4 out of 4 stars
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A college professor at Baron University, Dr. Ruby Roy is content living with her husband, Cleo, and their two Maine Coon cats. As unassuming as she is, Ruby is a magnet for bloopers. It has gained her some notoriety amongst her colleagues, who tend to stay away from her. But no misfortune is worst than Ruby finding her boss, Dr. Peter Malcolm, stabbed in his office. Could it be that Mrs. Pillai, her astrologer, was right about the curse of Nag—the Indian snake deity? With a killer running around campus, Ruby fears she may be next. Not quite how she envisioned returning to the world after the COVID-19 lockdowns. So, she does what any reasonable crime witness would do, crack the case herself. As she uncovers her former boss’s shocking indiscretions, she realizes that everyone is keeping skeletons in their closets.
Ruby Roy and the Murder in the Falls is a phenomenal humor-mystery combo. Rima Ray uses creativity and juggles both genres with grace. The resulting product is a laugh-out-loud whodunit that would make Scooby-Doo shiver.
This contemporary mystery checks off many positive boxes, such as an eccentric ethnic female protagonist, puzzling red herrings, and a series of hilarious exaggerations. I’ve already A-listed this book on my summer reading roster.
Ray pours her heart into each character’s development, and it shows. Ruby—who reminds me of Mindy Kaling—is quirky and jovial, klutzy yet loveable. Her spontaneity and capacity to see good in everyone made her one of my favorite personalities. But I won’t single her out since the diversified faculty also deserves appraisals. Carefully crafted based on their unique personal backgrounds, I often thought the author plucked them out of my alma mater. For example, the reclusive professor with the unintelligible speech. In addition, the melodrama of college life gets two thumbs up, even the shenanigans of the student body.
The mystery plot is well-thought-out and suspenseful. There is an element of surprise that spooked me. In addition, the trail of clues kept me curious. Despite my numerous attempts at identifying the culprit, I was unprepared for the ending. Hands down, the reader interaction is a favorite and positive aspect.
I have no negative aspect to mention; however, Ruby daydreams a lot, so the story backtracks in the beginning chapters. At first, these off-tangent moments seemed bothersome; nonetheless, they're vital for the foundation of this new detective series. This book is the first installment.
Overall, I have nothing but praise for Ruby Roy and the Murder in the Falls and rate it a well-deserved 4 out of 4 stars. The editing is highly professional. I found nothing to dislike, so a lesser rating is needless.
Readers who enjoyed stories like Goosebumps as a child will relish this book. Also, there is a strong message about inclusivity; therefore, I recommend it to those searching for diversity in books. Anyone who finds ethnic cliches offensive may take issues with some of the descriptions, but I still think you should give it a shot.
Ruby Roy and the Murder in the Falls
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