Book Highlight: Kiss of Salt by Smita Bhattacharya

Kiss of Salt by Smita Bhattacharya

Title: Kiss of Salt (Darya Nandkarni’s Misadventures #1)

Author: Smita Bhattacharya

Publisher: Rumour Books India

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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.

-from Amazon

Why This Book

Kiss of Salt is the first in a cozy mystery series set in exotic locales. In this first misadventure, Darya ends up mixed up in a mystery that involves her own family and finds herself reluctantly investigating. But she also spends part of her time enjoying a beautiful seaside community and a blossoming romance. With an atmosphere reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s novels, Kiss of Salt is a slow burn with fun characters, amazing setting, and an intriguing mystery, all with an ominous layer.

Why have I chosen this one? Kiss of Salt is set in a seaside community in Goa, India. It has a heavy Portuguese influence, and was quite unknown to me before I read this novel. Despite that ominous layer, I found Goa to be quite beautiful and sunny with a fantastic beach. It sounds like a great place for a sunny, summer vacation. Without the mystery, of course.


My review: “Set in Goa, India, it felt exotic and beautiful, while also capturing that incredibly smoky, hazy, stark suspenseful atmosphere I so love in mysteries and thrillers”

Anushka from Bibliophile on Loose recommends this, saying “The book is written in a lucid style which is not at all boring. It is not like most murder mysteries but has a cosy homely feel to it as we are introduced to the beautiful Heliconia Lane in South Goa

Deborah-Zenha Adams wrote “Smita Bhattarcharya’s Spartan yet softly elegant prose is mesmerizing. Even as she lays out the plain facts of her tale, she manages to create a layer of menace that hovers over the page”

Confessions of a Reading Freak gave this 3.5 stars, saying “It is a short book and filled with intriguing elements. With the backdrop of Goa, the book is a pleasure to read”

Anuya from Reviews By Anuya gave this a 4 out of 5, saying “The story has vivid descriptions about Goa and its scenic beaches, the streets, the weather there and the people inhabiting Goa. The book goes ahead building the suspense and the mystery in a slow yet capturing way”

Lokiluna from We’re All Mad Here rated this a 4 out of 5, saying “I fell in love with the setting of Goa and found myself wishing I could take a run along the beach with Darya. Having never been to India, nor having much knowledge about India, I found Kiss of Salt incredibly insightful”

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books2Read

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