A DIRE ISLE, the second Harith Athreya mystery has a real-world setting in Bundelkhand, Central India. It’s a remote spot on the banks of the Betwa River, a stone’s throw from the erstwhile Orchha kingdom. A wedding in the family took me there and supplied me with the setting for this book. Here is how that happened:
CrimeReads has listed A DIRE ISLE among the 10 novels you should read in December 2021. Here is their review:
The second novel in the Harith Athreya series firmly establishes RV Raman as an author on the rise and an impressive force in the world of whodunnits. In A Dire Isle, there’s a mysterious death at an archaeological site near a fabled island in the Betwa River, in Central India. Detective Athreya is called to investigate and encounters a kind of locked-room puzzle mixed in with gothic notes from the beyond. Readers who crave the fair play puzzling of a traditional mystery mixed in with some armchair travel will be richly rewarded.
Here is the first review of the upcoming mystery, A DIRE ISLE. Publishers Weekly review the second Harith Athreya mystery that is set in Orchha in Bundelkhand (Central India).
Raman’s enjoyable sequel to 2020’s A Will to Kill takes private investigator Harith Athreya to an archaeological dig on the banks of the River Betwa in Bundelkhand, India, at the behest of investors in the excavation concerned about financial irregularities. The site is run by the overbearing and unpopular Mrs. Markaan, who has a reputation for taking credit for work done by junior archaeologists on her team. Legend has it that a couple, forbidden to marry because one was Hindu and the other Muslim, escaped to a nearby island with a giant mastiff dog and have haunted it ever since. When Mrs. Markaan turns up dead on the island, Athreya must determine whether the death is related to the troubles with the dig’s finances, or if the island’s myths have become real. Raman does a good job weaving in the mystery with a possibility of the supernatural, all while juggling a large cast of characters. A multilayered reveal in the final pages proves satisfying as well. Armchair travelers and fans of traditional mysteries should take note.