The Cosmic Clues

Selected a 'Killer Book'
by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association, America

Murder in the Stars
An astro detective solves crimes with chutzpah,charm & horoscopes - By Ravi Shankar Etteth

Manjiri Prabhu's style is clear and accessible, a delightful combination of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. The book hurtles to its climax through murders, chapter after chapter. Samrath as a detective wears the mantilla of well-bred romance rather than the dark, gritty toughness of an Amelia Sachs or the troubled genius of a Clarice Starling. A sequel, Astral Alibi, which Prabhu is now working on should be well worth the wait.

India Today Review :

"Excellent debut & intriguing start to a unique mystery series."

This is an intriguing first book in Prabhu's mystery series. The flavor of her writing puts the reader in the middle of India getting a taste of the customs, the food and the people. It's like you are really experiencing it firsthand with her characters. For those with a taste toward the unusual, she includes numerous Vedic Astrology layouts. While the charts don't necessarily explain how it works, it still lends that air of mystique and enchanted quirkiness, making the reader feel a part of the story. Each chapter pretty much reads on its own, and yet each continues to draw you eagerly onward to the next chapter/case. As Sonia solves each successive mystery, you feel her grow in confidence, ability and stature. It's a truly unique experience. Additionally, the reader knows that Sonia is destined for love, but is left pleasantly dangling as to just whom the lucky person is going to be. I enjoyed this debut novel immensely and cannot wait to read the next book in this series, THE ASTRAL ALIBI.

- Reviewed by: Anne Barringer

A delightful mystery

THE COSMIC CLUES is a one of a kind novel that readers will find charmingly original. The use of the Hindu horoscope as a tool to aid in solving crimes comes across as reasonable and plausible. The heroine grows in stature with each case she solves so by the end of the book readers will accept her as a first class private investigator. Her relationship with Mohnish develops into a friendship that hints at future romance as well as the Cat fixated on Sonia showing up in subsequent tales. Though a table setter story line, this is still a fine refreshing novel........................

- Reviewed by: Harriet Klausner

Review on

Manjiri Prabhu’s tale of a young Indian female detective solving cases with the help of astrology strikes the right balance between the logical and the whimsical, the mysterious and the fantastic. As such the book is simply irresistible and compels the readers to rapidly flip the pages to discover how Sonia Samarth, the talented and somewhat eccentric young detective, solves case after bizarre case. Prabhu makes good use of Sonia’s investigations that take her across the length and breadth of the historic city of Pune, India, to provide scenic descriptions that make this traditional and growing city come alive. The author also highlights the depth, subtle nuances and traditions of the Hindu religion as well as the somewhat opposing Eastern and Western influences that somehow coexist harmoniously in Indian culture and its effects on young Indians, all through her able protagonist. Originally published on

Curled Up With A Good Book at © Rashmi Srinivas, 2005

Roundtable Reviews :

THE COSMIC CLUES taught me a lot more than I expected about India ,the general way of life and the mindset of the Indian people. It was a great read, though I have to admit it took me a couple of chapters to really get the pace of the book. Ms. Prabhu’s bio states that she is working on the next in the series. I for one, will be buying it.