Okay, time for a break. I have been writing this detective/mystery fiction recommendation column for almost ten months now, and now is the time for a sabbatical. You would not find my column here for the next three weeks. But as the former Governator of the state of California would have said, ‘I’ll be baack’!
While I am on my break, here are a couple of quasi-recommendations.... a few interesting writers of mystery/crime and detection whom I have been reading off-and-on during this last year. I have not yet been familiar enough with their works to write a full recommendation of them, but I shall be in time.
The Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbo
Eh? That’s a bit of a downer, isn’t it? Who hasn’t read Jo Nesbo? Well, I hadn’t, before 2016. I had somehow avoided the craze and the hoopla for a long time. But 2016 was when I fell to the charms of the Norwegian mystery. I will tell you more about it in time, but till then, why don’t you read a few of them and tell me about it. You know my twitter address.
The Vish Puri series by Tarquin Hall
This is charming and innovative. Since I began writing this column, a common query I face in writers’ gatherings is for a recommendation in Indian English. And almost always, I twist the question around to recommend the very Punjabi, very Delhi flavours of Vish Puri, The Most Private Investigator. Tarquin Hall is a British writer who has stayed in India for a long time, and had previously written To the Elephant Graveyard, a book of journalistic non-fiction which I greatly loved. And he gets Delhi!
The Inspector Salvo Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri
Very interesting, and takes a bit of time to get used to. But I have been reading the Sicilian stories (very slowly) for a while now, and I believe you should too. This is very much worth your time.
The Alienist by Caleb Carr
Perhaps the reason behind my sabbatical. This is the novel I am currently reading, I am about halfway through, and it is absolutely mesmerising. I will finish this, re-read and then write a recommendation. If the second part of the book is as good as the first, of course.
(The writer is a business development executive in Hyderabad)