The trail of a thriller

Mystery writer Manjiri Prabhu talks about how she set out to write a love story but ended up with a thriller

Updated - January 12, 2017 07:13 pm IST

Published - January 12, 2017 06:31 pm IST

Manjiri Prabhu

Manjiri Prabhu

When she visited Salzburg as a tourist, Manjiri Prabhu fell in love with the place, and returned in 2014 to write a love story. The Trail of Four (Bloomsbury, India) however turned into a thriller set over 48 hours revolving around the 300-year-old ‘heart’ of an Archbishop that is stolen from its grave.

In the novel Manjiri follows the trail set by Max Reinhardt, an Austrian-American director. Infosys founder, Narayan Murthy launched Manjiri’s book recently.

Talking about the thriller, Manjiri says the theft of the relic puts the town in danger. Re Parkar, an investigative journalist from Paris, sees an ominous vision and arrives in Salzburg.

An animal lover, Manjiri is elated to be referred to as ‘the Desi Agatha Christie’ — she has written thrillers including Cosmic Clues, The Astral Alibi and Stellar Signs . “It is flattering to be compared to one of the best crime writers in the world. I take it as a compliment.” Manjiri said she chose to write mystery stories as she loved reading Enid Blyton and Christie. “It is a genre, which is complete and provides both information and entertainment. Everything ends well and I like happy endings.”

Talking about the challenges she faced writing the book, Manjiri said, “Writing a book in a place you are not familiar with, about characters that come from different backgrounds and cultures, and that too as a mystery, was not very easy.”

When asked what made her write this book, she responded: “When I visited Salzburg, like any other tourist, I fell in love with this place. I went there in 2014 to write a love story between an older woman and a younger man but the story changed to a thriller.”

Manjiri believes she was destined to write this novel. She stayed in Salzburg and wrote the story, not as an outsider but as an insider.

Having written a several stories, Manjiri states: “To make a book successful, one has to write it well. One should always give their best to the book and write it from their heart.” Her recipe for mysteries is to keep an element of surprise throughout the novel.

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