Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reading Challenge # 10: Merely Mystery




There is something about a mystery that I cannot resist. So I am signing up for the Merely Mystery Reading Challenge hosted by Musings of a Bookish Kitty. The aim of the challenge is to explore the different types of sub-genres in the crime fiction category.

There are 12 sub-genres to choose from:

The Whodunit: The classic crime puzzle. The story generally revolves around determine who committed the crime, and potentially apprehending them. Some Whodunits, called "fair play mysteries", will include all of the clues available in the text so that a careful reader can solve the crime on his or her own.

Locked Room Mystery: Like the Whodunit, there is a puzzle (crime) to solve. However in this instance, the crime has taken place under impossible circumstances, such as in a locked room or on an island with no way to exit or enter.

Cozy: The nice person's mystery. Often the crime, particularly if it's violent, occurs off scene. Sex and language are on the cleaner side. Humor is a common feature of the cozy.

Hard-Boiled/Noir: Often cynical, bleak or realistic, hard-boiled and noir stories often focus more on the characters involved instead of the crime. Violence and sex are not downplayed.

The Inverted Detective Story: In this style of story, the person perpetrating the crime is known up front. The point of the story is to see how (or if) the detective goes about solving the crime and how the perpetrator reacts to the investigation.

The Historical Whodunnit: Simply put, this is a mystery set in a historical setting. Often the mystery has some historical significance and features detection methods that are appropriate for that era.

The Police Procedural: Instead of featuring a independent detective, the police are investigating the crime in these stories. They often focus on the actual methods that police officers use to solve crimes.

The Professional Thriller: This kind of mystery involves a professional who is not involved directly in law enforcement, such a lawyer or doctor, who nonetheless finds themselves investigating a crime.

The Spy Novel: Related to the other professional mysteries, spy novels focus on intelligence operatives as they work to prevent or avenge some criminal plot. Spy novels can feature either in fantastic or realistic settings.

Caper Stories: While other crime and mystery stories look at the aftermath of crimes, caper stories feature criminals as the lead characters. The story usually details the planning and commission of a crime.

The Psychological Suspense: In these stories, the detective story takes on a psychological component.

Spoofs and Parodies: Spoofs and parodies make light of crime fiction, often with the goal of commenting on the conventions of the genre. Many feature famous characters, e.g. Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Philip Marlowe, or pastiches of those characters.
You can either choose a few categories or read one or more books from each category. Since it is the dawn of a new year and I am feeling ambitious, I am signing up for the Shamus who has seen it all level.  i.e. I read at least one book from each category. I'll make a list as the year progresses.

For more details, go here:
http://www.literaryfeline.com/2011/12/merely-mystery-reading-challenge-2012.html

Reading Challenge # 9: British Books



One of the Challenges that I regretted missing-out on last year was the British Books Challenge. I am signing-up for it this year. Hosted by The Overflowing Library, the goal of the challenge is to read at least 12 books by British authors by the year's end. There are also monthly prizes and giveaways.

 Two of the books I'll be reading this year:


1. The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
2. A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler



The rest of the list as the year progresses.


3. The Slippery Staircase by E.C.R Lorac
4. The Story of Ivy by Belloc Lowndes
5. The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham
6. The Double Traitor by E. Phillips Oppenheim



If you want to sign-up for it too, go here:
http://www.overflowinglibrary.com/2011/12/british-books-challenge-2012-sign-up.html

Reading Challenge # 8: Wishlist Challenge



The Wishlist Challenge is a fun challenge hosted by Judith @ Leeswammes blog. The goal is to read at least twelve books that are on your wishlist. The books should not be on your shelves.


Well, my wishlist is pretty long. I am trimming it down to 21 and hope I am able to read 12 books from it. Why 21? Becuse it is an auspicious number. Who knows, I might be able to read them all!


