The Case Of The Chinese Mastermind : Review

The Book with the heart
bookmark made by me :)
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Book     : The Case Of The Chinese Mastermind 
                    (The Crime Busters' League)
Author       : Ketaki Karnik
Genre`       : YA Fiction /Mystery
Publishers : Jaico Publishing House
Year          : 2014
Cover        : Childish
Ratings      : 3.7/5

How will it feel to go back in childhood and have a mystery ala Nancy drew style to solve for ? Smashing ! You would say and that's what the book is - S.M.A.S.H.I.N.G .

With Uncle Ravi's valuable papers stolen and his company refusing to call in the police,its upto 14 years old Kavya,Raima,Varun and Anna to solve the mystery. 
Uncle Ravi's reputation and hard work is at stake and perhaps some lives too ..... as a blood-thirsty monster, a killer car, rogue spies, muscular henchmen,plotting friends, crooked officials,corporate espionage, blackmail ,theft, guests and servants in disguise .... are only few of the things to be taken care of  .... in that very secluded farmhouse .
And to top it all a very much harried Pinky Aunty to deal with! And not to forget that  Pinky Aunty’s farmhouse was once a haunted abode of the king of Patiala.....

Will the four friends succeed in busting their very first crime mystery ...Will they be able to evade the life threatening danger they are in ? are just some of the questions they are facing ....

 Except for the rather bumpy start, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
 Its ideal for a 9 year old ,a teenager looking for adventure as well as a stressed out adult .
 Such books which suit so many sensibilities are rare so there's no beating around the bush .. its a winner friends.

Because its target audience are young adults and children, the language is of utmost importance and am glad and beaming to say that our wards can read it without any parental guidance in this particular area .


The book opened on a rather verbose note for my tastes but after two and a half chapters it gained momentum (Or I got adapted to it ..) and the long adjectives and similes were spared which otherwise followed each character and its each gesticulation like ghost attendants and water boys scuttering around the characters in question, applying - oh! now a dab of powder and here!just a dash of rouge and now another coat of mascara and now ............... well you got the drift .

Though I MUST mention that each and every simile and adjective is authentic , witty and unique . I quite enjoyed them only they hindered the pace, which is too frantic in the first two chapters !

I loved the witty narration as wit always gets me . 

Sample it - 
Page 22 , Kavya the 14 year old reflects

 "I walked upto the car. there's a fine line between bravado and stupidity, I remembered reading somewhere. the truth is there is no line - it only depends on the outcome. If you succeed , you're brave. If you don't...."

And this -
pg. 66 , Kavya the 14 year old child observes 

"It was the first time I was sitting with Prof. Fernandes from this close. He had this ultra-serious demeanour about him- the kind that proclaims 'don't talk to me unless you have a PhD and have atleast made two noteworthy discoveries '...... I decided some adults are just born adults."

At moments you may find yourself at splits despite yourself. So, Overall its accolades for the Writing Style . 

 Are well crafted and nicely drawn.Their traits,motives and menace is well depicted in so few pages and so much to write about.

Well it is for these two unanswered questions -

What about The Rameshwarans' curiosity ?
Why was Rhea Sabarwal looked menacingly at the Glass Safe facade when she did not have any grudges with Ravi ?
the insipid Cover and the Title ... There are plethora of awesome covers with  (kiddo graphics too Here and Here ) which could have done as smashing a job as 'smashingly' Ketaki Karnik has written the story. 
Here are some of my favourite examples intriguing, mysterious and nicely sketched 
Ditto for the Title.. it ought to be cryptic not misleading or meaningless as there was no Chinese connection in the actual theft !Grrrr....

 Recommended. Go for it !

