Friday, September 28, 2012

Bhagat Singh: Inquilab Zindabad


Revolution did not necessarily involve sanguinary strife. It was not a cult of bomb and pistol. They may sometimes be mere means for its achievement. No doubt they play a prominent part in some movements, but they do not – for that very reason -become one and the same thing. A rebellion is not a revolution. It may ultimately lead to that end.

The sense in which the word Revolution is used in that phrase, is the spirit, the longing for a change for the better. The people generally get accustomed to the established order of things and begin to tremble at the very idea of a change. It is this lethargical spirit that needs be replaced by the revolutionary spirit. Otherwise degeneration gains the upper hand and the whole humanity is led stray by the reactionary forces. Such a state of affairs leads to stagnation and paralysis in human progress. The spirit of Revolution should always permeate the soul of humanity, so that the reactionary forces may not accumulate (strength) to check its eternal onward march. Old order should change, always and ever, yielding place to new, so that one “good” order may not corrupt the world. It is in this sense that we raise the shout “Long Live Revolution.”





Thoughts of a Man on his Birth Anniversary: 28th September, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Forgotten Books: Death Knocks Three Times by Anthony Gilbert

John Sherren returned to London in a very thoughtful state of mind. Six months ago, he was reflecting, he had possessed three relatives, all a generation ahead of him, all in reasonably sound health; all, he believed, with a little money, or even quite a lot of money, and all incurably unmarried. And during the past six months, two of these relatives had died suddenly and inquests had been held. Now only Aunt Clara was left.




The Saturday before last, the rain-gods smiled on Delhi and How! The skies opened up. lightening lit up the dark night,and the thunder seemed to rip the world apart. It was the perfect time to read a mystery. And as I    started reading Anthony Gilbert's Death Knocks Three Times, it seemed to me as though art was imitating reality:

Ever since midday the rain had poured down with such ferocity that the whole moor seemed awash.


Having lost his way in the rain, the lawyer, Walter Crook lands up at the house of an eccentric colonel: , who lives alone in that huge Gothic house [which Crook thinks would be an appropriate setting for a story of E.A. Poe] with only his retainer, Bligh, for company.


As Crook is shown into a guest room, he notices that the bath is a Victorian contraption and thinks how easy it'd be to kill somebody in it. [The Victorian horror with its lid and other paraphernalia left me non-pluss being just a balti and mugga person]. Anyway, Crook's thoughts turn true as he is called for an inquest right after he returns to London. The Colonel it seems had been found dead in his bath. The Coroner, examines Crook, Bligh, and John, the nephew of the Colonel who is a writer [The coroner made perfectly obvious that he had no knowledge of John Sherren as a writer and had no intention of correcting his ignorance] and had visited his uncle on the day after Crook blundered his way in. Half of the jury thinks Bligh is guilty, the other half is suspicious of John. However, both of them are acquitted because of a lack of evidence though the possessions of the Colonel pass on to Bligh.

John thinks that it is very curious that two of his three aged relatives have died one day after he met them and returned to his home. Now he only has an aunt left, the formidable Clara Bond . John decides to visit his aunt. On the way, he strikes up an acquaintance with another formidable lady, Frances Pettigrew. He realises that she too is going to meet his aunt who has asked her for help as she has been receiving anonymous letters.

He couldn't meet her eyes. She was a terrible woman. He wondered if her secret source of knowledge told her anything else, that he'd come down to carry out the threats in the anonymous letters and murder his Aunt Clara. It wouldn't have surprised him in the least.

Unknown to John, Crook too is on the scene and everybody waits with bated breath for Clara Bond to die. But this time, an aged relative dies while John is still present on the scene and the police arrests him. But of course, one needs proof against an accused...

I hadn't heard of Anthony Gilbert till I started blogging. Then I read her The Clock in the Hat-Box and was totally bowled over. This book too has a major punch line in the end but more than the mystery I enjoyed the sparring between the two spinsters, Clara and Frances, and the reactions of the men caught between these two tigerish ladies. Also the atmosphere of the hotel where old people pass the rest of their lives was very evocative and some of the guests like Major Atkins, who recalls each and every campaign of his; and Commander Potter, who keeps an eye on the comings and goings of each and everyone, are memorable. Certain scenes like the game of bridge and the tea ceremony [with its comments on the rationing of the post-war years] that follows it are wonderfully executed.