So, here goes (in alphabetical order):


1. The Curious Case of 221 B by Partha Chatterjee.
2. Death in the Garden by Elizabeth Ironside.
3. The Double Traitor by E. Phillips Oppenheim
4. The Eleventh Little Nigger by Jacquemard Senecal
5. The Empire of the Indus by Alice Albinia
6. The End of Her Honeymoon by Marie Belloc Lowndes
7. The Englishman's Cameo by Madhulika Liddle
8. Foucault's Pendulam by Umberto Eco
9. Green for Danger by Christianna Brand
10. Lesser Breeds by Nayantara Sehgal
11. Mira and the Mahatma by Sudhir Kakar
12. Miss Timmins' School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy
13. The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
14. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
15. On the Natural History of Destruction by W.G. Sebald
16. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
17. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
18. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
19. The Storyteller of Marrakesh by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya
20. The Yellow Room by Mary Roberts Rinehart
21. A Zoo in My Luggage by Gerald Durrell

If you want to sign up for the challenge too, go here:
http://leeswammes.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/wishlist-challenge-2012-sign-up/

Happy New Year 2012



" Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.... "

Wishing Everybody A Very Happy 2012. May you read all the books on your Wishlist.



Quote from Lord Alfred Tennyson.
Image courtesy Idea Go at freedigitalphotos.net

Challenge Complete: Mystery and Suspense



I had joined the Mystery and Suspense Challenge hosted by BookChickCity way back in June. The goal was to read at least 12 books in the mystery and suspense genre. I also received a copy of Sean Slater's taut thriller The Survivor for participating in the challenge. The book has become my last submission for the challenge.

http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/12/review-survivor-by-sean-slater.html

The other books read for the challenge are

The Savage Garden by Mark Mills, and The Sonnet Lover by Carol Goodman
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/12/two-under-tuscan-sun.html

The Daughter-in-Law by Diana Diamond
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/12/review-daughter-in-law-by-diana-diamond.html

 In the Fog by Richard Harding Davis
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/03/twist-in-tale-in-fog.html

 Murder of a Martinet by E.C.R. Lorac
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/08/spider-caught-in-its-own-web-murder-of.html

 Death in Kashmir by M.M. Kaye
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/07/gotterdammerung-twilight-of-gods-in.html

 Police at the Funeral by Margery Allingham
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/09/house-of-horrors-police-at-funeral.html

 XYZ: A Detective Story by Anna Katharine Green
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/10/x-y-z-intriguing-title-predictable.html

 The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/12/wheel-spins-and-how.html

 The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/12/review-circular-staircase-by-mary.html

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/11/issue-itself-present-day-germany-and.html

A Mind to Murder by P.D. James
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/06/adam-dalglieshs-adversary-pd-james-mind.html

The American Boy by Andrew Taylor
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/12/edgar-allan-poes-reynolds-and-therein.html

So 14 books in all. I am happy and am going to participate in it next year too. If you want to do it too, sign-up over here:
http://www.bookchickcity.com/2011/12/sign-up-mystery-suspense-reading.html

Review: The Survivor by Sean Slater

For the briefest of moments, there was only silence. No gun fire. No explosions. No screaming. Just nothing. And everything felt oddly surreal. Previous nightmare incidents flooded him - the Active Shooter situations everyone had seen on their TV screens a million times:

Dunblane.
Virginia Tech.
Columbine.
But St. Patrick's High?



I love Cozies. Murders yes, but little violence, bloodshed, or brutality; and usually the ends tie up neatly. But I do realise that killings are often not like that. Not everything is neat and tidy and the stink of blood and the depth of depravity can make one shudder.

Sean Slater's The Survivor takes a look at what has, of late, become common-place: Gunmen going on a shooting spree.

Slater's Homicide Detective, Jacob striker, has but returned to work after a six-month lay-off when his world erupts. It begins with a call from the principal of the school which his daughter attends. Aware of the growing chasm between his daughter, Courtney, and himself, after his wife's death, Striker makes his wary way to the school along with his partner Felicia. Even as they are talking to the principal, the school suddenly becomes an inferno as three men open fire on the hapless students. Striker manages to take down two of the gunmen but one gets away.

