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Will Supersleuths be able to solve this mystery?

Rachita and Aarti have a nemesis who is out to destroy them. Garbage vandals are defacing walls of residential societies. Aarti’s birthday presents include miniature coasters. Rachita starts having egg-themed nightmares. Are these happenings related to the mysterious time-travelling detective gang that is challenging the Superlative Supersleuths? We’re all eager to find out!

Here’s an intriguing excerpt from the third book in the Superlative Super Sleuths series titled The Case of the Nosy Time Travellers.


The Case of the Nosy
The Case of the Nosy || Archit Taneja

Our sleuthing services had been in high demand since we got semi-famous last winter. I’d thought that having Vipul and Ashwin as official Supersleuths would help us manage the load, but the number of cases just kept growing. Aarti had come up with the idea of creating a website during the summer vacations. It’s been a great success: anyone can anonymously request us to solve a mystery. We encourage others to solve them too. It reduces our workload, and we feel good about keeping the spirit of sleuthing alive. Jyoti and Shilpa from our class formed a team and claimed that they’ll solve one before us one of these days. They’ve been failing miserably so far.


We had got a request two days earlier. Someone was vandalizing walls in Aarti’s apartment complex, the Shobhana Hillside View. One of the boundary walls had been smeared with garbage from the dustbins. This had been happening for just under a week. The adults didn’t seem to care much since the wall wasn’t visible during their evening walks or early morning yoga classes, but it stank up the area where the kids played football. Aarti hadn’t noticed it either—she had been busy pet-proofing her home for the last five days.


We had scouted the boundary wall before the party began. It was already dark by then, but my phone’s flashlight was enough to make some initial observations. The garbage patterns on the wall looked random. If the vandals were human, I’d expect them to leave some sort of message behind. Vandals leave messages because it made them look cool. They’d have made some art out of the garbage or arranged it to form curse words or something like that.


Interestingly, smearing trash on the walls seemed a nice way to segregate it. The wet waste remained stuck on the walls, while the dry waste slowly fell down. Could it be that the vandals understood the importance of recycling and wanted the people in the society to segregate their waste better? I noticed a glum-looking eggshell and a banana peel on the ground. I picked them up and smeared them on the wall again so that they could be back with their wet-waste brothers and sisters.


I tried to convince the security guards to show me the CCTV footage. They didn’t take me seriously, even when I tried to bribe them. I put them on the suspect list. My hunch was that the criminal was an animal, one that was really fond of playing with garbage. I’ve heard of pet owners complain about that. We couldn’t spot any strays in the society, so it was likely to be someone’s pet.


‘How many pets are left?’ I whispered into the mic. ‘Around a dozen, I guess. Over,’ Ashwin responded. ‘Make it quick, people will start to leave soon,’ I said. I’ve explained to Ashwin several times that he doesn’t need to use ‘Over’ when he finishes a message. We’re not in the 1950s any more, when only one person could speak on the radio channel at a time. But he insists on doing it because that’s how he’s seen it being done in movies.


I’d asked Aarti to invite everyone in the society who had pets, even if she didn’t know them well. She didn’t have a problem with that. For her, it just meant more gifts and more pets to cuddle with. Uncle and Aunty weren’t pleased, but they couldn’t say no. Our school counsellor must have recommended to our parents that they be extra nice to us after what we had been through.


To find out more about the spying adventures of Rachita and Aarti, read The Case of the Nosy Time Travellers.

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