The Case Files of P.I. Pojo: The Killing of Mr. Heathcote by Meghna Singhee, published by Penguin Books India in 2015, is a hard-to-put-down, enjoyable and (for some) nostalgic detective mystery.
The story follows the adventures of Pratap ‘Pojo’ Pande, a thirteen-year-old, boarding school-going, private eye who loves Sherlock Holmes and Poirot. Usually, Pojo tracks down snack thieves and prank-players amongst the student body, for small rewards. Soon, however, Pojo encounters what becomes his biggest case yet — the death of his boarding school’s lucky charm, the school cat, Mr. Heathcote! Pojo suspects that Mr. H was murdered and is determined solve the mystery of Mr. Heathcote’s killing, along with his accomplices — super senior Radha and ardent fan, Pops. Will Pojo crack this complicated case and win the heart of the student body? Read the book to find out.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the exciting depiction of boarding school life. Though I have never attended boarding school myself, I could understand and absorb every scene perfectly – from the junior-senior divide and the horrible food to ‘days out’. I liked the author’s description of the students’ emotions and their surroundings, which really helped me paint a mental picture of life in boarding school.
I feel like I know what to expect if I ever join boarding school.
For this reason, I recommend this book to adults, who attended boarding school in their youth, just for the sake of nostalgia and also to young readers – the story is so relatable, they’re sure to love it.
I liked Meghna Singhee’s detail-oriented and mildly serious style of writing, cleverly mixing humour and mystery. I think The Case Files of P.I. Pojo: The Killing of Mr. Heathcote was a fantastic attempt at a debut novel and I would love to see P.I. Pojo become a series.