The rest of the book deals with the cat-and-mouse game played between Striker and the Killer. And there is very little for Striker to go on. The gunman before fleeing had obliterated his partner's face. The third gunman might have been an innocent student of the school whom Striker shot dead by mistake! If this is not nightmarish enough, Deputy Chief Laroche is creating problems for Striker. And then there is the million-dollar question: What is the connection between an Ancient Secret Society and the students at St. Patrick's High?

Sean Slater, himself in the Canadian Police force, handles the police-procedural well. Right from forensics to computer graphics to the third-degree, we are told how painstakingly, the police force solves a crime. There is a lot of sweat and hardwork. Grey cells have to be complimented by a lot of running around and twisting of arms!

What I liked best about the book was the character of Felicia. As a woman cop in a male-dominated field, she has to put up with a lot, including sexual innuendos and comments from her own colleagues. On top of that, Striker never lets her forget that he is the boss.

What I did not like about the book was the constant confrontation between Striker and Laroche. Just as the tension would build up, there would be this face off between Striker and Laroche, and everything would go kaput. A major irritant, it just seemed like a ploy to lengthen the novel. Also the Khmer Rouge angle to the story was a little overdone. And why should anyone with a Chinese cast of features, be referred  to as Asians? Asia comprises of many countries and not all Asians look alike.

These irritants aside, the book is a taut thriller which will keep you fairly glued. Also the cover with a bullet-hole for the O is eye-catching and much better than the earlier cover with a man wearing a hockey mask.

*
First Line: Dying is easy; living is the hard part.

Title: The Survivor

Author: Sean Slater

Publication Details: London: Simon and Schuster, 2011

First Published: 2011

Pages: 513

*

The book is available in bookstores and can also be ordered on the Net. I received this from the publishers for having participated in the Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge, hosted by BookChickCity.

*

Submitted for the following challenges:

Off the Shelf

Mystery and Suspense

Pick a Thon Mini Challenge # 4


The 4th Mini Challenge in The Pick-Your-a-Thon focusses on how you are planning to spend the last few hours of 2011. Reading, Reviewing, or both.

Well, since morning I've been busy either reading or reviewing. Have posted two reviews: The Yellow Rose and Other Stories, and The American Boy.

And have just completed The Survivor and would be reviewing it right after this post. And after that most probably the non-fiction book...

For more on this or to sign-up, go here:
http://www.thebookmonsters.com/2011/12/pick-your-thon.html

Friday, December 30, 2011

Challenge Complete: Borrowed Book




One of the most interesting challenges, I joined this year was the Borrowed Book Challenge, hosted by Book'd Out. As the name makes clear, the challenge involved the reading of books borrowed (mainly) from libraries. Since I joined the challenge, half-way thru the year, I opted for the Borrower Be level which meant I had to read atleast 12 books. Well, I've been able to read and review 13 books in all. I am reading another book borrowed from the library but don't know whether I'll be able to finish it in the stipulated time.

Well, here are my 13:

First entry: Ammi: letter to a democratic mother 
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/06/saeed-akhtar-mirzas-ammi.html


2nd entry

Death in Kashmir by M.M. Kaye
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/07/gotterdammerung-twilight-of-gods-in.html


3rd Entry

Murder of a Martinet by E.C.R Lorac

4th Entry

Police at the Funeral by Margery Allingham
12th Entry

The Yellow Rose and Other Stories by K.K. Khullar
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/12/pain-of-partition-kk-khullars-yellow.html

13th Entry

The American Boy by Andrew Taylor
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/12/edgar-allan-poes-reynolds-and-therein.html



Though I have seen a lot of challenges that involve reading your own personal library, I am yet to see one that involves borrowing books from public/ institutional libraries. I hope Shelley hosts the challenge this year too as I'd love to participate in it once again.

Have a look at Shelley's blog, over here:
http://bookdout.wordpress.com/

Edgar Allan Poe's Reynolds: And Therein Hangs a Tale

The truth is there are days when the world changes and a man does not notice because his mind is on his own affairs.


