The Lily Cafe is thrilled to welcome you to our second author reading! Today I’m honored to host the author of the cozy mystery novel Kiss of Salt, Smita Bhattacharya.
When she was eight, Smita was telling her own fairy tales to her younger brothers. When she was sixteen, she won the Statesman’s National Playwriting Contest. She has since been published in multiple literary magazines, including The London Literary Review and the Indian Review. She’s gone on to publish several novels and novellas, including the first three novels in the Darya Nandkarni Cozy Mystery Series, with more upcoming publications this year.
Smita is a dreamer, a storyteller, an avid solo world traveler, and a management consultant in Mumbai. I had the pleasure of communicating with her in the latter half of 2020 when she inquired if I would be interested in reviewing Kiss of Salt, the first in the Darya Nandkarni series (check out my review). I was hooked from page one. Smita takes the essence of her travels and infuses them into her stories, gives them a twist worthy of being called Agatha Christie-esque, and offers stunning atmospheric stories full of mystery, a peek into the daily life of a normal Indian young woman, and a touch of romance (read more about the series).
Reviewers across the world rave at Smita’s ability to craft compelling, atmospheric novels that keep readers reading and the twists coming. Her novels, particularly the Darya Nandkarni series, have been likened to those of Agatha Christie by many. Smita has an incredible knack for infusing her Indian culture and her extensive travels into her novels, easily transporting readers across the world, which is brilliantly done through her heroine Darya.
While Smita sticks to her own home in Mumbai for Darya’s second mystery in The Secret Angels, book one of the Darya Nandkarni series takes readers to the Portuguese-influenced Goa. Kiss of Salt is beautifully set by the sea and is brilliantly brought to life throughout the novel. Spun with an atmosphere thick with suspense, a touch of romance, and a years old mystery, it’s a gorgeous start to a delightful cozy mystery series, and I’m so pleased to have Smita here to read from Kiss of Salt.
Without further ado, enjoy a description of Kiss of Salt followed by the reading.
About Kiss of Salt
Families are dying because of a secret they kept. Can Darya find the murderer before he gets to her?
It was crazy really, for Darya to think she could have some peace and quiet at Heliconia Lane. Yes, it was located in a beautiful corner of South Goa—by the beach, no less—but after her Aunt Farideh disappeared twenty years ago—from this very place—nothing has been the same again. And now her uncle was dead under bizarre circumstances as were two of the neighbours on his street.
What was happening? Was there a murderer on the loose? Why were people dying? Was it connected to her aunt’s disappearance in some way?
And most importantly, was Darya going to be next?
A cosy, Agatha Christie-style whodunnit, Kiss of Salt introduces Darya Nandkarni, an amateur, and accidental detective, who is clever, spirited, resourceful, yet troubled and vulnerable. Her adventures will make you laugh, cry, gape, and marvel, and you won’t be able to put down the book until you’ve solved the mystery along with her in the beautiful side-streets of Goa.
Please welcome Smita Bhattacharya!
Thank you so much, Smita! It was an incredible pleasure to have you here today.
About Smita Bhattacharya
Smita Bhattacharya is an author of cozy and psychological thriller mysteries. She lives in Mumbai. She is also a management consultant, coffee lover, and gipsy-in-her-head. She has solo-travelled to over 40 countries and conducts workshops inspiring others to do the same. Needless to say, her stories are heavily inspired by her travels and those she meets. Smita has six published books and counting. She has worked in a vineyard, in a newsroom, in a school, in a library, in a bank. She has too many stories to tell and not enough time.
Connect with Smita Bhattacharya
The author, Smita Bhattacharya, retains all rights to the Kiss of Salt reading published above, which may not be copied, reproduced, modified, sold, or distributed without the author’s express permission. To contact Smita Bhattacharya to request permission to utilize the author reading video other than to share it, please send your inquiry to Kat via the Contact page.
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