Romance is a genre I do not read much. Over the past few years, this novel had been recommended by many friends. But I hadn’t taken it up for reading. When a new friend expressed her admiration for the novel very strongly, somehow I felt drawn to it. The cover art too appealed to me. I bought the book without much thought and started on it.
If you put two brilliant authors together, does the book become doubly brilliant? I hadn’t read my co-authored books before, and when a chance came to read such a book, I jumped at it. Private India is written by Ashwin Sanghi (author of The Rozabal Line) and James Patterson (of Alex Cross series fame). Two good authors, writing a book in the genre I love the most, crime thriller fiction. Continue reading “Book Review: Private India, by James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi”
I sometimes wonder which author is the best to read in a particular genre. Though there are many authors in fantasy genre, no one feels quite as good as Rowling and Harry Potter. For thrillers, I seek a Lee Child more often than not, because it’s the unruly Jack Reacher that makes thrill feel alive. For humor, there is only one author that comes to mind, and that’s P. G. Wodehouse. The character… why, Jeeves of course! Continue reading “Book Review: Carry On Jeeves, by P. G. Wodehouse”
About the author:
Writer and journalist Tarquin Hall has lived and worked in much of South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the US. He is married to journalist Anu Anand and lives in Delhi. This is the third in his Vish Puri series.
Cover and blurb:
I guess it’s a generic cover for the series, featuring the silhouette of the potbellied, bespectactled detective. The blurb brings an impression of known yet unknown. I feel I’ve read the story somewhere, yet this is the first time I’m reading Tarquin’s writing.
My thoughts on the book:
A crime fiction with an Indian detective written by a foreign author… how different! That’s what intrigued me about the book the most. The cover didn’t appeal, the blurb sounded more humorous than deadly as did the title, so the author’s background added to the little appeal of the humorous plot. I feel crime fiction needs four main things: pace in narration, a good detective, likely suspects and the motive.
Well, there is pace in narration when the case makes a head start, but till then it’s a little slow, and depending on the omnipresent humor to take it along. The sub-case, The Case of the Missing Moustache does make you chuckle, if not laugh out loud, and the introduction to the portly detective and his battle against the weighing scales was also fun.
Vish Puri, the portly unorthodox detective, witty and battling his wife (who calls him Chubby) to avoid a diet, taking on small cases to keep his brain active (reminded me a little of Holmes and his cocaine solution) is a treat to read. He has amusing nicknames for his staff, and very different ways to meet his clients. He has a passion for cricket, and this story has a cricket case in the making for him. Oh yes, he also has a moustache that he grooms to perfection, and is a member of the Moustache Organization of Punjab (MOP).
Suspects… well, this is a long case, and has a sub case, so we are taken on a ride at times by Tarquin, especially across the border. With the recent controversies that brewed in cricket, in the subcontinent, it felt right the way it ended. It felt predictable, but right. I guess you will enjoy this crime a little, though it might make you a little uneasy about butter chicken.
Motive… not sure about the main case, but the moustache case I felt had a seriously funny motive! So partly there yes.
I liked Puri’s character, and his Mummy ji’s character as well. The information on India and Pakistan is also well done. Overall, the book holds you in its humor. I liked it.
Title: The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken
Author: Tarquin Hall
Series: Vish Puri #3
Genre: Crime Fiction / Humor
Publishers: Random House India
Price: INR. 399
(Sept 9th, 2013)
About the author:
Kathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of North Carolina, and for the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Quebec.
Thoughts on the cover page:
Frankly, I’ve seen better designs, and some of the other editions of the book have better covers too. The hand inside what seems like a shallow grave does invoke curiosity but doesn’t do much else.
Impressions from the blurb:
The forensic anthropologist, exhuming a set of remains for non-criminal purposes, later gets called to the scene of an arson case. The case might tie in to the non-criminal thing she was earlier doing, because the blurb indicates a cult activity. It certainly seems to be an interesting plot.
My thoughts on the book:
Never read Kathy’s novels before, didn’t know what to expect, but the plot really caught my attention. This is the second book in the series, so needless to say, I’ve put the first one on my to-read list.
When the story begins, Temperance Brennan is exhuming the remains of a nun whose name has been put for beatification. Reichs, herself an anthropologist, puts a lot of detail into the narration here. The exhumation doesn’t go to plan and she’s there longer than needed. It’s late by the time she reaches home, but she has no time to rest. Her boss calls, tells her there’s a big arson case that needs her attention. She gets picked up early morning and goes to a badly burned down home to find that one of the victims might not be the victim of the fire. From there, she shunts between two cases.
The plus points in the book are its pace and narration. The minus, its flow is somewhat predictable. Unsure if I liked the ending or not. Overall, not a bad book, but I’ve seen better.
Title: Death du Jour
Author: Kathy Reichs
Publishers: Arrow Books
Genre: Crime Fiction / Thriller
Price: INR. 399
(May 6th, 2013)