The Scrupulous Gentleman – Book Review by Asha Seth

Author: Jenessa M. D’Silva | Genre: Thriller | Pages: 285

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The story revolves around a rich family as they all fight for their share in the inheritance, following a sudden gruesome death. With some, trying to take an easy route by eliminating the ones standing in their way, a rich heiress is left stranded, only to receive help from an unexpected source. With the involvement of a strong ex-sniper and a blind detective whose skills are noticed more than his limitations, the climate of the family shifts from bad to worse. As they walk into a spider’s web, they are entangled in a tale of deceit and revenge, while trying to find who killed the recently deceased millionaire.

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When Edmund runs into Stella, he has no idea what he is getting into. But nor do we as readers! And that’s a good thing. The initial few pages create only so much intrigue as is required to keep going. At one point, it all feels not worth it but soon you realise The Scrupulous Gentleman is much more than what appears on the surface.

Stella is running to get home to her dying grandfather, and away from people adamant on killing her. Soon she learns that her grandfather is no more and she has to be at the family mansion by a scheduled date and time if she doesn’t want to be left out of the will.

What follows between the two situations, however, is the finding out of the truth – who killed the millionaire grandfather?

It is written in a classic Agatha Christie style mystery where an open-room drama and investigation follows sparing not a single member of the family. Everyone is a suspect and a blind detective goes on to reveal the murderer. For a debut novel, it is really well done. The book is fast-paced, and engaging. There were bits that could’ve been avoided; especially the part where both Edmund and Stella are looking for work to save money to be able to make it to her deceased grandpa’s mansion. That said, it didn’t really impact the reading so much.

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Moving on to the characters – just like a Christie novel there are scores of figures here; the heirs and heiresses of the deceased Mr. Billington. None really stand out however; except for Stella. The other character worth a mention is Edmund who really goes out on an arm and a limb to help Stella. The blind detective I thought could’ve been a more prominent character in the story, because it is he who runs the plot in the second half.

Coming to the plot itself. The first half of the novel felt all over the place with a linear built-up, but with the revelation of Stella being the one to inherit everything of the millionaire’s assets, the plot takes a sudden turn and you know you’re in for a fun ride. The murderer however, is one we never see coming. The reasons for the murder, however, felt bleak as a summer afternoon.

‘The Scrupulous Gentleman’, a classic whodunnit, is a decent entertainer. It even leaves you turning pages once the speed picks up, but that is so long as you don’t heave in any great expectations. Another round of editing eye could’ve helped make the writing absolutely error-free. But again, that didn’t get in the way of my reading experience. Read it if you’re struggling with a monotonous day.

Have you read ‘The Scrupulous Gentleman’? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.

P.S: I received a review copy from the author but the review remains unbiased.

Happy reading till we meet next. Until then, carpe diem! 

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