There are some writers whose life is as (if not more) interesting as the texts they wrote. Edgar Allan Poe is one such.

On the 26th of September 1849, Poe was in Richmond, delivering lectures that had been well received. He was also, ostensibly, in high spirits. He was supposed to sail for Baltimore, a journey that would have taken some 25 hours. But Poe reached Baltimore a week later, in great distress and unable to speak. He was taken to the Washington College hospital. The doctor there later testified that Poe had kept on calling for one 'Reynolds' before giving up the struggle. He was only 40 at the time of his death.

According to author, Andrew Taylor, this Reynolds was actually Thomas Reynolds, young Edgar's school-master in England where he stayed between the ages of six and eleven with his adoptive parents, the Allans. Thru the adventures of Reynolds, Taylor draws a compulsive picture of late Regency England. But what was it that Reynolds told his former ward, meeting him years later in America? A secret so devastating that it destroyed Poe's equilibrium and sent him to an early grave! Well, read the book to find out... :)

*
First Line: We owe respect to the living, Voltaire tells us in his Premiere Lettre sur Oedipe, but to the dead we owe only truth.

Title: The American Boy

Author: Andrew Taylor

Publication Details: London: Harper Perennial, 2008

First Published: 2003

Pages: 485 + 13

*

Book(s) with similar theme(s)



*

The book can be ordered on the Net. I borrowed it from Delhi Public Library, Vinoba Puri [ N TAY]

*

Submitted for the following challenges:

Borrowed Book

Mystery and Suspense

*



The Pain of Partition: K.K. Khullar's Yellow Rose

"I thought it was time to spin the story, weave the tale. The result is Yellow Rose and 19 other roses of different colours titled differently."



I had enjoyed reading K.K. Khullar's biography of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, so when I saw a book of short stories written by him, I picked it up with great expectations. The expectations were not really met by the volume which contains a total of 20 stories besides a brief history of the short story and why the present writer felt the need to pen these stories. The stories can be divided broadly into two categories: One dealing with the bureaucratic set-up in India with all the accompanying frustration and red-tapism; the other, based on personal reminiscences and dealing with life in Pre-partitioned and Newly-partitioned Punjab. The second set is far more interesting and at times extremely heart-wrenching, as in this story where the narrator's grandmother asks a man to look after the sparrows that she used to feed at her village before partition forced her to migrate to this side of the border:

"If you visit Duska": She told an official connected with the recovery of abducted women : "Bring back all my girls: Sita, Savitri, Sheila, Sushma, Sohini... they are all brahmins: chaste, virgins, gentle, humble: gentle as cows: pure as the Ganges: bring all of them back. There is nobody to look after them. they must be waiting for me to give food to them: they must all be thirsty, hungry, forlorn. I know Sumitra gets sick if she drank the dirty pond water, Sneh likes nuts" [The Mourners 14-21]


These lines well encapsulate the pain of our grandparents' generation. If only all stories had tugged the heart-strings in this manner!

The editing too leaves much to desire. There are typos and a story is even repeated with only a little change. However, for vignettes of life in Pre-partioned Punjab, this is a good book.


*


First Line: Short story, like love, is eternal.


Title: The Yellow Rose and Other Stories


Author: K.K. Khullar


Publication Details: ND: Oshan Publications, 1998


First Published: 1998


Pages: xxxii + 114


*


Book(s) with similar theme(s)

India Partitioned: The Other Face Of Freedom


India Partitioned: The Other Side of Freedom

*
Copies of the book can be ordered on the Net. I borrowed it from Dyal Singh Public Library, ITO.

*

Submitted for the following challenges:


A-Z

Borrowed Book

Pick-Your-A-Thon Mini Challenge # 1









I have signed up for the Pick-Your-A-Thon hosted by The Book Monsters. Details here, at their blog:
http://www.thebookmonsters.com/

Time for their first challenge:

What book(s) are you starting with?

Definitely, a book that has long been on my wishlist.