I also loved how Gilbert weaves other literary characters in her novel. There are references to Father Brown, Lord Peter Whimsey, and Albert Campion. And I wonder whether J.K. Rowling had read this book because there are both a Potter and a Pettigrew in the book.

Gilbert really has been the find of this year and this book, like her other one, is highly recommended.

*

First Line: Ever since midday the rain had poured down with such ferocity that the whole moor seemed awash.

Title: Death Knocks Three Times

Author: Anthony Gilbert

Publication Details: NY: Walter J. Black, 1949

First Published: 1949

Pages: 157

Other Books read of the Same Author: The Clock in the Hat Box

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The book is available for free at the Open Library. You could read it online as I did or download it.

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Submitted for the following challenges: British Books, E Book, Mystery and Suspense, Vintage Mystery.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

S is for Successor by Ismail Kadare

He turned the switch further, until the light was at maximum strength, then laughed again, ha-ha-ha, as if he'd just found a toy that pleased him. Everyone laughed with him, and the game went on until he began to turn the dimmer down. As the brightness dwindled, little by little everything began to freeze, to go lifeless, until all the many lamps in the room went dark.

Each time she thought back on that turning out of the lights, which had amused the company at the time, she felt overcome with anxiety. Sometimes it seemed to her as if that had been the precise moment when the wind had turned.




Years ago, my sister Nitu di had brought a book from her college library. I had never heard of the author (and cannot recall his/ her name now) so was excited about discovering a new writer. I don't remember much about the plot except that it was regarding a scientific experiment about prolonging life or something of that sort. The hero was a scientist with a girlfriend who was actually a CIA agent and spying on her lover as instructed by the agency. What I remember most distinctly is that the duo travelled to Albania.

Albania! Where the hell was this? Had never heard of it. Was surprised to read that it was a European country. And had a dictator with the rather impressive name of Enver Hoxha.



Years later, all these memories came crowding back to me when I picked up Ismail Kadare's
The Successor from the library.

The novel is a fictional unravelling of the mystery shrouding the death of Mehmet Shehuu, for years the second most-powerful man in Albania after Hoxha, and the eponymous Successor of the novel. Found dead in his bed on the morning of Decemebr 14th, his death was officially proclaimed to be suicide. But soon tongues started wagging, prompted by Yugoslav Radio's broadcast of it as a murder.



But who could have murdered him? Kadare sets up a delightful premise and then starts to look at the suspects. Adrian Hasobeu, the Minister of Interior and in charge of the country's secret service. As Shehu fell out of favour with Hoxha, it was Hasobeu who grew close to the latter. And wasn't it his silhouette that was seen slipping into Shehu's home during the night of the 13th?

Or was it Enver Hoxha himself? Did he enter the secret passage that connected his house with that of his successor? Not many people were aware of this passage and weren't all the doors of Shehu's house bolted from the inside? So how could anybody have entered the house except from that passage?

Or did the murderer have an accomplice inside the house? The one whose hands opened the doors for him and then closed them once again when the murderer slipped out after committing the deed. Could it have been Shehu's wife? The one whose devotion of Hoxha and loyalty to the party could no longer accommodate a man who had fallen from grace as a husband. And if yes, was she merely an accomplice or the one who perpetuated the deed herself? After all, Hoxha did call her Comrade Clytemnestra...

Or was it incredibly enough the architect of Shehu's new home. The almost palatial like structure that many people said had a curse on it. But how could the architect do it?

To me the most interesting was how the architect could have done it. And when he concluded his confession with these lines:

Khaany mori zurgaan... He didn't need a six-in-hand or a coach. It was not a long way from one house to the other, from the Guide's to the Successor's. But it was far enough. -

A chill went down my spine.

*

I also learnt many things about Albania, the literal meaning of which is "Land of Eagles". It seems the mountain tribes of Albania have male beauty contests where the winner is often killed for reasons of envy. Also Hoxha is actually a corrupt version of the name Hodja which is pretty commonplace and quite took the shine out of Hoxha's name.:)

But the passage that most touched my heart was regarding an ancient belief among the Albanians regarding meeting the dead ones:

For the ancients encounters with the dead were unavoidable. It didn't matter so much where the encounter took place - it could be in a dream, in the hereafter, or in our own conscience...

