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A detective item number

Isn’t it strange that in Indian chick-lit whodunnits — if there’s a genre like that at all — where there’s murder, there’s always sex? Of course, if Bollywood is involved, then it’s a lot of sex. Smita Jain’s Piggies on the Railway is no different.

books Updated: May 28, 2010 23:12 IST
Ruchira Hoon

Piggies on the railway
Smita Jain
westland
# Rs 295 # pp 402

Isn’t it strange that in Indian chick-lit whodunnits — if there’s a genre like that at all — where there’s murder, there’s always sex? Of course, if Bollywood is involved, then it’s a lot of sex. Smita Jain’s Piggies on the Railway is no different.

When film star Urvashi disappears from the sets of Ransom, high-heeled, voluptuous detective Kasthuri a.k.a. Katie Kumar is hired to investigate. An ex-cop, Katie comes with baggages of her own: a married ex-boyfriend, a cop who loves her and a private eye who’s secretly lusting after her.

And the smart independent woman that she is, she uses her charms to get exactly what she wants. Or so she thinks.

Katie stumbles upon Urvashi’s body only to be involved in the film industry’s biggest scandals: a publicity stunt gone
wrong. So whodunnit? Well, there are a number of subplots to choose from. There’s DCP Chodankar a.k.a., er, Chodu who Katie’s trying to beat to get to the finish line. There’s Kasautav Kapoor, the married producer and Urvashi’s boyfriend. There’s Sameer Khan, the hero and then the best friend Marie, or Em, who’s sleeping with the enemy.

Jain must have read her Stardust to the T and watched every single Madhur Bhandarkar film before writing this book. Oh, just in case I forget, there’s the transvestite, the aghori baba and the lesbians...