I hope to read / review:

Finish a novel that I am currently reading and at least one non-fiction book. Would like to review them too.

Books I hope to read / review or at least will try to get to:

Post pending reviews. Finish the books I am presently reading before the 31st.



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pick-Your-A-Thon




Since I am reading and reviewing like crazy to complete (a few) challenges at least before the year comes to an end, I thought it would be fun to do so along with others. I am signing up for the Pick-Your-A-Thon hosted by The Book Monsters. The event [both read/review -a-thon] runs from 28th Dec to 3rd January [you can sign-up for it any time b/w these two dates, but the earlier the better :)]. There are also mini-challenges and giveaways and of course reading, reviewing, and racing against time.

For more information and sign-up, click here:
http://www.thebookmonsters.com/2011/12/pick-your-thon.html

Two Under the Tuscan Sun

The Savage Garden by Mark Mills




After Cozies, the genre in mysteries that I like best is the Academic mystery. I greatly enjoy the unfolding of the plot as the characters set about to solve a mythological/ historical/ literary puzzle while going over old records, journals, letters, and try to connect point A to point J. (A -J, it rhymes you see).

I read two recently, and strangely both of them were situated in Tuscany.


 In The Savge Garden, young scholar, Adam Strickland, moves to Post-war Italy in 1958. His project is to do research on a Renaissance garden owned by the Docci family. In the course of his research, Adam uncovers two murders, one of them, occuring but recently and involving the very family he is staying with.


In The Sonnet Lover, Dr. Rose Asher, a Renaissance poetry lecturer, moves to the Villa La Civetta to examine the truth in the local legend of Ginevra de Laura, rumoured to be the Dark Lady of Shakespeare's sonnets. Rose is not comfortable going to a place that has some hurtful memories associated with it. As an undergraduate, Rose had spent a year at the same place and had  lost the man she loved passionately. On top of it there are suicides, murders, college politics, greed, and betrayal.


The two books should have hooked me up but somehow or the other they just fell flat. In both the books the end is too neat and tidy. All unwanted elements are done away with and the lovers are (re)united. The identity of the murderers is clear right from the beginning. I kept on waiting for that twist in the end.... but it never came.

*

First Line: Later, when it was over, he cast his thoughts back to the sun-struck May day in Cambridge - where it had all begun - and asked himself whether he would have done anything differently, knowing what he did now.

Title: The Savage Garden

Author: Mark Mills

Publication Details: London: Harper Collins, 2008

First Published: 2007

Pages: 388

*

First Line: The most thankless job on the planet might be teaching Renaissance love poetry to a group of hormone-dazed adolescents on a beautiful spring day.

Title: The Sonnet Lover

Author: Carol Goodman

Publication Details: London: Piatkus Book, 2008

First Published: 2007

Pages: 350 + 9


*

The two books can be ordered on the Net, I borrowed them from Delhi Public Library. The Savage Garden from the main one, opposite Old Delhi Railway Station [N MIL] and The Sonnet Lover from its Vinoba Puri branch [N GOO].

*

Book(s) with similar theme(s)

The Historian


*

Submitted for the following challenges:

A-Z

Borrowed Book

Mystery and Suspense


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Challenge Complete: Birth Year Reading Challenge











One of the most interesting challenges I had signed-up for this year was the Birth Year Reading Challenge hosted by Hotchpot Cafe. You could either read books written in the year of your birth or throw the dice and come up with a different year. You could also decide the number of books. As I wasn't too keen on my birth year, I threw the (virtual) die and came up with 2009. I selected two books, both of which had been lying on my shelves for long.


Well, with the reading and reviewing of them, I've completed the challenge.
http://inkquilletc.blogspot.com/2011/12/two-candles-on-my-cake.html


The books were boring but I am happy that the challenge is complete. I don't know whether the challenge will be hosted next year or not but I hope it is. One of the nicest things about it is that everybody who completes the challenge, gets a prize. Have a look at Hotchpot Cafe, over here:
http://hotchpotcafe.blogspot.com/

Two Candles on my Cake













Chetan Bhagat did both a huge service and disservice to the cause of Indian literature. While his first novel (and all subsequent ones too) gave India a taste for reading, he also made every person with the ability to put pen on paper, think that he could be the next literary sensation.