He took his time trying to describe in the least lugubrious terms possible, the wasteland that, in the imagination of the Ancients, separated this world from the shadow world, where, as on some station platform or in an airport arrivals hall, the dead by the thousands stand around in little groups waiting for their nearest and dearest. Some are overwhelmed with longing to clasp in their arms those from whom they have been separated, but there are others who with somber and resentful visage display their wounds, waiting for an explanation. As they hold open the gashes in their bodies, so they turn the pages of law books, gospels, proclamations, the Kanun, autopsy reports and ancient hymns.


A wonderful book. Highly recommended.

*

First Line: The Designated Successor was found dead in his bedroom at dawn on December 14.

Title: The Successor

Author: Ismail Kadare

Original Title: Pasardhesi

Original Language: Albanian

Translator: David Bellos (translated from the French of Tedi Papavrami)

Publication Details: NY: Arcade Publishing, 2005

First Published: 2003

Pages: 207

Trivia: Winner of The Man Booker International Prize 2005

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The book can be easily purchased online. I borrowed it from Dyal Singh Public library at ITO [823.K114 S]

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Submitted for the following challenges: Back to the Classics, Books in Translation, A Classic Challenge, European Reading, Merely Mystery, Mystery and Suspense, New Authors, Support Your Local Library.

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Entry for letter S in the Crime Fiction Alphabet meme.


Mount TBR Challenge: Check-Point



I joined Bev's Mount TBR challenge this year as I wanted to clear my shelves a little. I decided to scale the smallest mountain, Pike's Peak, though. Well, it seems as though I am three quarters of the way up, having read 9 out of a total of 12 that I had committed myself to. However, I am lagging behind in reviews having reviewed only 5.

Here are the books read and a pathetic attempt at penning a poem:


The Boy in Striped Pyjamas
(turned into)
The King's General
For Pepper and Christ
(and shouted)
Inqilab
(but lacking)
The Wit and Wisdom of Jane Austen
(followed)
Twelve Red Herrings
Wrapped in Rain
(and ended up becoming)
The Last Dickens
(in)
A Coffin for Dimitrios

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I always knew that I'd like Inqilab but even I was surprised at how much I liked it. Till now, it's my favourite read of the year.

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I'd love to participate in it next year too and I think the levels are just fine.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Forgotten Book: R is for Rex Stout's The Mother Hunt

"How old are you?"

That was for my benefit. he had a triple conviction: that a) his animus toward women made it impossible for him to judge any single specimen; that b) I needed only an hour with any woman alive to tag her; and that c) he could help out by asking some blunt impertinent question, his favorite one being how old are you. It's hopeless to try to set him right.



I had heard of Nero Wolfe but had no idea how big (ahem!)  he was till I started blogging. Unfortunately the libraries that I frequent do not seem to stock Rex Stout and it was only this year that I saw one lying amongst a pile of books in a second-hand book shop and pounced on it.

Recently widowed, Lucy Valdon, contacts Wolfe to trace the mother of a baby left in her vestibule. The baby boy had a note pinned to his blanket which said that the baby was the son of Lucy's dead husband, the writer, Richard Valdon. Lucy has no problem with adopting the baby but she wants to know whether the note is true and if so, who happens to be the mother of the baby.

After making Lucy understand that it is going to be an expensive affair, Wolfe has a list drawn of all the female acquaintances of her husband. However, all the hundred and forty-eight women on it turn out not to be the woman they are looking for. A break comes in the shape of the special kind of buttons that the baby had on his dress when he was left at Lucy's. Before the lead can turn to be more fruitful however, the first murder occurs...



This was my first Wolfe and I enjoyed it. Loved Archie Goodwin's narrative style. Loved the supporting cast of Saul, Fred, and Orrie, the three detectives who do the leg-work for Wolfe; and Fritz, the cook, who has a  cyclical way of asking questions. The book was humorous though at times I wanted to shake Wolfe and ask him to act rather than sit back and read books. Now if only it did not have one of the most pathetic motives for murder that I have ever read.

*

First Line: When the doorbell rang a little after eleven that Tuesday morning in early June and I went to the hall and took a look through the one-way glass panel in the front door, I saw what, or whom, I expected to see: a face a little too narrow, gray eyes a little too big, and a figure a little too thin for the best curves.

