and charming story.

The story is written in the first person of Dev, whose background closely resembles that of the author. Dev’s sister, Ria, is married to Partho. Ria babies her husband, and Partho, Dev tells us, loves it.

Even though Dev tells us at the very outset that I never intended to be the Watson to any Holmes, that is exactly what he ends up becoming. Partho Ghosh is the Sherlock Holmes to Dev’s Dr Watson.

The events of the story begin inoffensively enough with Dev’s interest in an ad in the local paper relating to a black Travel Pro bag, exchanged by mistake at the airport.

The desire to solve this mystery catapults Partho and Dev into deep adventure and mortal danger, when gangsters called the Alfariqs become involved. What seems like a harmless investigation into missing bags for want of something better to do soon assumes grave overtones. 

The author puts in some interesting twists and turns, as the story picks up speed. What heightens the tension is the fact that one of the key characters has made a living well, and the mystery must be resolved within ten days, before the will decrees termination of his life support system.

On his way to fleshing out this charming mystery, the author touches upon some fascinating subjects such as living wills, the challenges inherent in archaeology and hudud law.

Partho, the desi Holmes, was adorable. I liked the traits with which the author sought to build him up. His practice of yoga and meditation, his ability to picture things in his mind as also his quirky personality, his endearing vulnerability (he shivers and is nursed by his wife in an almost motherly fashion) and his ability to design amazing gadgets that would cause James Bond to feel envious.

He isn’t, however, as unconventional as the author would have us believe. In fact, he follows quite closely in the convention of Sherlock Holmes.

In fact, in the vein of Holmes, he also leaves us with one bit of wisdom when he describes death as a change of state. He adds, Does the liquid water fear death when it changes to vapor or to ice? Not a single drop of water ever disappeared from the face of the planet; life, like that water droplet, is everlasting and imperishable.

The Baker’s Street sleuth, it was often said, lacked a woman’s benign influence in his life. Here, the author amends the situation with Ria. Ria serves as a good foil to him, following up on his ideas with her painstaking research and sound common sense.

They are supported by a colourful ensemble of characters such as Ryan, who does not mind sharing the credit, and Ahluwalia, the lawyer, besides Chandan Chatterjee, Thomas, Begum Sahiba etc. Of these other characters, I liked Ryan and Ahluwalia, both of who have the potential to walk out of this book and into another.

Ahluwalia’s character, all pretend cloak-and-dagger, was rendered more interesting on account of his needling of Ryan, the copy, and the cheeky aphorisms he spouts, which the narrator describes as his fortune cookie bits of wisdom.

These aphorisms are:
Face value has no value.

A man who measures life never knows his own measure.

And my favourite, There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.

And of course, who would write Partho’s adventures down but Dev?

Dev’s character was also well drawn. He has a thirst for adventure which dies as soon as the adventure leads him into awkward situations. Like Watson, he attempts to deduce facts from the sketchiest of information but misses the mark by a wide margin.

The only parts that seemed incomplete were the descriptions of locales. They came across as half-done.

The Middle East is not a region that I am familiar with and so I can’t comment on the descriptions with any certainty. But I found it strange that the fierce Islamists would take the desecration of a graveyard so lightly.

Also, the author has not indicated whether the graveyard is Christian or Muslim. Since the locale is Abu Dhabi, I assumed it is Muslim. If that is so, then the imagery of a cross on the grave, as displayed on the cover, is highly incorrect. The author should have pointed out which it is clearly.

Since the story is based in Kolkata for a large part, it would have been nice if Kolkata had played a greater role in the story. Few cities have as much character as Kolkata, and the author should consider bringing out the character of the city, if he ever thinks of a sequel.

There was one other error I spotted when they are all discussing their plans for Abu Dhabi. Tom asks, “Who goes and who stays?” and Ryan responds, “I believe Partho and you should go.” Since Tom has asked the question, it seems reasonable to think the ‘you’ refers to him. It is only when Dev speaks up that one realizes that Ryan was referring to Dev. This confusion could have been avoided.

These errors, however, do not take away from the pace of the book. Once it starts, the story rushes headlong with one thing leading quickly to another, and the original mystery of the missing travel bag finding its resolution in an event that, at first sight, seems completely far-fetched. 

Just like Holmes, it is Partho who helps us see the links between the seemingly unrelated events. It is as much his smart thinking as his gizmos that save the day for him and Dev.

The book was entertaining. Partho is the sort of character that can grow on a reader. I hope this isn’t his only adventure.
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Partho is truly unconventional in his approach to crime solving, he utilizes his meditation and yoga skills, which gives him a unique and insightful logical way of looking at things. The characters of this story are okay and the storyline good, although the mystery started off a bit slow, it soon picked up, becoming engrossing and interesting. A truly unusual way of solving crimes but it works for Partho and his wife, they always have great results, making them very popular and reliable investigators, this book makes an interesting and intriguing read.
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This short book was an interesting mystery novel debut. It provided eccentric personalities, suspenseful situations, and high stakes galore, with Partho's inventions adding to its appeal!
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