The two novels that I read recently, 'Oh Shit, Not Again!', and Zero Percentile: Missed IIT Kissed Russia are nothing but an exercise in primary school essay writing: My Family, My Friends, My Fantasies, My Neighbours, My School/ College/ Institute...

'Oh Shit, Not Again!' is the story of a young boy Raj whose family moves to Pune. There he makes new friends and fantasises about every female whom he meets. Nobody is safe from this Peeping Tom. Right from his friends to the neighbourhood aunties to the maids, his favourite past time seems to be watching them in a state of undress.

Zero Percentile has the pretensions of a plot. Pankaj Sharma, calls himself a 'less favoured son of destiny' but actually comes across as a Bollywood super hero who conquers all adversities and comes out tops. From Delhi to Russia, he leads an adventurous life where he is always centre-stage.

I would have given up on these books had I not committed myself to reading them for the Birth Year Reading Challenge.

During this year's Jaipur Lit Fest, Vikram Seth had advised wanna-be authors not to write pure drivel and thus cut trees and waste paper. I wish people would pay heed to his advice.

*

First Line: "Dhooom....." I lobbed the first bag out of the truck, and then the second.

Title: 'Oh Shit, Not Again!'

Author: Mandar Kokate

Publication Details: Pune: Expression Publications, 2009

First Published: 2009

Pages: 262

*

First Line: It was spring in 1997, but in Moscow it had arrived only as date of the month.

Title: Zero Percentile: Missed IIT, Kissed Russia

Author: Neeraj Chhibba

Publication Details: ND: Rupa, 2009.

First Published: 2009

Pages: 219

*

The books, if you so desire, can be purchased on the Net. I borrowed these from my cousin, Tarun, many moons ago, and they had been sitting on my shelves since then.

*

Submitted for the following Challenges:

A-Z

Birth Year

Off the Shelf

Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart


Cover image for


What happens when you take too long finishing a book? You end up butchering it. It happened with Mary Roberts Rinehart's The Circular Staircase. I read Yvette's review of the book sometime back in March. Since I had wanted to read a Rinehart for long and since Yvette was all praise for it, I thought I'd begin with it. So downloaded it from Manybooks.net and read it, left it...read it, left it...read it. This is no way to read any book, let alone a mystery....no wonder I didn't really like it.

The story is of a middle-aged woman, Rachel Innes, who rents a house during summer and moves in it with her nephew, niece, and a maid. Soon mysterious things start happening. There are noises in the night, intruders in the house, shootings and killings... And on top of it, Rachel has an uncomfortable suspicion that her wards are not being completely honest with her. It'd have made for a top-notch mystery but somehow or the other, I failed to get involved with the book. Rachel, despite her tartar tongue and racial prejudices, is still likable, I didn't like her nephew Halsey and niece Gertrude. And Halsey's beloved, Louise (I believe) could put Lydia Languish to shame!

I'll be reading Rinehart again but not in this manner.

For Yvettte's excellent review of the book, go here:
http://yvettecandraw.blogspot.com/2011/03/monday-review-circular-staircase-1908.html

*
First Line: This is the story of how a middle-aged spinster lost her mind, deserted her domestic gods in the city, took a furnished house for the summer out of town, and found herself involved in one of those mysterious crimes that keep our newspapers and detective agencies happy and prosperous.

Title: The Circular Staircase

Author: Mary Roberts Rinehart

First Published: 1908

*

Book(s) with similar theme(s):

Some Must Watch by Ethel Lina White


*

The book is in the public domain and can be downloaded from various sites. I downloaded it from manybooks.net

*

Submitted for the following challenges:

A-Z

Mystery and Suspense

Vintage Mystery

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Reading Challenge # 7: 2012 South Asian Challenge



I am signing up for the 2012 South Asian Challenge hosted by  Swapna Krishna at S. Krishna's Books. The challenge involves  reading  books either written by South Asian writers or set in South Asia. For the uninitiated, South Asia includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, and Maldives. Crossovers with other challenges are allowed and you can set your own goal. Well, as this is the seventh challenge I am signing up for, I'll go for at least 7 books.