About the Author
Ketaki Karnik a MBA from Oxford roller-coastered through management consultancies and corporates and writing the next Crime Busters' League only kept her sane through all this .
To chat with her live on the13th of Dec 2014 Here 

Find more about the book 

On Facebook
On Twitter  
Buy  Amazon Kindle  Edition
Buy on Flipkart 


  1. This is something I need to grab :D As of now, I need no serious reading :D Thanks for the useful review Kokila... TC! Keep smiling :)

    1. Yeah Sindhu .. Totally after-all we need a break sometime from all the mind-boggling reads .. isnt'it ? Thanks for your sweet presence :)

  2. Interesting review! I guess it will be a good book to read with the kids

    1. Its certainly a book to be read along with kids.... no awkward moments :)
      Thanks Uma for stopping by :)

  3. I generally do not read this type of books. But, after reading your nuanced review, I could easily recommend to its potential readers without any hesitation. Btw, loved your heart-shaped bookmark, D :)

    1. He He .. Thanks for the bookmark.. it origami you know (am preening) :P
      As for the book .. umm guess you'll enjoy to find the culprit. I doubted on the person on page 108 and knew for sure at page 120. Try guessing before 120 :)

  4. This is nice Kokila :).. I like the use of excerpts from the book in this review, always makes it very refreshing... :)

    1. Thanks Vinay ... As they say here in Bengaluru, its a complete Galata book .. hope I have used the right word in right sense . :) :P

  5. Dear Kokila, I really enjoyed your honest review and have to agree with you – it does sound smashing. Have a smashing day! Barbara

    1. Thanks for the comment love Barbara :) glad you too found it smashing !

  6. Which child doesn't love a good mystery. Looks like this one is a must for kids. Great review Kokila

    1. Yeah Shashi.. we all love a good mystery and to add witty lines is a welcome .. thanks for stopping by .. guess you are back to blogging :)

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks Celestine.. it is a reading Pleasure :)

  8. Looks like my niece will enjoy reading this!

    1. Oh Mridula! is your niece is interested in this genre` ? Then its really a cool gift for her :)

  9. Loved the review and the cute bookmark as well!!

    1. Thanks Bhavani .. it will be a better read, along with a nice recipe cooked by mum ...yum HNY dear :)

  10. Sounds like a worthy reading for kids and as there are witty, satirical lines...I think I'll enjoy it all the more :-D Nice review again Kokila. Regarding the cover, I agree with looks a tad bit childish....and there is also a fine line between 'childish' and child-like' :-P :-D

    1. So true Maniparna... and who else , other than you, will better understand the joy or misery such seemingly trifle things can cause to me !
      Anyway the positive part is that this time its really trifle as its only a cover ..and both of us don't judge a book by its cover .. And in hindi too only one letter is different in the two words as 'bachkana' (childish /not good) is wrongly used in place of 'bachpana' (child -like /sweet) ... Glad I am having friends like you :)

  11. The review done very well. :)
    A very happy new year to you, hope you had a great start.

    1. Thanks Indrani and wishing you the same dear a great and travel packed HNY !! Waiting for more from Greece :)

  12. This sounds really cool Kokila. I have a nephew of around that age. It will be a perfect gift for him :)

    1. Thanks Vinay ... yeah.. its a good gift for him and how i wish to trade place with your nephew if you are giving books as gifts to him even without occasions :0 :( he he .. lucky he :)

  13. Good review. Lets see if I have the time to pick this up. :)

    1. Take it from Flipkart dear... its really good specially for a Mum of two smart boys :) Thanks for the comment Rachna :)

  14. wow, makes a good read babe...but why would the author choose such a title without a Chinese connection? Well good i read the review coz if a book doesn't interest me in 1st chapter (too verbose) i would leave it :)

    1. Yah its sure a good read dear and I am sure that you WILL leave it in the first chapter itself :P :P but if you get it then try a bit of patience and read it ... Its good ..sach mein :)
      Yup, lack of chinese connection did bother me as it was the title ...
      read it for the WIT ... :) Thanks a ton for visiting ..(in more than one sense :P)

  15. Replies
    1. Thanks Rajesh... it will make a fun and good read for these cute kids in picture :)


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