Title: The Mother Hunt

Author: Rex Stout

Publication Details: NY: Bantam Books, 1981

First published: 1963

Pages: 138

Other Books read of the same author: None

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The book can be purchased online. I bought it from the second-hand books market at Chandigarh.

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Submitted for the following challenges: Mystery and Suspense, and New Authors

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Entry for letter R in the Crime Fiction Alphabet meme

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Entry for Friday's Forgotten Books

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Challenge Complete: Vintage Mystery



I have finished one of my favourite challenges: Vintage Mystery Challenge. Hosted by Bev @MyReader's Block, it is not so much a challenge as a pleasure. I love vintage mysteries and this challenge gives me the opportunity to discover new authors and titles. This year I chose to read eight books each by male and female writers. Here are the books read:

Golden Girls

The Clock in the Hat-Box by Anthony Gilbert (1939)
The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham (1929)
The End of Her Honeymoon by Marie Belloc Lowndes (1913)
The King's General by Daphne du Maurier (1946)
The Slippery Staircase by E.C.R Lorac (1938)
The Story of Ivy by Marie Belloc Lowndes (1927)
The Window at the White Cat by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1910)
The Whispering House by Margaret Erskine (1947)


Cherchez le Homme

The Beast must Die by Nicholas Blake (1938)
A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler (1939)
The Double Traitor by E.P. Oppenheim (1915)
The Eight of Swords by John Dickson Carr (1952)
He Who Whispers by John Dickson Carr (1946)
The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dicken (1870)
Night Exercise by John Rhode (1942)
Sir John Macgill's Last Journey by Freeman Wills Crofts (1930)

I discovered some wonderful writers notably Anthony Gilbert and Marie Belloc Lowndes. I also re-discovered John Dickson Carr and Mary Roberts Rinehart.

Though the challenge might be over, I am not through with vintage mysteries. In fact, I'm reading Fred White's The Yellow Face and a few more are in the pipe-line. Also I am looking forward to the next year's edition of the challenge.:)

If you want to participate in it, you can join it over here.

Forgotten Book: The King's General by Daphne du Maurier

A middle-aged Honor Harris is visited by two young men of her acquaintance who appraise her of various happenings around the world even as the Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell, rules over England. Then one of them asks about the mysterious disappearance of Dick Grenvile and this question sets Honor reminiscencing about the past.







I had no more visitors that night. But as the shadows lengthened and the owls began to hoot down in the warren I found my thoughts returning to that idiot Uncle John, shut up  in the chamber there, year after year, from the first building of the house, a prisoner of the mind, as I was of the body.


Honor Harris' path first crosses with the Grenviles when her eldest brother Kit marries Gartred Grenvile. The ten-year old, badly-pampered Honor is put-off by the amount of attention been showered on Gartred [who is one of those women who can have men making fools of themselves over them] and there is antipathy right from the beginning between the two of them. Kit's early death leaves Gartred a widow but not before she has sown seeds of discord among the family members. Honor grows up to be a spirited lady and then her path crosses with another Grenvile, Gartred's brother Richard. Swept off her feet by his manliness and manner, Honor runs away from her home to be married to him when her family arranges her marriage with somebody else. However, disaster strikes on the day of the wedding. While out falconing with, Richard and Gartred (since remarried), Honor's horse falls down a chasm and she loses the use of her legs . Physically challenged but mentally as alert and spirited as before, Honor becomes the domineering matriarch of her family, a role that she both cultivates and enjoys. Years pass, and England witnesses a civil-war with the Parliamentarians on the one side and the Royalists on the others. Honor's brothers are in the Royalist camp and as the enemy approaches she goes to stay with her elder sister Mary at the latter's home, Menabilly. Mary had married the widower Jonathan Rashleigh, a little late in her life, and now with the war in progress, there are ugly rumours circulating about her husband. The room that Honor is given falls in the western wing of the house and has a strange little room next to it. As Honor discovers later, the room was the one in which the mentally-challenged brother of Jonathan used to stay. The death of  father and this elder brother, ostensibly due to small-pox, followed so close upon one another that people suspect something fishy as the entire property passed on to Jonathan. Honor's god-child, Joan says that once she had heard footsteps in that room: "Soft footsteps....like someone who walks with slippered soles for fear he may be heard".