If you are interested in exploring the region, why don't you sign up too? Details can be found over here:
http://www.skrishnasbooks.com/2011/12/2012-south-asian-challenge-faq-and-sign.html

Review: The Daughter-in-Law by Diana Diamond







Jonathan Donner, heir to a multi-million fortune, meets a young woman by the name of Nicole Pierce while sky-diving. He saves her from certain death, she is indebted to him. It is the beginning of a whirlwind romance that culminates in a runaway marriage. While, Jonathan's father, Jack, and his sister, Pam, accept Nicole as family; his mother, Alexandra, has reservations about the girl whom she considers nothing but a gold-digger. Digging into Nicole's past, Alexandra, comes up with some unsavoury facts. Before, however, she can reveal all, tragedy strikes the honeymooning couple. Jonathan disappears while they are scuba diving. Alexandra is convinced it is murder but has to convince her husband and daughter. Things get further complicated as Jack starts falling for Nicole's charms...


Is it murder? Did Jonathan really die? Is Nicole really a cold-blooded killer? Are Alexandra's suspicions unfounded? Who is pulling the strings? 


The book starts off well but by the end peters out. 


*


Opening Lines: She was frightened. Maybe even terrified. Jonathan could tell from her expression.


Title: The Daughter-in-Law


Author: Diana Diamond


Publication Details: NY: St. Martin's Press, 2003


First Published: 2003


Pages: 324


*


Second hand copies of the book can be ordered on the Net. I was gifted this by Pinki Masi.


*


Submitted for the following Challenges:


Mystery and Suspense


Off The Shelf



Reading Challenge # 6: Mount TBR







I have signed up for the 2012 TBR Pile Challenge which involves reading books from your own shelves. However as that challenge stipulates that one cannot read books acquired in 2011, I am signing up for Mount TBR Challenge hosted by Bev at MY READER'S BLOCK, as I am really keen to read certain books acquired this year. There are various levels to choose from and I am choosing Pike's Peak which means I'll be reading 12 books from my shelves.




For further details, go here:
http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2011/10/mount-tbr-reading-challenge.html


(and while at it, look at Bev's Vintage Mystery Challenge too).


1. A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler
2. Closing the Gate by Deb Simpson
3. The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl

Friday, December 16, 2011

Reading Challenge # 5: 2012 TBR Pile







Are your bookshelves groaning under the weight of books brought with a lot of enthusiasm but then never read because of one thing or the other? If yes, then you can sign-up for the 2012 TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Adam @ Roofbeamreader.


The challenge requires you to read 12 books that have been sitting on your bookshelves for over a year and thus were published before 2011. Crossovers with other challenges are fine and anyone who completes the challenge will be entered for a grand prize at the end of the year.


To sign-up, you must prepare a list of the 12 books that you plan to read (along with two alternates) and then link up the post.


Here is my list (in alphabetical order):


1. America by Franz Kafka (1927)
2. For Pepper and Christ by Keki N. Daruwalla (2009)        
3. Inqilab by K.A. Abbas (1958)
4. Jungle by Upton Sinclair (1906)
5. King's General by Daphne DuMaurier (1946)
6. Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl (2009)
7. North and South by John Jakes (1982)
8. Orlando by Virginia Woolf (1928)
9. Paris Enigma by Pablo De Santis (2007)
10. Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy (1963)
11. Vision by Dean Koontz (1986)
12. Wit and Wisdom of Jane Austen (ed) by Michael Kerrigan (1996)


The 2 Alternates:


1. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (2006)
2. A Train of Powder by Rebecca West (1955)


For further details, go here:
http://roofbeamreader.net/2011/11/14/the-2012-tbr-pile-challenge-sign-ups/