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Tulip Season: A Mitra Basu Mystery


Bharti Kirchner’s fifth novel (a mystery, this time) titled, Tulip Season: A Mitra Basu Mystery is due out in 2012.

A missing domestic-violence counselor. A wealthy and callous husband. A dangerous romance.

Kareena Sinha, an Indian-American domestic-violence counselor, disappears from her Seattle home. Her best friend, Mitra Basu, a young landscape designer, resolves to find her. Mitra’s search lands her into a web of life-threatening intrigue where she can’t be sure of Kareena’s safety or her own.

“Mitra is gunpowder chutney to the mystery genre, her adventures a hot refreshing blast of sumptuous storytelling. Bharti Kirchner has once again conquered another literary field. HighlyAddictive."
Skye Moody, Mystery Author of Three Bags Full

"Tulip Season is an evocative taste of Seattle's darker side."

Cara Black, Author of the mystery novel, Murder at the Lanterne Rouge

“A multi-layered mystery, Tulip Season is carefully crafted. Set against the backdrop of spring and its promise of new growth, the heat is on as master gardener, Mitra Basu, pulls out all the stops searching for her missing friend, Kareena, a domestic violence counselor who herself may have been abused. A sense of menace is palpable as Mitra puts together all the pieces that lead her to a bittersweet but welcome epiphany. Lovely and compelling!”

Curt Colbert, co-author of the upcoming mystery novel, Dial ‘C’ for Chihuahua


The next morning, Mitra stepped outside to get the newspaper. It hadn’t arrived yet. The morning light shone on her front flower bed. An errant branch of camellia needed to be pruned. Its shadow stole sunlight from her plants. A stray buttercup had established itself at the base of a velvety coleus. She pulled the buttercup and threw it onto an impromptu compost heap, she’d just started. Next, she noticed the prolific clovers, threatening to overtake part of the space occupied by the tulips. Suddenly angry, she bent over and grasped a handful of the clover blossoms by their throats. Her muscles tensing, the blossoms practically bleeding on her fingers from the tight grip, she pulled and pulled them and tossed them into the compost pile. How dare they invade Kareena’s tulips? Mitra wouldn’t allow it. She refused to let them win.
With the weeds gone and blank spots in the soil staring up at her, she inspected her beloved tulips closer, an ache in her belly. All their buds were shriveled and brown, as though singed by blight, the dried stalks drooping over to return to brown earth.
Why were they dying on her so soon?
She fell to her knees and caressed the plants, lifting a wilted leaf to examine it, and squeezing its brittle stalk. She rolled each wizened bud between her fingers, but failed to find a single one with any hope.
With a pebble in her throat, she brooded about the broken promise of these tulips and reflected on Kareena, so vibrant, so full of life.