One night, Honor herself hears those footsteps, and peeping through a hole that she had specifically got made for that very purpose Honor sees a man in a riding cloak sitting at a table with his back to her. She is perplexed since the entrance to the room is always locked. When her brother-in-law returns, he is not very pleased to see her having been accommodated in that part of the house and that night Honor hears muffled noises and when she wakes up in the morning, the crack through which she could peer into the other room has been covered. What could be the mystery of the room? Could it be that the brother is still alive and kept in captivity?

Meanwhile, Honor's life too has taken another turn with the re-entry of Richard (since married and separated from his wife) in it. As a commander of one of the units of the King Charles I's army, Richard has become notorious both for his valour and cruelty which has won him the moniker of Skellum. As the Parliamentarians advance, Richard sends his young son, Dick (whom he frequently calls whelp) to Menabilly. However, the Parliamentarians advance and come to threshold of Menabilly. Unable to think of any other way, to save Dick from the enemy forces, Honor hides the young boy in the secret room. Honor might save him from the Parliamentarians but would she be able to save Dick from his own aunt Gartred, who has too taken refuge in the same house like a bad omen and has her own agenda in mind? Would Gartred have any qualms in handing over an unloved nephew to the enemy forces to feather her own nest? A physically challenged woman, and a mentally sharp woman with too many secrets between them match wits while a young boy's life hangs in balance... 

Before reading this book, I always thought of the English civil-war as a palace-coup with the Round-Heads marching into the palace and taking Charles I captive. The battle that followed, I thought, was mere perfunctory. I had no idea that it dragged on for so long and that it divided not only the whole country but even families as brothers turned against brothers, neighbours turned spies, and friends turned foes. I was also horrified to read that after the restoration, Charles II had the graves of the regicides dug open and their bodies put to display. God, the inhumanity!!

*

Opening Lines: SEPTEMBER 1653. The last of summer. The first chill winds of autumn.

Title: The King's General

Author: Daphne du Maurier

Publication Details: NY: Cardinal Pocket Books, 1957

First Published: 1946

Other Books read of the same author: Jamaica Inn, My Cousin Rachel, Rebecca

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The book might be available in libraries. It had been sitting on my shelf for so long that I have quite forgotten how I came about it.

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Submitted for the Birth Year Honor Challenge



Also submitted for the Back to the Classics, British Books, A Classic Challenge, Find the Cover, Mount TBr, Mystery and Suspense, TBR Pile, Unread Book, Vintage Mystery

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Entry for Friday's Forgotten Book. Posting it a little early as I'd hardly have any time tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Q is for Question of Blood by Ian Rankin





There is a shooting incident at a Scottish school. Two seventeen years are killed and one injured by an ex-army man who later trains the gun on himself. Three bodies and one wounded student. Inspector Rebus feels at first that there is no mystery but since one of the students killed happens to be the son of a cousin, he gets involved in the case. As investigations proceed however, Rebus finds himself getting fascinated by the killer, a military man and a loner like himself. Meanwhile, the army too has got involved in the case and it does appear that not everything is what it seems to be and that there is a cover-up operation in progress. Rebus, himself, is under suspicion for having killed a criminal who had been harassing his fellow-officer Siobhan Clarke. Just what is going on? What really happened at the school and why are Rebus' hands scalded...?

A Question of Blood was the first Rankin that I read. Till that time I had not heard of Rebus or his creator. This was an interesting book and different from the kind of book that I usually read.


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Entry for letter Q in the Crime Fiction Alphabet meme.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

FFB: The Window at the White Cat by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Mary Roberts Rinehart's The Window at the White Cat begins like many other novels: a not so young lawyer/ journalist/ detective being visited by a lady who bewitches him almost at once.Here, our hero is John Knox, a lawyer in his mid-thirties, who is visited by a young nineteen year old girl and is immediately all concern for her. Now had it been a Chase or Chandler, I would have been very suspicious of the young girl who comes with the story of how her father is missing and needs Knox's help in locating him; but as it was a Rinehart, the romance was real.






...the second night after father left, I was nervous and could not sleep. I expected him home at any time and I kept listening for his step down-stairs. About three o'clock I was sure I heard some one in the room below mine--there was a creaking as if the person were walking carefully. I felt relieved, for I thought he had come back. But I did not hear the door into his bedroom close, and I got more and more wakeful. Finally I got up and slipped along the hall to his room. The door was open a few inches and I reached in and switched on the electric lights. I had a queer feeling before I turned on the light that there was some one standing close to me, but the room was empty and the hall too...


