Season of Sacrifice, by Bharti Kirchner
Maya Mallick is the private investigator of the Detectives Unlimited of Kolkata, Seattle branch. She is energetic, smart, tough and feisty as she solves mysteries. Unlike the classic PI stories where the investigator is mostly a loner seeming to have no interest other than in his cases, this contemporary PI enjoys interesting friends and is enamored with nature, gardening, health foods, and a certain police detective when she’s not busy tracking down leads on her cases. But then, this story is action packed and doesn’t leave a lot of extra time for added qualities of life.
During a morning stroll near Greenlake, Maya is shocked when in front of a gathered crowd two young women shrouded in white set themselves on fire. Just before the blaze ignites she’s horrified to recognize one of the women, and she is a friend of hers. One of the bystanders, who says he is also a friend of the victims, hires Maya to uncover the shocking truth. Neither of them realizes then that they have put in motion factors that will soon risk Maya’s life as well. Maya’s investigation takes her to intriguing corners of the city and across cultural bounds. Secrets are an integral component of mysteries. As the mysterious guru advises Maya about the people she talks to – they believe that their “Secrets are like jewels. You must protect them.” But Maya is determined to reveal them and catch a killer.
Bharti Kirchner is the author of 11 books, seven novels, four cookbooks, and countless short pieces published in magazines and newspapers. Her talent and skill in cooking is scattered through her mystery novel and adds precious luster to the story. Also the culture of India is such a charming dimension to the book. Much of this cultural reference is through the delightful character Uma, who is Maya’s mother. The writing is truly engaging.
Besides her mystery novel Season of Sacrifice Bharti Kirchner also published her Promised Tulips short story in Seattle Noir which is an anthology of mystery short stories. She’s won numerous awards and honors associated with her writing and her cooking. Before becoming an author, Bharti worked as a systems engineer for IBM and as a systems manager for Bank of America in San Francisco. She’s also worked as a computer systems consultant in Europe and other continents. She’s also a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences, book festivals, and universities.
And if you want to hear more from the author listen on YouTube to Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with Bharti Kirchner.
— By Wendy Kendall
Wendy Kendall is a writer, project manager and volunteer at the Edmonds Library. She’s enjoyed living in Edmonds for over 20 years. Follow her via her blog here or on Twitter @wendywrites1.