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When her best friend’s husband, a popular book publisher, is murdered on the Andaman Islands, Maya Mallick, Seattle-based private detective, is called to solve the case. It is painful for her to delve into his secret life and be cognizant of the fact that she’s been fooled by him. Would she ever be able to forgive him? On top of that, she suspects her friend of wrongdoing. Can their cherished friendship survive under these circumstances? What are the limits of friendship?

The Big Thrill caught up to award-winning author Bharti Kirchner to discuss her latest novel, MURDER AT ANDAMAN:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

The solid friendship between two women, even when one is a private detective and the other is suspected of a murder.

What attracts you to this book’s genre?

Writing a mystery involves solving a puzzle, i.e. it’s a brain workout. Then, too, I like to see the perp being brought to justice.

Bharti Kirchner

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

You, the author, have to be as strong as the PI and be able to stand up to those who intimidate you because of the power and authority they possess. This is above and beyond all the rewards of writing you might get. As you develop your protagonist, you develop your own character as well.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

That I did considerable research on the tribes living in Andaman, some prehistoric.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

Always authors of classics, such as Tolstoy and Tagore, have influenced me as a person, not just my writing.

In fiction, you do literary-commercial, historical, and now mystery; in nonfiction, you write cookbooks, essays, and magazine articles…

I am curious and restless and am always exploring new avenues to express myself. That said, it takes a lot of know-how before you can attempt a new genre. You must also read a lot to see what has been done and what hasn’t been. It’s a challenge and I like it that way.


Bharti Kirchner is the 2020 winner of the prestigious SALA Award in creative writing. She’s the author of eight acclaimed novels and four nonfiction works, most published by major US or UK houses. Her latest, MURDER AT ANDAMAN: A MAYA MALLICK MYSTERY, will be published in December 2020. Goddess of Fire, a historical novel set in India, was shortlisted for the Nancy Pearl Award. Bharti has written for Food & Wine, Vegetarian Times, Writer’s Digest, The Writer, San Francisco Chronicle, The Seattle Times, and 11 anthologies. Her many awards include a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship. She’s a popular teacher at writer’s conferences nationwide. She’s been honored as a Living Pioneer Asian-American Author.

To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.


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