Knox, is asked by Margery Fleming to find her father, Allan Fleming, who walked off suddenly some ten days ago without any explanation and hasn't been seen by her since though one night she thought he had returned because she heard somebody walking in his room but when she went there she only found a slip containing the figures 1122 stapled to his pillow. Even more mysteriously, Carter, his butler too has disappeared.The girl is perturbed because it is not like her father to behave in such manner, he even forgot to wish her on her birthday!

Fleming is a politician and Knox knows that he was involved in some pretty dirty deeds but doesn't want to distress the girl any further so instead he assures her that he'd his best and in the meanwhile asks her to go and stay with her two maiden aunts - the Maitlands- who also happen to be his clients. Jane, the younger sister, though in her sixties, still reads books that have been expurgated by her elder sister Letitia who is a tartar and feels soap is wasted on coloured children!!

That night after making a few initial inquiries and discussing the case with his brother Fred and his wife Edith, John goes to the Maitlands' household where he is assaulted in the night by a young man Harry Wardrop who happens to be the secretary to Fleming and engaged to Margery. Wardrop insists that he has a bag of valuable papers stolen and that he thought that Knox was a thief, the latter thinks that Wardrop knows more about the case than he is willing to say. The next day, Jane Maitland is found to be missing with the family's pearls. There is a sinister blood smear on the banister and a search through the house reveals another of those confounded slips containing the number 1122.

The mystery has deepened and all roads lead to a club called The White Cat which never sleeps and where shady deals are the order of the day.




Recently John@ Pretty Sinister Books posted an early review of Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles where the reviewer wrote that Mrs. Rinehart was a better writer that Mrs. Christie. Such a statement left me staggering but after reading White Cat, I realised that there was one area in which Rinehart did score over Christie and that's humour. This book has some delightful passages and I especially enjoyed the repartee between Knox, and his brother and sister-in-law. Also I was amazed at the depiction of women: they still wear veils in public and even though Knox knows that both Margery and her maid are hiding something, he doesn't force them to reveal it.



 Rinehart's The Circular Staircase was a disappointment but this one was enjoyable - in fact the only thing I didn't like about it was its depiction of poor Wardrop. It was clear that our hero would get the girl so there was no need for his rival to be shown as such a weakling - and am looking forward to reading another book of hers.

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First Line: In my criminal work anything that wears skirts is a lady, until the law proves her otherwise.

Title: The Window at the White Cat

Author: Mary Roberts Rinehart

First Published: 1910

Other Books read of the same author: The Circular Staircase

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The book can be downloaded for free from many sites. I downloaded it from Manybooks.net

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Submitted for the following challenges: Color-Coded, Death by Gaslight, E-Book, Mystery and Suspense, Vintage Mystery.

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Entry for Friday's Forgotten Books.








P is for Primal Fear





Archbishop Richard Rushman, 'the saint of Lakeview Drive' is found murdered and the police don't have to search far for his killer because he is found cowering in the confessional, covered in blood, and holding a knife in his hand. The case seems open and shut and the mob wants the killer, Aaron Stampler, strung from the nearest tree. Attorney Martin Vail is asked to defend the accused because everybody wants to see Vail lose for the first time in his career and eat humble pie. It seems like a hopeless case and the angelic looking Aaron- who professes to be innocent and has no idea of how he came to be covered with blood or holding the murder-weapon in his hand - is set for the electric chair when the defence psychiatrist makes a startling discovery: Aaron is a schizophrenic and his Dr. Jekyll side does not remember what he does as Mr. Hyde.



Meanwhile, investigations also reveal certain unsavoury  proclivities of the saint. Now, with something to go on, Vail puts up a brilliant defence strategy in place but realises that at times winning is a self-defeating exercise.



I first heard of the book when I saw a Hindi movie called Deewangee, loosely based on this book, in 2002.


 Creditable acting by Akashay Khanna and Ajay Devgan made me want to read the book and finally I got it from a cousin and read it. I knew about the twist yet the book had me hooked.


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Entry for letter P in the Crime Fiction Alphabet meme.