Barely a month has passed since the royal wedding of Emperor Akbar to the legendary Jodha, when the new queen's brother, Sujjamal, is found murdered in the palace gardens. With his honour and reputation at stake, Akbar asks his trusted advisor Birbal to solve the mystery. The murder has taken place in a garden, at a spot between two mango trees, and the two guards who are eyewitnesses have conflicting versions of what could have happened. Was it suicide? Was it Akbar himself who ordered the killing or was it the Rajputs who accompanied Sujjamal, his uncles and cousin, who are guilty?
Set in a period that has been described as the golden age of the Mughals, the novel draws us into the royal court of Agra, abuzz with political intrigue, personal enmities and hidden rivalries, where everyone is a suspect until proven otherwise.
Sharath Komarraju is an author of fiction and nonfiction based in Bengaluru, India. His best known work (to date) is the Hastinapur series, in which he speaks into the silences of the Mahabharata story through the voices of the epic's many women characters. His first novel, Murder in Amaravati, was longlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize, 2013.
Once a software engineer, he now tells stories full-time. When he is not writing or reading, he can be found watching cricket on television, talking to his wife, or munching on the nearest chocolate bar.
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