KIPLING SAHIB by CHARLES ALLEN

“Kipling Sahib” by Charles Allen is a well-written, well-researched, fascinating look into the Indian part of Rudyard Kipling’s life, those relatively few years he spent in India, but which marked him for life. And for literature. Charles Allen brings to this book all the detailed yet seemingly relaxed research of… Continue reading

THE MANDALA OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by Jamyang Norbu

Ever wondered what happened to Sherlock Homes, after he fell over the Reichenbach Falls and was presumed drowned ? The only clue generations of Sherlock Homes fans had were two meagre sentences beginning “I travelled for 2 years in Tibet…” Jamyang Norbu’s clever, well-written novel fills in these missing 2… Continue reading

RED SUN by Sudeep Chakravarti

What does one do, as a mere reader, when a book so profoundly shakes you up, frightens you even ? Review it, in the fervent hope that more people will thereby read it. It’s not much of a contribution to one of India’s most alarming social problems, but if one… Continue reading

BESIEGED by Mahmood Farooqui

Does a reviewer have a moral obligation to finish a book ? If so, then this review must carry a caveat.  Half way through, mired down by too much information, and  too heavy a writing style, this reviewer abandoned “Besieged”. The writer has done a hugely impressive job of tracking… Continue reading

DREAMING IN HINDI by Katherine Russell Rich

An Oprah-validated book, “Dreaming in Hindi” is a fascinating account of a middle-aged American’s woman’s foray not only into India and learning Hindi, but into living in small-town India, and in a joint family to boot. Part auto-biography, part academic treatise on linguistics and neurology, full of humour and self-mockery,… Continue reading

THE GAME by Laurie R. King

What a pleasure to discover a whole new genre of fiction, even though the rest of the world has seemingly known about it for years. Meet Mary Russell, the fictional wife of the equally fictional Sherlock Holmes. Miss Russell has to be one of the most charming derring-do heroines a… Continue reading

THE DOUBLE COMFORT SAFARI CLUB by Alexander McCall Smith

The eleventh novel in the delightful No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series, “The Double Comfort Safari Club” takes the reader on yet another series of sleuthing adventures across Botswana, with the charming, compassionate, and very traditionally built Precious Ramotswe. With his elegant and affectionate prose, Alexander McCall Smith evokes the sights… Continue reading

THE CASE OF THE MAN WHO DIED LAUGHING by Tarquin Hall

The second book in what one hopes will be a long series of Vish Puri detective novels, showcases the author’s love and obvious affection for India, especially Delhi, and his eye for the wildly off-beat. The man who died laughing really did. At the Laughing Club on Rajpath. And from… Continue reading

THE CASE OF THE MISSING SERVANT by Tarquin Hall

India finally has her own Precious Ramotswe. Her own home-grown, uncomplicated, tell it as it is private detective.  Punjabi by nature, by appetite and by his larger than life personality. Meet Vish Puri, resident of Gurgaon, chilli-grower, Sandown-cap-lover and solver of crimes in Delhi. Vish Puri is a clever, intuitive… Continue reading