Saturday, June 18, 2011

The All Bengali Crime Detectives by Suparna Chatterjee

There are books that you haven't heard about but you end up buying just because  you found the title interesting. This is one of such books; especially the words "Bengali" and "Detectives" in the title reminded me of Feluda, one of my favourites.
The story is about four retired Bengali gentlemen, who suddenly find themselves a little insecure  and unwanted in the retirement life. Devoid of their professional activities and the power and responsibilities that come with it, they feel they are not taken seriously by others, especially the younger generation. So they have to do something to boost their self respect, why not some detective work? There is a crime that was committed in their neighborhood and most importantly, these four are the only witnesses. In short, the foursome go ahead and solve the mystery of stolen diamond.

Suparna Chatterjee has told that she has been influenced by Christie and Satyajit Ray and the influence clearly shows in her first novel. Unfortunately, what she lacks is the "punch" in their writings. The mystery is not so appealing in that I was able to guess it from the start. Also the parallel stories of durgapooja, matchmaking etc. fails to blend with the mystery and does not impress much. 

A fairly good attempt. 2.5 out of 5.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side by Agatha Christie

Another one from Christie, a Miss Marple mystery.

People of the small village, St. Mary Mead are really excited that Marina Gregg, the famous actress has come to stay in their neighborhood. So, naturally there is a large group of people who come for a garden party at her new house, including Heather Badcock. But the happy mood of the party doesn't persist when Heather Badcock dies after consuming a poisoned cocktail. The cocktail, it becomes known later, was originally meant for Marina Gregg. So who is trying to kill the beautiful actress?

Miss Marple (as usual) unravells this mystery after listening to many witness' accounts. Interestingly, the story of Marina Gregg is same as real-life tragedy of Gene Tierney. The story also features Gossington Hall, which was earlier mentioned in "The Body in the Library", another Marple mystery.

Christie never disappoints, 3 out of 5.