The Wrath of Shiva: An Anita Ray Mystery
by Susan Oleksiw
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432825911
Date: 06 July 2012
In The Wrath of Shiva, Oleksiw takes the reader into the family relationships of a well-to-do Indian family ruled by a matriarch with a soft heart for her family and servants. When a careless granddaughter doesnít arrive from overseas and a servant has fits she claims are brought by Bhavaghti, an aspect of the Indian deity Shiva, the matriarch of the family worries where the her granddaughter is and what to do about the servant. Then, another servant is attacked and almost killed and her other granddaughter Anita Ray also suffers several narrow escapes.
Anita is determined to find her missing cousin and stop the attempts on her life. A keen observer, she senses there is more to the servantís trances than possession by a god. Her grandmotherís soothsayer urges an exorcism for the maid. Both Anita and her grandmother insist on being present. Later, to protect the maid and let her recover from the trauma of the exorcism, the matriarch sends her home.
The novelist provides an exciting climax in The Wrath of Shiva with a nice twist. Miraculous escapes strain credibility at times and some things are not fully explained. The novel also has some paranormal aspects related to the gods.
She does a fine job of recreating the rhythms of Indian speech. In Notes to the Reader, she explains some of the Indian terms used in the novel. Nonetheless, some readers may find the many forms of names and other terms confusing. The mild language and lack of sex make the novel suitable for all cozy mystery lovers.
Oleksiw has written nine short stories featuring Anita Ray and two novels. The Wrath of Shiva the second novel featuring Anita. Oleksiw also wrote six novels in the Mellingham Mystery series. Both series have received good reviews and have been well received by readers.